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Old Jul 4, 2013, 01:40 PM   #26
Plutonius
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Originally Posted by illegalprelude View Post
Yea, I'm a bit confused. I thought the shnit with them was that you would save money. I'm failing to see how I would save anything if I'm going to pay the same price for a phone...
You will save money on the plan and not the phone.

Drawbacks: Not as good coverage.
Poorer signal reception in buildings.

Advantages: Plan cost.
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Old Jul 4, 2013, 02:01 PM   #27
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You will save money on the plan and not the phone.

Drawbacks: Not as good coverage.
Poorer signal reception in buildings.

Advantages: Plan cost.
Those drawbacks really depend on your location, just like with all cellular service. I happen to live in an area with excellent T-Mobile coverage, including LTE. I'm ditching Verizon and saving about $60/month.
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Old Jul 4, 2013, 05:13 PM   #28
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Smile $30 plan

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Originally Posted by OriginalMacRat View Post
Or you just buy the iPhone directly from Apple and pop in a T-Mobile prepay SIM at $30/mo. (The $30 plans are in the smaller print at the bottom of the page.)

http://prepaid-phones.t-mobile.com/prepaid-plans

Unlike the big three, T-Mobile doesn't require a minimum plan to use an iPhone on their network. You have real choices based on your usage.
I use this, it works great! Bought it @ Apple store unlocked, got the nano sim from TM, $30 plan on line @ Walmart. Walked out everything worked! Last Friday was in Indianapolis & 4Glte worked great!
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Old Jul 4, 2013, 05:31 PM   #29
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Those drawbacks really depend on your location, just like with all cellular service. I happen to live in an area with excellent T-Mobile coverage, including LTE. I'm ditching Verizon and saving about $60/month.
Coverage does vary by location but T-Mobile coverage is in a lot less locations and this is a drawback.

Weaker reception in buildings doesn't vary based on location. The band T-Mobile uses doesn't work in buildings as well as other providers.
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Old Jul 4, 2013, 05:33 PM   #30
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T-Mobile's offering just sounds like an engineer trying to sell his formula to customers. Just sounds incredibly complicated. Just sell the phone at $649/$749/$849 and provide cheap service rates. Nice and simple!
Apple tried that with the first iPhone. Well, at least the first part of your "proposal". That did not work so well, so they changed it to a contract based subsidy.

People do understand installment payments. They do that with mortgages and many times with the Gym memberships.

But I agree that the table looks onerous. They can try to present it better. All people care about is, how much they need to pay now and what is the monthly bill.
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Old Jul 4, 2013, 05:58 PM   #31
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Realistically though?

You're going to pay more than $50/month for T-Mobile service on your typical iPhone. Why? Well, for starters, there are all those nasty taxes they don't include in the quoted price, but also - you have to add $10/month to get 2GB of higher speed (4G) data usage. Without that, the "unlimited data" simply means unlimited SLOW data (think the old AT&T EDGE network speeds), AND while T-Mobile gives you the ability to use the hotspot feature? It only lets you use the faster data you pay extra for, for that. So no $10 extra per month? No hotspot usage.

For one of these plans on my iPhone 5 with the 2GB data allowance, my latest bill was right around $80 with taxes and everything included.


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Old Jul 4, 2013, 06:09 PM   #32
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It worked for me ....

My workplace used to pay for our cellphones and issued me an iPhone 5 a while back. Now they've gone to a bring your own device model where they give us a monthly stipend to spend however we wish.

Since said stipend wasn't all that generous, it forced me to really scramble to find a suitable carrier in my budget. T-Mobile's plan was really the only option without resorting to the second-rate regional carriers like Cricket, MetroPCS, Virgin Mobile, etc.

So far, I agree that T-Mobile's coverage isn't as good as I had with AT&T. I definitely see weaker signals inside buildings and occasionally, even lose my signal if I'm standing in a bad spot indoors. But on the whole, it's still quite usable for me.

Like Sprint though, I think T-Mobile just has that reputation of only being "so so" in signal quality and coverage, and that hurts them. A lot of my co-workers still opted to pay out of pocket for the difference to stay on Verizon or AT&T -- claiming nothing else worked well enough where they live.

