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Thread: VZW/PPC network changeover revealing flaws in approach

  1. #1
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    VZW/PPC network changeover revealing flaws in approach

    As a few posts both here on HoFo as well as a PPC support page on Facebook (Page Plus Cellular (Official Forum)) show, there appear to be quite a few people who were, let's say, ignorant of the impending changes occurring with their service, both from their provider as well as their devices. And it's causing a bit of frenzy, which will likely in turn cause a certain amount of customer loss for PPC and any number of other VZW MVNOs.

    Not enough people paid attention to become aware of what was happening that demanded they evaluate their phone's compatibility with VoLTE or even just its own settings, and now they are in a pickle. Getting mad and switching providers to ones whose CSRs know a little more or don't have as big a problem with device nuances as the whole Verizon thing.

    But it looks like the biggest problem is that the TF/PPC CSRs are just so weak in being able to deal with this that a lot of the people calling in for help, who may never have sought help from the company before, are just throwing in the towel and going to whatever provider/carrier can most quickly get service working again with their existing device.

    Most of us reading this know the score when contacting TF companies' support. Consider us lucky, as there's a whole tier of people out there just now discovering it.

  2. #2
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    It's too bad Vzw didn't start announcing this 4 years ago, and then extending the CDMA end date 3 years in a row!

    But I'd also guess PPC should have done more in the way of identifying customers that were still somehow using CDMA for phone calls and proactively contacting them...

  3. #3
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    That kind of effort would be quite out of character for a TF company, and indeed, announcements via text and email over the period that did occur (especially considering the year-long push-backs) would seem to have been all that could be done when there's a large portion of responsibility on the part of the end-user to do something (i.e. pay attention, this is important; do x, y, and z by such and such a date or you will run into problems). People just can't handle it - - it's obvious.

    I'm sure there are long-time TF proper customers in the same boat. Likely older folks who regard modern communications tech the same way they thought about their model 500 Western Electric phone sets from the '60s, as in set it and forget about it. And with MVNOs there's even less connection to any quality hand-holding for the passive users of this stuff.

    Postpaid customers have the edge in this, of course. But for people who got into PPC and TF back around, say, 2007 or so, made their equipment and plan choices then, and have hardly strayed since (yes, there have been many changes they have already somehow weathered), their ability to pay even keener attention now that they're older to further demands due to tech changes just seems like a disaster in the making.

    So here we are. The Big Shake-out!

    I know people like you who manage phones for other people and are looking out for them in these matters. Some do it long distance (somehow). This is going to put many of them to the test, I reckon.

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    Some of the simple fixes for VoLTE phones is either go into the hidden menu and change network to LTE only and/or make sure VoLTE is on. Sims only more recently (maybe past year) have been being provisioned only as cdma-less. CSR re-provisioning older sims to cdma-less may help but setting to LTE only may do the same. Many phones only have cdma/LTE in the network settings, LTE only is only in the hidden menu.

    2 of my VoLTE phones have been active on PP since before cdma-less provisioning. They'd occasionally drop to 3G (1x/evdo) in the LTE signal weak spot of my house. Now when in my house weak signal spot they have no signal until I go to another part of the house. I haven't gone into the hidden menu yet and set it to LTE only to see what happens. In another forum that was the fix for someone.
    A newer phone I activated on US Mobile has no issues. It's a cdma phone but likely since a newer activation was provisioned as cdma-less.

    As I mentioned in another thread, I pity the great grandma or pa that has no one looking out for them. I in recent years managed my moms phone and upgraded her when VoLTE just started. She originally got her cell when it was just 3G, not even LTE, to keep in her car when she was still driving. She never did texts or data or even had a home computer for email. If she was still with us and didn't have me or my brother, she would be one now without service. But one thing I always insisted on was she keep her landline. How many similar elders ditched their landline 15 years ago when they got their cell phones. Many of my younger relatives knew nothing about this until I told them but they are in the group that gets a new phone every couple years anyway.
    I'm now considered an elder I guess but I grew up and worked in the age of tech. Great great grandmas and pa's didn't.

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    I know lots of Samsung phones are having issues because some Samsung phones show VoLTE enabled and other does not have VoLTE.

    It has been mainly Samsung's firmware issue.

    Samsung phones have two different models. They use U and U1 models. On top of this, they use this CSC or region code to help set the phone up, and lots of them does not have the right one.

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    Quote Originally Posted by rpz1 View Post
    Some of the simple fixes for VoLTE phones is either go into the hidden menu and change network to LTE only and/or make sure VoLTE is on. Sims only more recently (maybe past year) have been being provisioned only as cdma-less. CSR re-provisioning older sims to cdma-less may help but setting to LTE only may do the same. Many phones only have cdma/LTE in the network settings, LTE only is only in the hidden menu.
    My 2021 Moto shows VoLTE toggled on in the hidden menu, but you can't change the setting. My guess is that CDMA has not been on the Verizon network here for a while, so the phone will not look for it. Verizon stated that the CDMA shutdown was going to be a staged process.

    I certainly have no complaints about the merits of VoLTE, which I got a number of years ago when it became available to Tracfone. Ditto for VVM too!

  7. #7
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    My Moto G Power 2020s have a toggle for VoLTE. I remember when I first had them activated and did a test call, the audio was terribly scratchy. I was conducting a chat session with PPC support at the time and immediately mentioned this, at which time I was instructed to restart the phone. When it came back up the call audio was super good and since I was testing with a call to my work iPhone (on VZW) I saw the HD indicator on the call screen. I theorized that it had probably been provisioned on their side as CDMA over the 1X voice network, and perhaps in my area there was no nearby tower that still had that operable, so it was maybe connecting to something further away and thus a weak signal (all this just a guess, mind you). This was in July 2021.

    I had occasion earlier this year to be the guide for activating two Moto G Stylus 2021 models (XT2115DL) for my relatives onto TracFone. No hitches at all, but I was surprised to discover that in Settings->Network & internet->Mobile network, there was no toggle for VoLTE, like on the Moto G Power 2020. I made the connection that Moto must have decided to dispense with that capability and option for the 2021 models and newer, since that part of the network was essentially becoming history.

    But I do suspect that in addition to issues like wonky firmware selections on various Samsung phones, if someone has a device from before a certain model year that may be VoLTE capable, but for whatever reason simply wasn't provisioned on the network side for it, if a person finds a toggle that seems to apply (VoLTE, HD Calls, Enhanced Calling, whatever) and tries it and it doesn't help or appear to do anything, it could be that initial provisioning didn't update (if it's supposed to on it's own - I don't know how this works) at some point.

    People are having a hell of a time in some cases, and it's turning them sour on whatever VZW MVNO they may currently be on (focus here on PPC or TF). It's a little entertaining in a mildly sadistic sort of way, but you realize for most people these are likely not extra or hobby devices; they're the central point for communications for them, and they are in a range of emotions from sweating it to panic to rage. And they will move on to where their current device most easily works, for a tolerable price.

  8. #8
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    All modern phones have VoLTE enabled by default and cannot be turned off. It is not an option anymore, not when companies turn off their 2G and 3G networks.
    It is required by 911 compatibility.

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