Carrier Interested in knowing more about prepaid experiences

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by Dontpinchme, Feb 24, 2018.

  1. Dontpinchme macrumors newbie

    Feb 10, 2018
    So we have accounts will all four major carriers for myself and family and we are more or less content with them I suppose. I mean at our home in NC sprint is KING but when we leave our home it’s barely a peasant! But I mean wow. We get 100 up at home!! No others come close to that. Distant second is Verizon but regardless as you know. We need good service everywhere and we also want to try out prepaid especially for our kids. The other three carriers are decent where we work and travel mostly. So that’s good. But how about their prepaid and other prepaid services? We travel around to other places but have a house in NC and CA. How are prepaid services like Verizon’s At&T Sprint (I guess) T-Mobile and also others who use their networks like cricket straight talk metro pcs Net10 etc? We are interested in being about to use hotspot at lte speeds. We would love unlimited data also for a reasonable price. BUT that’s negotiable. We would be fine with a bucket of data for like 10gb. Maybe 7gb for a reasonable price that can be used as a hotspot (better yet IN a hotspot but that may be asking for too much?

    Enough rambling. How is roaming on prepaid? Is coverage less on prepaid? What would you suggest we try out?? Verizon’s prepaid unlimited data is $75 but the hotspot is at 600 kbps so that’s a no. They have other buckets like I think $60 for 10 or 7gb?? That’s okay but how fast is the hotspot? Which prepaid services DONT allow hotspot usage on a phone? How are speeds for you? Especially if you live where we do or close by.

    What am I missing?

    I found this a while ago and have been reading it but still had questions.

    Like how are their customer service via phone and in stores? ( if they have stores of their own like of course the big four). We will test out any one you recommend. Thanks!!
  2. kevink2 macrumors 65816

    Nov 2, 2008
    Generally you don't have roaming on prepaid. On AT&T's own services (cricket, att prepaid), there is some limited roaming in some areas now, such as Nebraska, where there didn't used to be. At least for voice/text.

    On Verizon based MVNOs, if you are on a service that supports VoLTE, you can get some limited roaming where local companies used Verizon spectrum to build out themselves.

    This is why, especially for Sprint based MVNOs, coverage isn't widespread.

    And, in general, unless the company specifically states they support hotspot, assume they don't. Especially with iPhones, hotspot has to be enabled by the carrier unless you jailbreak the phone.

    Another issue, at least for ATT based MVNOs, unless the company has a contract with Apple, there can be issues enabling MMS and other features. Certain settings are blocked with an ATT compatible SIMs.

    Also, this is beginning to change among Verizon MVNOs, but historically they didn't support VoLTE (allow simultaneous voice/data on the Verizon network), and speeds were limited to 5mb/s. This is changing as companies update their service contracts.

    I used Verizon Prepaid for awhile, and would have stayed with them but their coverage at my desk at work decayed. I now have "3" plans. ATT postpaid for my primary line (iPhone X), a $10/month plan on Red Pocket (verizon) as a backup phone in case traveling in area that ATT isn't available, and a real cheap plan on H2O Wireless (ATT network) as a potential home phone replacement (I only give out my primary number to places I want to call me back). This last plan might be as cheap as $10/90 days for voice at $0.05/minute.
  3. Reno Raines macrumors 65816

    Jul 19, 2015
    I use Straight Talk for a secondary phone line. I use the Verizon sim. I do not believe it gets roaming at all. As far though as a good bang for the buck I pay $45 a month for unlimited talk, text, and 10gb’s of high speed data. $55 gets you unlimited everything. With ST you can choose between using T mobile, ATT, or Verizon towers. I picked the Verizon sim as they seem to have the best overall coverage and because of that I have never really been in a place they did not have coverage.
  4. aKansasKid macrumors regular

    Apr 27, 2015
    Answering in general terms:

    No prepaid plan will have the same degree of roaming as its postpaid counterpart. A few prepaids will allow such roaming at added per-usage charges. And none will use the same customer service network as their postpaid counterpart. All will have the same coverage on the carrier's native network and towers as their postpaid counterpart. Some prepaids will be prioritized lower on those towers than their postpaid counterparts.

    That said, all coverage is local and you should choose a prepaid (carrier or MVNO) whose native carrier has usable coverage where you plan to use it.

    I've also found that my local Verizon and AT&T corporate stores will provide adequate walk-in customer support for customers who use these companies' prepaid offerings. YMMV.

    At the risk of flames here, and speaking about the U.S. as a whole, Sprint and T-Mobile-based prepaid plans are not as usable outside metro areas as Verizon and AT&T-based prepaids are. But you often find better deals for these Sprint and T-Mobile-based prepaid plans. You get what you pay for and choose by what's important to you.

    I have always used prepaid Verizon-based plans, have never encountered any roaming issues, nor any account or operational snafus. And have always saved money! :)

    OBTW: Just as with the big four native carriers, anyone's shoutout for a specific prepaid plan will be met with someone else's offsetting complaint. I've been with Page Plus for some time now and have no need to switch. But I'm sure others will be happy to tell you why they don't use it.
  5. 0007776 Suspended


    Jul 11, 2006
    I used T-Mobile prepaid a long time ago, and it was decent other than that their coverage sucked. More recently I've used AT&T prepaid, and they worked a lot better, the only reason I switched was my phone died and I didn't have the cash to buy a new one outright so I had to go to a postpaid plan.
  6. Abs_p macrumors 6502a

    Jul 15, 2011
    I use Cricket which is owned by AT&T. Roaming in US is free. It works fine. There are plans that have free Canada and Mexico roaming as well.
  7. teeshot44 macrumors regular


    Aug 8, 2015
    Tried a number of prepaids and MVNO's over the past few years. Never had a problem with roaming, but that could easily be that I was never in an roaming area with the particular prepaid/MVNO that I had at the time. My biggest issue was calls being prioritized. That was particularly bad when I tried Cricket. In an area that had a strong AT&T signal, there were many times that calls to me failed to come through and even more where I would wait and wait while a connection was made after hitting send. Particularly bad during morning and evening rush hours. IMHO, uUnless you have to, stick with postpaid.
  8. Dontpinchme thread starter macrumors newbie

    Feb 10, 2018
  9. MacInTO macrumors 65816


    Apr 25, 2005
    Canada, eh!
    T-Mobile prepaid allows hotspot usage up to the data limit if the plan.
  10. Dontpinchme thread starter macrumors newbie

    Feb 10, 2018
    Verizon took theirs away??
  11. Abs_p macrumors 6502a

    Jul 15, 2011
    Been using Cricket, works perfectly fine for me. They were acquired by AT&T and now actually have priority on ATT network before any of the MVNOs.

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