But I don't think the experiment with no contracts is "not working"? Nobody I know is saying they'd prefer the 2 year contract! T-Mo just needs to do a better job marketing what they offer, because I know I've already had to explain it to a number of my co-workers who had no idea about it.

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Like the rest of the world does it!

But no... people in America are used to paying $199 for a phone in exchange for signing a contract for 2 years.

I applaud T-Mobile US for trying this experiment... but it doesn't look like it's working very well.

T-Mobile was always cheaper than the bigger carriers like Verizon and AT&T... so you'd think they'd have the most customers. But they don't.

Where I live... T-Mobile coverage isn't so great. I guess that's why people prefer the larger carriers.

In other words... T-Mobile branding themselves as the "uncarrier" with no contracts and telling people to "buy your own phone" isn't exactly bringing in the customers.
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Old Jul 4, 2013, 06:43 PM   #33
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WOW!!!!! $4 SAVINGS!!!! Quick everyone, run to the bank, withdraw your savings, spend it on something nice!!!!!

/sarcasm
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Originally Posted by cdmoore74 View Post
Last week I was able to have TigerDirect knock off $5 from my Router.

I saved $20 bucks on a Micro bluetooth speaker at Frys.

I bought 2 motorcycle tires for $189 dollars shipped; I saved about $80

I used a 20% coupon at harbor freight saving me about $6 bucks.


I can go on and on all day. Ask yourself; is this really news worthy?
Point taken, but with this new plan, the consumer pays more over the term of the installment plan.

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Originally Posted by Michael Scrip View Post
Like the rest of the world does it!
I'm pretty sure there are other countries in which mobile service providers are permitted to offer phones on an installment plan to their subscribers. (No, I don't mean subsidies.)

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Originally Posted by liavman View Post
But I agree that the table looks onerous.
That table is for T-Mobile employees, not customers.
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Old Jul 4, 2013, 07:05 PM   #34
Michael Scrip
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But I don't think the experiment with no contracts is "not working"? Nobody I know is saying they'd prefer the 2 year contract! T-Mo just needs to do a better job marketing what they offer, because I know I've already had to explain it to a number of my co-workers who had no idea about it.
Nobody I know has a problem with a 2-year contracts either. It's been that way for decades in America... it's business as usual.

You could always pay the full retail price for a phone on any carrier... but most people just take the discount up front and stick around for 2 years.

If you're happy with the carrier... you shouldn't want to leave anyway. My family has been with Verizon since its beginning... and Bell Atlantic before that... for a total of over 15 years.

I don't think it's common to jump from carrier-to-carrier on a regular basis. Most people I know have been with their carrier for quite a long time. In fact... the 4 major carriers in the US have been around for so long... by now people should know the pros and cons of each. People could switch carriers every 2 years... but they don't.

That's why I don't think the "no contract" thing is such a big deal.

Sure... if you're the type of person who wants to change phones and carriers every 6 months... then you'd be better off without a contract.

Otherwise... 2 years... 5 years... 10 years with the same carrier... it doesn't really matter.

----------

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Originally Posted by Verbatim Cookie View Post

I'm pretty sure there are other countries in which mobile service providers are permitted to offer phones on an installment plan to their subscribers. (No, I don't mean subsidies.)
Yes... some carriers offer an installment plan. I wasn't disputing that.

The comment I was replying to said carriers should simply charge full price for the phone and have a low monthly rate.

That's how most of the world does it.

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Old Jul 5, 2013, 10:01 AM   #35
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Nobody I know has a problem with a 2-year contracts either. It's been that way for decades in America... it's business as usual.

You could always pay the full retail price for a phone on any carrier... but most people just take the discount up front and stick around for 2 years.

If you're happy with the carrier... you shouldn't want to leave anyway. My family has been with Verizon since its beginning... and Bell Atlantic before that... for a total of over 15 years.

