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Old Apr 4, 2012, 02:22 PM   #51
BMNB1tch
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what no one mentions is carriers lowering their rates if you already own the device

why is my bill the same as someone who had their phone subsidized by the carrier

why does everyone think sms text message marked up 900% above actual data rates is fair market value ?
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Old Apr 4, 2012, 02:42 PM   #52
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Just bought a little AAPL
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Old Apr 4, 2012, 02:54 PM   #53
tasset
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Quote:
Originally Posted by taylortm View Post
This is great news!!! Where can I get the $30/month for voice and data? My contract with at&t is up (no etf) next month. I want to switch!



I omitted taxes and fees on both (sub'd and unsub'd), assuming they "come out in the wash." Is Straight Talk tax/fee free? BTW, I have not paid an activation or upgrade fee since about 1998. If anybody still is (and they're sub'd/contracted) they need to stop doing that. at&t waives that, without blinking, every time I ask.



Well, you're sharp. You know your plans. I was trying to keep it simple... not hide anything. I am on an OLD (39.99/mo) plan w/ 450 minutes of talk. I pay $10/mo for my wife to share that. On top of that, I pay $30 for data and $5 for 200 texts. I rarely have any "overages" and my monthly bill (after taxes and company discount) comes out to $78 and change each month.



Great point! Hadn't considered that.



So there are REALLY no taxes??? Like I see a charge for $45.00000000 each month? And you're telling me I get the EXACT SAME service as at&t? 4G LTE? Is the data capped like at&t? Or did they negotiate uncapped?

This is sounding better and better.



I agree. Once off contract, it appears clearly foolish to keep paying at&t $80+ per month. However, I have not been off contract for longer than a month in over 8 years. I sort of assumed we're talking about the trade-off between subsidized pricing and "obligations" related thereto... not really talking about "after the fact."


Well... thanks everybody for your input. It makes me re-think this thing.

But it still leaves a couple big-ish questions:
* What if Straight Talk "goes away?" As in, files for bankruptcy.
* What if you need "support" from ST? Is that any good?
* Are there any sites/reviews that support that it's "all good" over in ST land?
* Are there other pre-paid services like ST?
Thanks again. MR forum readers rock!
I love to help or at least spread knowledge! In your case with a really old pre-AT&T plan you may not be better off switching if they keep providing you subsidized phones. I'm 110% sure AT&T would LOOOOVE to force you off it though like they did to customers when Cingular merged with the original AT&T wireless. The vast majority of their customers do not have that grandfathered plan and so you're the exception not the rule.
Answers to your other questions:
*Straight Talk's plan is $45 flat no taxes; you 'may' have to pay sales tax on the prepaid card if you get it from Walmart which would be $2-$3. But there are alternative tax-free sources.
*LTE vs 3G; really not sure. LTE may work by default but have not tried it. All they care about is how much data you use not how fast it is.
*StraightTalk isn't going anywhere, they are a part of Tracfone owned by the world's richest man.
*There are other prepaid providers slowly popping up; H20, Red Mobile, etc. To be honest $45 isn't even THAT cheap, just by US standards. Maybe we'll even see better rates by someone else soon (check out Republic Wireless or Ting) and if you're not living out a contract you are free to join whenever you want.

*edit*
I strongly recommend you to check out these guys to fully grasp the cost of your subsidized device.
https://ting.com/plans
http://republicwireless.com/
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Old Apr 4, 2012, 03:07 PM   #54
IzzyCal
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Originally Posted by Mazeman View Post
I wish US Cellular would offer the iPhone. It's the best carrier in our area.
US Cellular will be assimilated :-)
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Old Apr 4, 2012, 03:22 PM   #55
quickmac
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Originally Posted by URFloorMatt View Post
T-Mobile quickly becoming the only carrier that doesn't offer the iPhone. Ironic.

