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Thread: What HD voice provider?

  1. #1
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    What HD voice provider?

    I'm looking for an inexpensive provider for low usage that does HD voice for BYOD. I want to bring an iPhone XS.

    I don't have the phone yet so I'm trying to pick whether to get GSM or CDMA phone. The areas I'll be in have good enough coverage for any of the networks.

    My typical usage would be under 500MB, 20 texts, and 30 minutes but I would like to be able to use more when needed.

    Is there any carrier that has more HD voice compatibility outside their own network? (I would especially like to use HD voice with one person who needs unlimited talk & texts.)

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    cricket wireless (AT&T) - https://www.cricketwireless.com/hd-voice

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    Thanks. Are there any providers for under $30/mo since I mostly use wifi? That's a lot for me when I'm using it so little.

    I guess I may need to do pay-as-you-go through one of the major carriers instead of an MVNO?

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    >I guess I may need to do pay-as-you-go through one of the major carriers instead of an MVNO?

    Your 500MB/mo req is too high for PAYGO. At the "low" PAYGO rate of 5c/MB, 500MB would cost $25 alone. Your best option is a small-bucket monthly, like Red Pocket's $60/360-day ($5/mo) plan (100 min, 100 text, 500MB per month).

    >but I would like to be able to use more when needed.

    RP refills however aren't cheap.

    >I'm looking for an inexpensive provider for low usage that does HD voice for BYOD. I want to bring an iPhone XS.

    HD Voice goes in tandem with VoLTE, which all carriers support to varying degree (except Sprint for which VoLTE is still in pilot phase.) T-Mo has the widest handset support, while AT&T is the most restrictive (only AT&T-branded phones get VoLTE with a few exceptions.)

    That said, the iPhone is universally supported by all carriers, and would be a good BYOD choice. However, for your low usage, a $1000 phone is probably not the most cost-effective expenditure.

    In short, you should expect to have VoLTE (and HD Voice) from most providers. Just be aware that VoLTE is still not offered by every MVNO, and for some that do, you'll have to dig for info. A quick test is to google [provider name] "volte"|"hd voice".

    >I don't have the phone yet

    I'm curious if you've experienced HD Voice, or if you're going by marketing claims. It's rare to see someone making HD Voice as the primary buy criterion.

    >The areas I'll be in have good enough coverage for any of the networks.

    Then voice quality shouldn't be a major issue, and HD Voice probably shouldn't matter.

    >I'm trying to pick whether to get GSM or CDMA phone.

    The iPhone XS US model (A1920) supports both GSM and CDMA. If you buy from a carrier, then it probably will be carrier-locked.

    >Is there any carrier that has more HD voice compatibility outside their own network?

    [Carrier] network interoperability is an unknown. You can find anecdotal reports either way, for any carrier. Some argue that one-way VoLTE (ie from you to your provider) is still better than none, even if there's no end-to-end VoLTE connection.

    Also keep in mind that the phone has to support HD Voice as well. You may have a supported phone, but the other end may not.

    My take is that VoLTE is a perk that's nice to have, but not essential. There are other ways to get around marginal call quality, eg wifi calling.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Lilac View Post
    I'm looking for an inexpensive provider for low usage that does HD voice for BYOD. I want to bring an iPhone XS.

    I don't have the phone yet so I'm trying to pick whether to get GSM or CDMA phone. The areas I'll be in have good enough coverage for any of the networks.

    My typical usage would be under 500MB, 20 texts, and 30 minutes but I would like to be able to use more when needed.

    Is there any carrier that has more HD voice compatibility outside their own network? (I would especially like to use HD voice with one person who needs unlimited talk & texts.)
    One suggestion might be 1200/1200/3GB/1 Year = $49.99 from https://www.ebay.com/itm/283448464240.

    Select "I Am Not Sure" and you'll receive a SIM kit with Vzw, AT&T, and T-Mobile SIMs, so you can choose which network you want to activate the plan on.

    Obviously, the T&T allotments will last you a long time. If/when you run out of data, you can add 1GB for $10 whenever you need it.

    Also, you COULD buy TWO of those 1200/1200/3GB/1 Year kits, activate one, and then after it's up and running, add the other one, which will give you 2400/2400/6GB/2 Years for $99.98, or ~$4.17/mo.

    Post back if you have any questions.

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    I have an iPhone 6s on PixWireless with unlimited talk and text with 2gb of high speed data each month for $20. They’re pretty new and I have only had it a month but you do get unlimited 2g speed data after running out of your allotted high speed data.

    So far just one hiccup with the auto pay but customer service was very helpful and resolved it quickly. I tested the cap of high speed data in the first month and it was accurate as far as not throttling to the lower speed until I actually went over the data amount of 2gb. Then after at the slower speeds things like iMessage (even sending pictures with I message), apple maps and most things work just fine. However at the slower speed web browsing and using Siri are pretty much not worth trying on cellular.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Duff1234 View Post
    I have an iPhone 6s on PixWireless with unlimited talk and text with 2gb of high speed data each month for $20. They’re pretty new and I have only had it a month but you do get unlimited 2g speed data after running out of your allotted high speed data.