I don't think it's common to jump from carrier-to-carrier on a regular basis. Most people I know have been with their carrier for quite a long time. In fact... the 4 major carriers in the US have been around for so long... by now people should know the pros and cons of each. People could switch carriers every 2 years... but they don't.

That's why I don't think the "no contract" thing is such a big deal.
If you're happy, great! However your opinion and choice to spend a premium to show your Verizon brand loyalty does not change the facts that the American "post paid" system and tradition of phone subsidies means much more expensive cell phone service than anywhere else in the world.

The "no contract" thing is a big deal for many reasons and on many levels. It is slightly mitigated because of the aging underlying CDMA backbone for Verizon and Sprint which has allowed for effective segmenting of the markets by the big two (Verizon and AT&T) and was almost made complete by the buy-out of T-Mobile and the collapse of Sprint. One great thing about a "no contract" plan is you stop paying for the phone subsidy once your phone is paid off. Verizon will keep charging that premium rate ad infinitum.

I find the complaints about T-Mobile's lack of transparency hilarious. If you want to appreciate the effects of the cell phone oligopoly look at the pre-paid service rates. In the pre-paid world there is still a healthy amount of competition and the rates are LOWER than post-paid. It used to be the whole point of post-paid was to get a BETTER service rate because you had good credit and IF you signed a contract you got a discount on the phone. Now it is some weird middle-class tax because pre-paid is for teenagers and drug dealers.

I say all this as a Verizon contract signer. It was a mistake that has and will cost me several $1000's of dollars by the time my family contract is up but there weren't these options at launch. If you really, really NEED Verizon or AT&T for coverage then great, pay their premium. If you don't, and you really do plan on sticking with one carrier for 15 years, switch now. You will save money.
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Old Jul 5, 2013, 12:59 PM   #36
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If you're happy, great! However your opinion and choice to spend a premium to show your Verizon brand loyalty does not change the facts that the American "post paid" system and tradition of phone subsidies means much more expensive cell phone service than anywhere else in the world.

The "no contract" thing is a big deal for many reasons and on many levels. It is slightly mitigated because of the aging underlying CDMA backbone for Verizon and Sprint which has allowed for effective segmenting of the markets by the big two (Verizon and AT&T) and was almost made complete by the buy-out of T-Mobile and the collapse of Sprint. One great thing about a "no contract" plan is you stop paying for the phone subsidy once your phone is paid off. Verizon will keep charging that premium rate ad infinitum.

I find the complaints about T-Mobile's lack of transparency hilarious. If you want to appreciate the effects of the cell phone oligopoly look at the pre-paid service rates. In the pre-paid world there is still a healthy amount of competition and the rates are LOWER than post-paid. It used to be the whole point of post-paid was to get a BETTER service rate because you had good credit and IF you signed a contract you got a discount on the phone. Now it is some weird middle-class tax because pre-paid is for teenagers and drug dealers.

I say all this as a Verizon contract signer. It was a mistake that has and will cost me several $1000's of dollars by the time my family contract is up but there weren't these options at launch. If you really, really NEED Verizon or AT&T for coverage then great, pay their premium. If you don't, and you really do plan on sticking with one carrier for 15 years, switch now. You will save money.
This, this and more this. Having been raised in the U.K., and lived in many varying countries, North America is one of the few that supports this model. In other nations, people pay for their devices and use SIM cards in any of them as they are unlocked, and simply use a non-contracted pay as you use system on their accounts. No ETF's, no hefty data plans, the companies still make a profit and they aren't left paying huge monthly bills on a device that is $200-$300 cheaper on a 2-year contract. The system in the US and Canada is insane. Same applies to cable providers, it needs to stop. If we really want change, some regulation in this out of control "free market" (what an illusion) system akin to the dismantling of Ma Bell in the 80's needs to happen. If not, it will worsen. These companies make billions and the general consumer doesn't know that other first world nations use a different model, saving consumers money while providers do well.
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Old Jul 6, 2013, 12:55 AM   #37
Michael Scrip
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Originally Posted by gnomeisland View Post

If you're happy, great! However your opinion and choice to spend a premium to show your Verizon brand loyalty does not change the facts that the American "post paid" system and tradition of phone subsidies means much more expensive cell phone service than anywhere else in the world.