Yeah really, I've been with T-Mobile for over 8 years. But they do need to get on board with the iPhone. If they think their subpar Android phones are going to help them, they're wrong.
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Old Apr 4, 2012, 03:56 PM   #56
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Originally Posted by URFloorMatt View Post
T-Mobile quickly becoming the only carrier that doesn't offer the iPhone. Ironic.
Alltel doesn't either.
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Old Apr 4, 2012, 04:32 PM   #57
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zaren View Post
I've been a VM customer for years, and bought their Optimus smartphone last year (Android, meh). I keep asking them when they'll have the iPhone in the States, since they have it in Canada. They keep telling me "no news, but keep an eye out on our site"... they told me this today, in fact. Fingers crossed that they will finally tell me something different soon (since I'm still grandfathered in on their $25 plan...)
Glad to hear that they're telling you to keep an eye on their site. I too, am grandfathered at $25 and would love it if the iPhone was allowed on such a basic plan. Even if it's a $50 plan, that would be fine by me.
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Old Apr 4, 2012, 04:59 PM   #58
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Aggressive move. I like it.
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Old Apr 4, 2012, 05:10 PM   #59
Dragado
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Originally Posted by Diode View Post
A government regulated industry is NOT a free market.

T-Mobile would be using a compatible frequency if it wasn't for the FCC. Don't believe the smoke the carriers put up - in it's current form, the FCC regulated industry reward those to buy and sit on frequency so others can't use it.
I wish people were educated enough to know how true this is. Our education system so so heavily slanted left, you don't get a decent education about how America works anymore. The FCC and regulatory agencies like it cause so many issues in day to day life, yet the majority of the population seem to be completely oblivious.

EDIT: Even more egregious, some of them blame the free market for things caused by these various agencies, such as what happened here.
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Old Apr 4, 2012, 05:25 PM   #60
MNealBarrett
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Boost Mobile or Virgin Mobile

I'd love it if Boost Mobile or Virgin Mobile could get an iPhone. I love my $25/month plan with unlimited data through Virgin Mobile (grandfathered, no longer available), even though I have to use an Android phone. I'd love to be able to use an iPhone with my existing plan. Boost Mobile also has attractive plans.
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Old Apr 4, 2012, 05:45 PM   #61
mctape
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I want to see Credo get access to the iPhone. Credo operates on Sprint's network so it's not like there's a technical hurdle as iPhones are already available on Sprint.
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Old Apr 4, 2012, 06:13 PM   #62
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I wish T-Mobile would hurry up with their spectrum re-farming to give us HSPA on 1900MHz. I'm currently using an unlocked iPhone on their network and everything works great except that I'm on EDGE.

I'm on the value plan (no phone upgrades). I currently pay $100 a month ($102 after all the fees) for three lines, two of which have 2GB of 4G data each (with unlimited throttled data after that), all lines with unlimited messaging, and 1000 shared minutes, excluding nights, weekends, and T-Mobile to T-Mobile.

When T-Mobile finishes their spectrum refarming there will be so many people rushing to the network with unlocked iPhones for the great prices and fast HSPA+ speeds. They just need to hurry up

Edit: Here it is

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Old Apr 4, 2012, 06:21 PM   #63
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TechieGeek View Post
I wish T-Mobile would hurry up with their spectrum re-farming to give us HSPA on 1900MHz. I'm currently using an unlocked iPhone on their network and everything works great except that I'm on EDGE.

I'm on the value plan (no phone upgrades). I currently pay $100 a month ($102 after all the fees) for three lines, two of which have 2GB of 4G data each (with unlimited throttled data after that), all lines with unlimited messaging, and 1000 shared minutes, excluding nights, weekends, and T-Mobile to T-Mobile.

When T-Mobile finishes their spectrum refarming there will be so many people rushing to the network with unlocked iPhones for the great prices and fast HSPA+ speeds. They just need to hurry up

Edit: Here it is

Image
How does that work? Can you use wireless? The only thing I see a data plan necessary is for GPS features. Can EDGE do GPS fine?
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Old Apr 4, 2012, 06:25 PM   #64
TechieGeek
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Destroysall View Post
How does that work? Can you use wireless? The only thing I see a data plan necessary is for GPS features. Can EDGE do GPS fine?
You can use WiFi with no issues. Siri works fast over edge too (4-8 seconds usually, and that's WITH a proxy to make Siri work because I'm on the iPhone 4). Maps work but are kind of slow. Pandora and iHeartRadio streaming works. Even Skype works over edge (no video though). iMessage is great

The only problem is some images that you take are too big and won't send over MMS, so you have to go crop them or use some app to compress them before you send them.

