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Thread: Moved from Cricket to Total Wireless

  1. #1
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    Moved from Cricket to Total Wireless

    I just ported out four of my five Cricket lines to Total Wireless (I had a $40 credit to use up so I left one line active for now). I had the 5/$100 grandfathered plan but I really didn't need the fifth line and never used it.

    I was okay with Cricket except for a few issues:

    1) Tethering. My son at college needs to tether occasionally when the university's Wi-Fi is not working or is too slow. He's been tethering, unbeknownst to me, but Cricket never complained. Total Wireless has to allow tethering because Verizon is prohibited by the FCC to prohibit tethering (except on unlimited plans, https://www.extremetech.com/electron...free-tethering).

    2) Coverage. In California, you really have to have Verizon if you want suburban and rural coverage, though any of the four carriers works fine in urban areas. I was keeping a RedPocket/Verizon line active for the times that I had no AT&T coverage, but it was their $60 per year el-cheapo plan, and wasn’t sufficient. Since Total Wireless is on Verizon, you don't have to carry around a backup phone.

    3) Data Amount: 5GB/line was sufficient for three of us on the Cricket family plan, but not really for the fourth person, so the shared data on Total Wireless is preferable to me, and you get much more. Three users get 30GB shared.

    4. The lower data speed on Cricket didn't really matter much to me but Total Wireless is much, much faster, and it's noticeable in some use cases. I am getting 90Mb/s down on Total Wireless, on Cricket it was about 8Mb/s, Total Wireless is about 11x the speed. Verizon doesn’t throttle their MVNOs.

    Advantages of Total Wireless
    --------------------------------
    -Much better coverage since it's on Verizon
    -Much faster data connection
    -Tethering at no extra cost
    -Data is shared (2 lines share 22.5GB, 3 lines share 30GB, 4 lines share 37.5GB, as long as at least one of the phone numbers is ported from another carrier to get the 50% bonus). Shared data is better for me since not all my lines use similar amounts of data. Cricket was 5GB per line. I will have three lines on one account so they get an average of 10GB per line. The other account will eventually have four lines so each averages 9.375GB.
    -Extra data is relatiely cheap, $2/GB (5GB for $10).
    -International calling is sold in $10 increments and the number of minutes depends on the rates for each country. This is not a monthly charge, it stays on your account from month to month. On Cricket there's a monthly $5 plan for unlimited calling to 35 countries, and $15 per month for 1000 minutes to 66 countries.

    Disadvantages of Total Wireless
    -------------------------------
    -No roaming in Canada or Mexico (or in the U.S.).
    -You need phones that will work on Verizon and low-end phones are usually not Verizon compatible
    -Taxes and fees are additional, though not nearly as high as what postpaid carriers charge
    -No Wi-Fi calling (actually I do have Wi-Fi calling because I ported my phone number to Google Voice)
    -Maximum of four lines on the family plan

    For new customers, the price of four lines is almost identical between Cricket and Total Wireless. It's $95 on Total Wireless and $100 on Cricket, but Total Wireless adds about $5 in taxes and fees so it's a wash. But you get tethering at no extra cost on Total Wireless.

    Having your main mobile number go through Google Voice is REALLY nice. Besides Wi-Fi calling (which isn't needed as much because Verizon coverage is so much better than AT&T), the other big advantage is that SMS and MMS messages can be read from anywhere so if you're traveling and using a foreign SIM card you can still get your SMS and MMS. Since carriers don't allow SMS and MMS forwarding this is a great feature (there are some apps that do SMS and MMS forwarding but the Android phone needs to be left behind with the app running)
    “It's best not to argue with people who are determined to lose. Once you've told them about a superior alternative, your responsibility is fulfilled and you can allow them to lose in peace.” Mark Crispin, inventor of the iMAP e-mail protocol.

  2. #2
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    If someone travels in an area with no Verizon coverage will there be no service at all?

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    Moved From Cricket To Total Wireless

    Thank you so much for posting this. I am on Total Wireless and have pondering going to Cricket, but I think your post has convinced me NOT to switch!

    I actually have four lines on total Wireless, my wife, both of our sons and me. I sometimes carry my Netgear Unite Explore hotshot with me, if I think I might be in an area that has AT&T and NO Verizon. (I bought the $20 unlimited AT&T Connected Car plan and put the SIM card in an unlocked Unite Explore that I bought second hand.)