The "no contract" thing is a big deal for many reasons and on many levels. It is slightly mitigated because of the aging underlying CDMA backbone for Verizon and Sprint which has allowed for effective segmenting of the markets by the big two (Verizon and AT&T) and was almost made complete by the buy-out of T-Mobile and the collapse of Sprint. One great thing about a "no contract" plan is you stop paying for the phone subsidy once your phone is paid off. Verizon will keep charging that premium rate ad infinitum.

I find the complaints about T-Mobile's lack of transparency hilarious. If you want to appreciate the effects of the cell phone oligopoly look at the pre-paid service rates. In the pre-paid world there is still a healthy amount of competition and the rates are LOWER than post-paid. It used to be the whole point of post-paid was to get a BETTER service rate because you had good credit and IF you signed a contract you got a discount on the phone. Now it is some weird middle-class tax because pre-paid is for teenagers and drug dealers.

I say all this as a Verizon contract signer. It was a mistake that has and will cost me several $1000's of dollars by the time my family contract is up but there weren't these options at launch. If you really, really NEED Verizon or AT&T for coverage then great, pay their premium. If you don't, and you really do plan on sticking with one carrier for 15 years, switch now. You will save money.
It's not so much "brand loyalty" as it is them providing a good service.

I must not be alone... as Verizon and AT&T combined have over 200 million subscribers.

If Sprint or T-Mobile had better service than Verizon and AT&T... they might get more customers.

I've never heard anyone say "ZOMG I love Sprint" and with these recent changes T-Mobile must be having some issues too.

I will agree that the American cell phone carriers operate differently than the rest of the world. But I'm not sure T-Mobile will be the carrier to change that.
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Old Jul 6, 2013, 01:28 AM   #38
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Coverage does vary by location but T-Mobile coverage is in a lot less locations and this is a drawback.

Weaker reception in buildings doesn't vary based on location. The band T-Mobile uses doesn't work in buildings as well as other providers.
Funny that, since switching to TMo I get better reception inside my house than I got with AT&T. Step out the front door, and AT&T gets better (though not by much). Inside, though, AT&T couldn't hold a call, where TMo, for the most part, can. So, what does that say about the question of "inside buildings"?

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... you have to add $10/month to get 2GB of higher speed (4G) data usage...
Well, that's not quite true. You get 500MB at full speed. Only if you expect to use a lot more than that on a regular basis (remember, using data past your limit, whether that's 500MB, 2GB or 500GB, TMo doesn't charge you extra, they only throttle your data speed down, so occasionally popping over the 500MB in a month wouldn't be all that painful) should you worry about that extra $10 per month. As someone who uses a fair amount of data (but lives and works around a fair amount of wifi), I've found that I've used a little shy of 1.5GB in about three months. I could probably get away with a 500 plan, but I'm on a 2GB plan.

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Nobody I know has a problem with a 2-year contracts either. It's been that way for decades in America... it's business as usual.

You could always pay the full retail price for a phone on any carrier... but most people just take the discount up front and stick around for 2 years.
My wife and I were with AT&T for about 10 years. We were relatively satisfied, given what the rest of the market looked like, but we were well aware that our bill included $$$ for covering subsidized phones that we weren't buying. In those ten years, for our three lines (two personal, one for home business) we bought exactly three subsidized phones. And this wasn't because we didn't want to buy other phones, but rather because the phones that they offered us in the store weren't what we wanted, so we bought our phones as unlocked phones, at full price. So, if you figure that the subsidized portion of those three lines was somewhere around $15 each, for eight years. That's almost $4500 that we just gave to AT&T. So, when TMo announced their plan to release the iPhone, my wife and I jumped ship pretty quickly.

By the way. Hello, my name is Geoff. Nice to meet you.

Now you know someone who absolutely detests the subsidized phone business model.
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Old Jul 6, 2013, 02:05 AM   #39
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By the way. Hello, my name is Geoff. Nice to meet you.