Other than that, everything works, it's just slow. With my Android I never connected to WiFi because T-Mobile's HSPA was faster than most WiFi, but now I'm always connected to wireless networks.
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Old Apr 4, 2012, 06:26 PM   #65
unlimitedx
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TechieGeek View Post
I wish T-Mobile would hurry up with their spectrum re-farming to give us HSPA on 1900MHz. I'm currently using an unlocked iPhone on their network and everything works great except that I'm on EDGE.

I'm on the value plan (no phone upgrades). I currently pay $100 a month ($102 after all the fees) for three lines, two of which have 2GB of 4G data each (with unlimited throttled data after that), all lines with unlimited messaging, and 1000 shared minutes, excluding nights, weekends, and T-Mobile to T-Mobile.

When T-Mobile finishes their spectrum refarming there will be so many people rushing to the network with unlocked iPhones for the great prices and fast HSPA+ speeds. They just need to hurry up

Edit: Here it is

Image
When I compare my rates AT&T post paid with FAN discount against yours, and factor in the fact that every 20 months I get to upgrade to the next iphone for the subsidized price, and being able to sell the existing iphones over the subsidized price on CL, it is very competitive
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Old Apr 4, 2012, 07:37 PM   #66
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Quote:
Originally Posted by taylortm View Post


So, why is it so DUMB-AMERICAN to fall for the subsidized phone? And please... this is a real question. This topic always comes up on MR. I've asked my palzzzzz to explain it. Nobody can. So now I'm "asking MR."

Thanks.
The lack of competition in the US market is one reason pre-paid hasn't really taken off. With the duopoly that exists in the GSM market (T-Mobile and AT&T) and the fragmented technology (CDMA and GSM) which make devices incompatible between carriers drives prices up to not close to what they are in other countries.

Regardless - where are you getting the $1000 cost for an iPhone? Unlocked iPhones start at $649 and peak at $849 - a far cry from the $1000 you claim. Furthermore once you "buy" into a unlocked phone, once it's time to upgrade their prices are a heck of a lot higher.

My unlocked 4 is worth about $100~$200 more then the same factory unlocked phone from AT&T. So upgrading becomes a lot cheaper.

----------

Quote:
Originally Posted by taylortm View Post
* What if Straight Talk "goes away?" As in, files for bankruptcy.
* What if you need "support" from ST? Is that any good?
* Are there any sites/reviews that support that it's "all good" over in ST land?
* Are there other pre-paid services like ST?
Thanks again. MR forum readers rock!
The only taxes charged with ST are sales tax for the refills so it will vary by states.

ST is a subsidy of the one of the worlds largest carriers, América Móvil, so it's in little risk of going "bankrupt." The only risk is AT&T canceling it's agreement with them - but you could simply port your number out.

As of now their speeds are hard capped at 7.2mbit per second and you will not get LTE. However this may change as they negotiate things with AT&T.

To read what other say - you will have better luck on HowardForums.
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Old Apr 4, 2012, 08:34 PM   #67
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Originally Posted by Mazeman View Post
I wish US Cellular would offer the iPhone. It's the best carrier in our area.
You and me both
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Old Apr 4, 2012, 08:36 PM   #68
aristotle
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BMNB1tch View Post
really whats the point

the iphone is so ubiquitous now

its not even a status symbol

boring...
Do you ride a fixie bike hipster?
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Old Apr 4, 2012, 08:49 PM   #69
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all i can say is omg poor t-mobil. what a shame
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Old Apr 4, 2012, 09:03 PM   #70
BiggAW
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Originally Posted by dwhit View Post
At least GCI (maybe others) are launching the iPhone on GSM. You should correct your story.

While GCI does have a CDMA network ALSO, they are only launching the iPhone on their GSM network.
They already offer it on GSM. The way they did it was to have the customer buy unlocked, and then GCI gave them a $450 credit when they signed up for a 2-year agreement, which is dollar for dollar the same as a subsidized iPhone. So, unless people don't know how to do math, this is a step backwards (locked GSM as opposed to unlocked).

Quote:
Originally Posted by cragmr View Post
ACS and GCI running scared now with Verizon arriving in Alaska next year. More competition is better for everyone though (doesn't look like prices will be coming down any though :| )
Verizon doesn't own any non-700 spectrum up there. If they go into Alaska, they are buying out ACS, which has been rumored for a while now. So ACS can cash out, and the big two will be in AK!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Knot ewe View Post
ACS more so than GCI, GCI has invested heavily in rural Alaska and that is what keeps me coming back to them, most people I know use GCI just because of that.
GCI's network apparently sucks, but yes, they have the only coverage in a lot of rural areas. I'm sure they do well in those areas, since they probably get some nice checks from AT&T for roaming. Apparently in the last year or so they have added a bunch of north slope villages to the roaming agreement.