    I keep thinking that when AT&T Band 14 gets added across the United States that AT&T might leapfrog over Verizon. So far, it sounds like that has NOT happened yet. At least, not in any widespread way.

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    Since when does tethering work on unrooted devices on Total Wireless? Tracfone is a separate company...why would a Verizon rule apply to them?


    Sent from my iPhone using HoFo

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    Does Total Wireless allow roaming?? I used to have Pageplus/Verizon which only used Verizon's native coverage. Verizon's native coverage does have some pretty large areas with zero coverage if ya travel a lot. I actually had to switch from Pageplus to Cricket because my Cabin was in a Verizon dead zone. I just finished porting my main number from Cricket to Red Pocket/At&t so I'll see how that goes in the next few days. Hotspot better work!!!!

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    Quote Originally Posted by GSMPhonePhreak View Post
    Since when does tethering work on unrooted devices on Total Wireless? Tracfone is a separate company...why would a Verizon rule apply to them?


    Sent from my iPhone using HoFo
    The FCC ruling applies to the Verizon network and is related to rules regarding the spectrum that Verizon purchased. MVNOs that use the Verizon network are subject to the same rules. If Verizon MVNOs offered unlimited low speed data after the high-speed data allocation was used up then they would not have to include tethering.

    Tethering works on my iPhone 6s Plus (bought on Cricket and unlocked) and my Note 9 (bought from Total Wireless). Neither are rooted.
    Last edited by smsgator; 01-22-2019 at 10:22 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Fishx65 View Post
    Does Total Wireless allow roaming?? I used to have Pageplus/Verizon which only used Verizon's native coverage. Verizon's native coverage does have some pretty large areas with zero coverage if ya travel a lot. I actually had to switch from Pageplus to Cricket because my Cabin was in a Verizon dead zone. I just finished porting my main number from Cricket to Red Pocket/At&t so I'll see how that goes in the next few days. Hotspot better work!!!!
    No roaming. Page Plus used to have extra-cost voice roaming, free text roaming, and no data roaming. There are a few places where Verizon doesn't have native coverage. In Alaska they have only an LTE network, in Oregon U.S. Cellular has some areas where they are the only carrier, and in Death Valley there is no coverage. They used to lack coverage in part of Arizona until they bought Mojave Wireless.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jim1348 View Post
    Thank you so much for posting this. I am on Total Wireless and have pondering going to Cricket, but I think your post has convinced me NOT to switch!

    I actually have four lines on total Wireless, my wife, both of our sons and me. I sometimes carry my Netgear Unite Explore hotshot with me, if I think I might be in an area that has AT&T and NO Verizon. (I bought the $20 unlimited AT&T Connected Car plan and put the SIM card in an unlocked Unite Explore that I bought second hand.)

    I keep thinking that when AT&T Band 14 gets added across the United States that AT&T might leapfrog over Verizon. So far, it sounds like that has NOT happened yet. At least, not in any widespread way.
    I wish that Verizon MVNOs had Wi-Fi calling, I've needed it on occasion with Cricket and didn't have it because Cricket didn't support it on my phone even though they do support it on some phones. There are some places I've stayed, far off the beaten path, where they have Wi-Fi but no AT&T cellular service, but usually they do have Verizon coverage.

    I guess that if there were Wi-Fi calling it would mean selling the MVNO fewer voice minutes, but with Cricket they don't have that issue because they are part of AT&T.

    Porting my number to Google Voice, and forwarding it to the cell phones actual number, solved the Wi-Fi calling issue (and provided a bunch of other benefits as well). When traveling outside the country, if I have a hotspot with a Global SIM card, I can still use my phone.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jim1348 View Post
    Thank you so much for posting this. I am on Total Wireless and have pondering going to Cricket, but I think your post has convinced me NOT to switch!

    I actually have four lines on total Wireless, my wife, both of our sons and me. I sometimes carry my Netgear Unite Explore hotshot with me, if I think I might be in an area that has AT&T and NO Verizon. (I bought the $20 unlimited AT&T Connected Car plan and put the SIM card in an unlocked Unite Explore that I bought second hand.)