    So far just one hiccup with the auto pay but customer service was very helpful and resolved it quickly. I tested the cap of high speed data in the first month and it was accurate as far as not throttling to the lower speed until I actually went over the data amount of 2gb. Then after at the slower speeds things like iMessage (even sending pictures with I message), apple maps and most things work just fine. However at the slower speed web browsing and using Siri are pretty much not worth trying on cellular.
    I should also note that $20 is all in. It includes taxes and everything in that price.

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    Boz, that ebay tracfone deal, the airtime buckets are per year, not per month, correct?

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    Depending on the carrier you decide provides the coverage that satisfies, VoLTE compliance shouldn't be considered a "perk," but a technical necessity, especially of course in the case of VZW and their MVNOs. The two major legacy GSM carriers (AT&T and T-Mobile) have switchover dates that are a bit further out (one or two years or so) than VZW; but still, why not get on that horse sooner than later?

    In my opinion, it's not so much a matter of immediate appreciation of the better audio quality of potential HD Voice use, but getting set up (depending again on underlying carrier's availability of VoLTE) and running on the voice channel connection method that is becoming the norm (quickly now) and avoiding potentially running into a coverage area (a cell) that has dropped it's older method, and you not having a device that uses the newer method.

    Of course, there shouldn't be a problem with any newer iPhone or really any smartphone (even available non-smartphone) that's being sold now. Phone makers are making things to work with what's upcoming.

    You may still have to figure out how an MVNO is handling that changeover, however. So this forum is a good place to hang to see what reports from the field suggest.

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    Quote Originally Posted by GPz1100 View Post
    Boz, that ebay tracfone deal, the airtime buckets are per year, not per month, correct?
    Yes. It should fit quite well with the OP's usage pattern.

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    TotalWireless has VoLTE and HD voice, on Verizon's network.
    You can get their $25/month plan with unlimited voice and text and add a 5GB data bucket for $10. That bucket is not expiring, you can just add more when you need it, for your usage that data will last some 10 months.
    https://www.totalwireless.com/keep-your-own-phone
    If you use the RWOI-B602 referal code at signing in, you will get 5000 reward points, that you can use for free data (5GB "costs" 1000 points).

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by GPz1100 View Post
    Boz, that ebay tracfone deal, the airtime buckets are per year, not per month, correct?
    Yes, as far as I can tell. More flexibility than the RP 1 year deals, $10 cheaper per year, but half the potential data.

    With RP, as an emergency phone if I don't use the phone for a couple months, the data and minutes are lost for that month. With TF, you could bing for 2 months of the year. But if you use it up early, I presume you have to quickly renew. And a rogue app could drain your data all in a few days.
    iPhone X is my current primary phone. I have older model iPhones and Moto phones available on other lines. Currently prepaid, though would consider postpaid on right plan.

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    Quote Originally Posted by whacker View Post
    Depending on the carrier you decide provides the coverage that satisfies, VoLTE compliance shouldn't be considered a "perk," but a technical necessity, especially of course in the case of VZW and their MVNOs. The two major legacy GSM carriers (AT&T and T-Mobile) have switchover dates that are a bit further out (one or two years or so) than VZW; but still, why not get on that horse sooner than later?
    Thanks for sharing your thoughts about VoLTE.

    Quote Originally Posted by Boz1 View Post
    Also, you COULD buy TWO of those 1200/1200/3GB/1 Year kits, activate one, and then after it's up and running, add the other one, which will give you 2400/2400/6GB/2 Years for $99.98, or ~$4.17/mo.
    Wow, thank you. Yes, these kits seem just right for me.

    Quote Originally Posted by Duff1234 View Post
    I should also note that $20 is all in. It includes taxes and everything in that price.
    Thanks for your suggestion. That's cheap and I see they have even cheaper plans coming. Maybe I could switch between plans easily.

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    Quote Originally Posted by e.mote View Post
    I'm curious if you've experienced HD Voice, or if you're going by marketing claims. It's rare to see someone making HD Voice as the primary buy criterion.
    Quote Originally Posted by e.mote View Post
    [Carrier] network interoperability is an unknown. You can find anecdotal reports either way, for any carrier. Some argue that one-way VoLTE (ie from you to your provider) is still better than none, even if there's no end-to-end VoLTE connection.
    I have not experienced it, but I have small disabilities with hearing and speaking, so I want to have the best available to make things a little more smooth and comfortable, since it seems to be possible for not much more cost.

    I know that some people I speak with may not have a good enough handset. Interesting that the one-way might help! Unknowns about interoperability too... well, at least I'd be getting HD sometimes.

    The person I would speak with most is currently using Cricket but could switch to any provider (preferrably under $40/mo after fees and taxes as they need very low data or none).

    Edit: Thanks for the other warnings as well. And $5/mo at RP does seem interesting!

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    Quote Originally Posted by SoNic67 View Post
    TotalWireless has VoLTE and HD voice, on Verizon's network.
    You can get their $25/month plan with unlimited voice and text and add a 5GB data bucket for $10. That bucket is not expiring, you can just add more when you need it, for your usage that data will last some 10 months.
    https://www.totalwireless.com/keep-your-own-phone
    If you use the RWOI-B602 referal code at signing in, you will get 5000 reward points, that you can use for free data (5GB "costs" 1000 points).
    Thanks! That's really nice about the 5000 reward points and the bucket that doesn't expire. This seems really good for my friend and something I should consider.

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