Now you know someone who absolutely detests the subsidized phone business model.
Nice to meet you too!
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Old Jul 6, 2013, 10:10 AM   #40
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Funny that, since switching to TMo I get better reception inside my house than I got with AT&T. Step out the front door, and AT&T gets better (though not by much). Inside, though, AT&T couldn't hold a call, where TMo, for the most part, can. So, what does that say about the question of "inside buildings"?
Physics doesn't lie . With equal strength signals from an AT&T tower and a T-Mobile tower, the AT&T signal will have better building penetration. The band that T-Mobile uses has the least building penetration of all the carriers. AT&T is in the middle with Verizon having the best building penetration.
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Old Jul 6, 2013, 09:48 PM   #41
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The headline on this would have been better written as "T-mobile Raises iPhone Prices to Full Retail, Adjusts Financing Accordingly"

Basically they needed to get another $20 for the phone so they raised $24 through increased monthly payments and lowered the downpayment by $4. So the real story is that they are no longer offering any discount on the phone. They do however still offer one of the lowest upfront costs and even with the phone payment on top of the plan cost, most people will still come out cheaper than with ATT or VZ and the monthly cost will drop once they have had the phone for 2 years....that won't happen with the other carriers.

The "Uncarrier" model is attractive, but it's still hard to explain to the general public....mostly because the competition doesn't ever really explain the full cost implications of their plans...people just see the subsidized price of the phone and the monthly cost of their plan and don't realize they are continuing to pay for the phone through their service plan. If you live in an area with good coverage, T-mobile is hard to beat in my opinion.

I like being able to have the current version phone, SIM unlocked for when I travel abroad, and a great ongoing price plan that doesn't feel like I'm getting robbed. The $30 plan is fantastic for those with little need for voice minutes. Many people feel that 100 minutes might not be enough, but the plan is actually the best value until you use more than 400 minutes monthly. Extra minutes are only $0.10, so at 400 minutes you would pay a total of $60 which is equal to the cost of the unlimited plan with 2GB of 4G data. (and the $30 plan gives you 5GB)

Last edited by BruiserB; Jul 6, 2013 at 09:57 PM.
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Old Jul 7, 2013, 09:41 AM   #42
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Physics doesn't lie . With equal strength signals from an AT&T tower and a T-Mobile tower, the AT&T signal will have better building penetration. The band that T-Mobile uses has the least building penetration of all the carriers. AT&T is in the middle with Verizon having the best building penetration.
T-Mobile uses AWS and they are readjusting their spectrum to use the same bands as AT&T in more places. Plus physics may not lie but in the real world other factors like tower position, network saturation, etc. may make up the difference.

----------

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It's not so much "brand loyalty" as it is them providing a good service.

I must not be alone... as Verizon and AT&T combined have over 200 million subscribers.

If Sprint or T-Mobile had better service than Verizon and AT&T... they might get more customers.

I've never heard anyone say "ZOMG I love Sprint" and with these recent changes T-Mobile must be having some issues too.

I will agree that the American cell phone carriers operate differently than the rest of the world. But I'm not sure T-Mobile will be the carrier to change that.
T-Mobile may not change America with this because the American system is flawed. Unlike many other parts of the world America did not decide on a national standard for cell technology. At first this seemed like a good thing but as regional companies started to merge it has created a oligarchy that is difficult to regulate because it skirts the accepted definitions of a monopoly (but just barely, AT&T failed to grab T-Mobile). In Europe, for example, cell companies have to compete on service. Not just technical service (which I will concede Verizon is great for) but customer service (I personally have had hilariously bad experiences with Verizon) and pricing.

T-Mobile is really stepping out of line with this one and it could create a bit of a shake up if they start grabbing customers from the big two--or even if they convince Sprint to actually try something innovative in their pricing instead of following a "me too" route. It will also help if more phone manufacturer's start following Apple's lead by create phones that are platform agnostic. Also, if the government would step it and make it illegal to lock or prohibit phones that are not under contract. That would mean Verizon and AT&T would have to actually start competing against the MVNOs and pre-paid companies that use their same network and charge less for it.