    I keep thinking that when AT&T Band 14 gets added across the United States that AT&T might leapfrog over Verizon. So far, it sounds like that has NOT happened yet. At least, not in any widespread way.
    It totally depends on where you live and frequent. I tried Verizon Prepaid recently, and it was a total disaster in my region compared to AT&T/Cricket. Verizon also seems to be severely deprioritizing MNVOs, so even when you do have good signal, it is SLOW, at least around here.

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    Quote Originally Posted by NCTed View Post
    It totally depends on where you live and frequent. I tried Verizon Prepaid recently, and it was a total disaster in my region compared to AT&T/Cricket. Verizon also seems to be severely deprioritizing MNVOs, so even when you do have good signal, it is SLOW, at least around here.
    I did a speed test and got 90Mb/s down about 11x as fast as Cricket.

    Sent from my SM-N960U1 using HoFo mobile app

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by smsgator View Post
    I did a speed test and got 90Mb/s down about 11x as fast as Cricket.

    Sent from my SM-N960U1 using HoFo mobile app
    Then you probably have the right solution for you where you live. The best speeds I ever saw on Verizon (outside of my office, which has a DAS system), was 6-7Mbps, and that was with full signal. If signal was less than full, then it would decrease from there. I wasn't saying to always avoid Verizon or always go with AT&T. Just be aware of what works best for your situation.

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    Quote Originally Posted by smsgator View Post
    The FCC ruling applies to the Verizon network and is related to rules regarding the spectrum that Verizon purchased. MVNOs that use the Verizon network are subject to the same rules. If Verizon MVNOs offered unlimited low speed data after the high-speed data allocation was used up then they would not have to include tethering.

    Tethering works on my iPhone 6s Plus (bought on Cricket and unlocked) and my Note 9 (bought from Total Wireless). Neither are rooted.
    The only reason total wireless allows some tethering is because they have tiered data plans. Total wireless is owned by tracfone, tracfone also owns page plus and straight talk which both run on verizon and both prohibit tethering on their unlimited plans. My personal phone runs on Verizon Prepaid unlimited and thethering is disabled/prohibited there. That FCC requirement you’re citing is expired now, and even if it hadn’t expired, I’m sure the current head of the FCC, who’s a former Verizon lawyer, wouldn’t enforce it anyhow.

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    Quote Originally Posted by alj96z View Post
    The only reason total wireless allows some tethering is because they have tiered data plans. Total wireless is owned by tracfone, tracfone also owns page plus and straight talk which both run on verizon and both prohibit tethering on their unlimited plans. My personal phone runs on Verizon Prepaid unlimited and thethering is disabled/prohibited there. That FCC requirement you’re citing is expired now, and even if it hadn’t expired, I’m sure the current head of the FCC, who’s a former Verizon lawyer, wouldn’t enforce it anyhow.
    On the FCC web site I did not see any expiration date on the consent decree. The only mention of a date was for how long they have to keep a compliance team in place. https://docs.fcc.gov/public/attachme...-12-1228A1.pdf

    Where did you see that it expired?

    Verizon is allowed to prohibit tethering only on unlimited plans.

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    Quote Originally Posted by NCTed View Post
    Then you probably have the right solution for you where you live. The best speeds I ever saw on Verizon (outside of my office, which has a DAS system), was 6-7Mbps, and that was with full signal. If signal was less than full, then it would decrease from there. I wasn't saying to always avoid Verizon or always go with AT&T. Just be aware of what works best for your situation.
    Actually the data speed difference was not a big deal to me. The big issue was coverage, especially when traveling to places outside urban areas.

    I.e. one place that we've stayed at several times, just outside Yosemite National Park, is a prime example of coverage differences. No one expects to have Sprint or T-Mobile coverage in rural areas (though Sprint postpaid can roam onto Verizon), but AT&T and Verizon coverage should not be so different.

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    Quote Originally Posted by smsgator View Post
    Actually the data speed difference was not a big deal to me. The big issue was coverage, especially when traveling to places outside urban areas.

    I.e. one place that we've stayed at several times, just outside Yosemite National Park, is a prime example of coverage differences. No one expects to have Sprint or T-Mobile coverage in rural areas (though Sprint postpaid can roam onto Verizon), but AT&T and Verizon coverage should not be so different.

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    Yes, AT&T really should be better in California. Coverage is a key issue for me too, which is why I have AT&T where I live. If it was the other way around, I'd be on Verizon for sure. I was really hoping T-Mobile's 600Mhz spectrum would improve things here, but their projections don't show that happening for some reason.

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