Quote:
Originally Posted by IzzyCal View Post
US Cellular will be assimilated :-)
Aside from the CDMA vs. GSM issue, they are a pretty logical AT&T takeover, with some divestitures to Verizon. Would work quite nicely for both of them.

Who is this MTA wireless? What bands are they running on? All I can find is AWS licenses for them, but yet they have the Milestone and now the iPhone, neither of which work on AWS. Or did we just find the first AWS iPhone??

----------

Quote:
Originally Posted by Diode View Post
With the duopoly that exists in the GSM market (T-Mobile and AT&T)
HAHA. That makes no sense. The duopoly is Verizon and AT&T, the technology does matter, the networks do.
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Old Apr 4, 2012, 09:18 PM   #71
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I am so confused. Matanuska Telephone is apparently an LTE in Rural America partner, which means they are running CDMA on either 850 or 1900, yet they have no licenses in those bands. I found a reference to them running in the 850 band, maybe they are leasing part of it from ACS or CellularOne (AT&T)?

And why would Verizon sign them on if they are just about to buy ACS?
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Old Apr 4, 2012, 09:35 PM   #72
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Originally Posted by BiggAW View Post
HAHA. That makes no sense. The duopoly is Verizon and AT&T, the technology does matter, the networks do.
How so? If you reread my quote you will realize I'm referring to GSM providers and prepaid. As of now there are only two GSM providers. GSM matters more for prepaid as its easier to get unlocked phones vs having to reflash CDMA phones. Furthermore foreigners coming stateside will more then likely be roaming on a GSM phone.

You are right about Verizon / AT&T though. If they both had compatible networks you would bet prices would be lower. However they have a incentive to make them not so to keep devices unique to their networks.
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Old Apr 4, 2012, 10:48 PM   #73
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zaren View Post
I've been a VM customer for years, and bought their Optimus smartphone last year (Android, meh). I keep asking them when they'll have the iPhone in the States, since they have it in Canada. They keep telling me "no news, but keep an eye out on our site"... they told me this today, in fact. Fingers crossed that they will finally tell me something different soon (since I'm still grandfathered in on their $25 plan...)
That's because VM is GSM everywhere except in the US. In Canada it uses Bell's GSM (formerly CDMA) network (I think technically Bell Canada IS Virgin mobile, in the same way Koodoo is Telus and Fido is Rogers.) In the US it uses Sprint's network, so they can't offer any device that isn't available to Sprint already.

So where it gets really weird is if you buy their 45$/mo data plan that allows both Canada and USA data use, because in order for that to work, it has to use a GSM carrier in the US, which is AT&T.


Point of interest for those of you who might actually try to get a AT&T sim card to use in their device. It's a pain in the behind. Because you just can't pop the card into your iPad/iPhone and subscribe, no you need a US billing address. There is a long way around this, but if you're only going to be in the country 3 days and want to pay 15$ for 250MB, it's absurd. I'm surprised there isn't a market for pre-paid data sim cards.
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Old Apr 4, 2012, 10:57 PM   #74
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its about time
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Old Apr 4, 2012, 11:16 PM   #75
BiggAW
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Originally Posted by Diode View Post
How so? If you reread my quote you will realize I'm referring to GSM providers and prepaid. As of now there are only two GSM providers. GSM matters more for prepaid as its easier to get unlocked phones vs having to reflash CDMA phones. Furthermore foreigners coming stateside will more then likely be roaming on a GSM phone.

You are right about Verizon / AT&T though. If they both had compatible networks you would bet prices would be lower. However they have a incentive to make them not so to keep devices unique to their networks.
No. GSM vs. CDMA is irrelevant. The vast majority of users are buying phones made for that service, and no SIM-swapping into phones they got off Ebay.

The only part of that argument that is remotely true is foreigners.

I don't think prices would be lower. There would still be only two companies with good networks. And that's not because they're evil. You can't have 5 good networks with good coverage. As it is, Verizon and AT&T aren't both universally good, it depends on the area.
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