I know, I know "competition" is a bad word in America right now but sometimes a little of it is healthy. Even for companies that are too big to fail...
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Old Jul 7, 2013, 11:04 AM   #43
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Plus physics may not lie but in the real world other factors like tower position, network saturation, etc. may make up the difference.
Exactly, that's why some people may get better reception in a building on T-Mobile then with their current provider.
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Old Jul 7, 2013, 08:08 PM   #44
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T-Mobile may not change America with this because the American system is flawed. Unlike many other parts of the world America did not decide on a national standard for cell technology. At first this seemed like a good thing but as regional companies started to merge it has created a oligarchy that is difficult to regulate because it skirts the accepted definitions of a monopoly (but just barely, AT&T failed to grab T-Mobile). In Europe, for example, cell companies have to compete on service. Not just technical service (which I will concede Verizon is great for) but customer service (I personally have had hilariously bad experiences with Verizon) and pricing.

T-Mobile is really stepping out of line with this one and it could create a bit of a shake up if they start grabbing customers from the big two--or even if they convince Sprint to actually try something innovative in their pricing instead of following a "me too" route. It will also help if more phone manufacturer's start following Apple's lead by create phones that are platform agnostic. Also, if the government would step it and make it illegal to lock or prohibit phones that are not under contract. That would mean Verizon and AT&T would have to actually start competing against the MVNOs and pre-paid companies that use their same network and charge less for it.

I know, I know "competition" is a bad word in America right now but sometimes a little of it is healthy. Even for companies that are too big to fail...
Well said.

It will be interesting to see how T-Mobile grows and matures over time.
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Old Jul 8, 2013, 09:49 AM   #45
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This is interesting. This limits talk to 100 minutes but I assume that if you, that is my daughter, needs more, we could set up some kind of mobile voip as her "talk" for anything over 100 minutes? This seems like a significantly less expensive way to have the family on iPhones with decent data limits. Am I missing something here?

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Or you just buy the iPhone directly from Apple and pop in a T-Mobile prepay SIM at $30/mo. (The $30 plans are in the smaller print at the bottom of the page.)

http://prepaid-phones.t-mobile.com/prepaid-plans

Unlike the big three, T-Mobile doesn't require a minimum plan to use an iPhone on their network. You have real choices based on your usage.
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Old Jul 9, 2013, 03:32 AM   #46
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Physics doesn't lie . With equal strength signals from an AT&T tower and a T-Mobile tower, the AT&T signal will have better building penetration. The band that T-Mobile uses has the least building penetration of all the carriers. AT&T is in the middle with Verizon having the best building penetration.
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Originally Posted by gnomeisland View Post
T-Mobile uses AWS and they are readjusting their spectrum to use the same bands as AT&T in more places. Plus physics may not lie but in the real world other factors like tower position, network saturation, etc. may make up the difference.
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Exactly, that's why some people may get better reception in a building on T-Mobile then with their current provider.
Ah, physics. As someone who has a master's degree in physics, I know a fair bit about when physics does and doesn't lie. As has been noted already, there are far too many variables in the "real world" to make simple physics pronouncements in an area like this. My house is an older house with a substantial amount of lath and plaster. The wire backing to the lath can effectively work as a faraday cage, shielding EM signals. Now, with an imperfect faraday cage, it will shield some frequencies more than others. Which means that, even in addition to the questions of antenna placement, network saturation, etc., there may be an issue with the building itself blocking the particular frequencies that AT&T uses more effectively than the frequencies TMo uses. Is this the case? I don't know, but based on a limited amount of empirical data, it seems plausible.

As an interesting side note on the differences between these two carriers, something that drove me nuts about AT&T is that my phone could be registering full signal strength (full, all bars, best possible connection), but I'd get broken up voice connection and dropped calls. Now on TMo, I can have a single bar of connection showing, and I get crystal clear voice connection with only an occasional moment of voice drop-out. It's left me feeling both impressed with TMo and suspicious that AT&T might be doing something to cheat, showing more bars of signal coverage than they really should. Of course, for this I have no real evidence other than this one, very anecdotal story...
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