Off-Net usage questions

Discussion in 'iPhone Tips, Help and Troubleshooting' started by horation, Jul 10, 2007.

  1. horation macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jul 10, 2007
    #1
    The service contract agreement states,
    "If your minutes of use (including unlimited services) on other carrier networks ("off-net usage") during any two consecutive months exceeds your off-net usage allowance, AT&T may at its option terminate your service, deny your continued use of other carriers' coverage, or change your plan to one imposing usage charges for off-net usage."

    Just got an iPhone. I live where there are at&t coverage towers and work (often staying overnight) where there aren't any (but its covered by another carrier). I dont make many calls at work, so I shouldn't exceed my limit on calltime for off net usage (40% of your anytime minutes). But I AM worried about the internet. I read that you can only use up to 6MB of EDGE thru other networks, which is extremely small.


    Questions:

    1. Does this off net usage include the free night/weekend minutes?

    2. How does this apply to internet, maps, weather, and email use thru the EDGE network? Is it the amount of data received (and if so, it is really only 6MB)?

    3. Does the iPhone automatically use the internet to update weather, check email, etc? If so, is there a way to disable it so I don't risk exceeding my monthly data limit?


    and related questions:

    4. What is the "mobile to mobile calling area"? Can you only make free calls to other AT&T customers if you are calling from an area with AT&T towers?

    5. Where is my "calling plan area"? I signed up for the iPhone plan, which I assumed was national.


    thanks for anyone who can answer my questions so I can understand whats going on!
     
  2. unity macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2005
    Location:
    Green Bay, WI
    #2
    Hello. Well first off, you can play consumer and use the "My phone said ATT so I know I was not roaming." It works but you may have to go up a level at customer service.

    Usage of the data plan should not use minutes. GRPS does, but I am pretty sure Edge does not.

    Never heard of the 6Mb limit, but I dont read all that fine print! :)

    I dont think you can turn off Edge.

    Mobile to mobile is that, you do not need to be on the ATT network when you call other ATT customers.

    If you on a national plan, as long as you get coverage you are fine. But like you read, if outside the network you may want to throttle down usage. Or play the consumer :)
     
  3. horation thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jul 10, 2007
    #3
    thx for your reply and answers. :) unfortunately, this 'newbie ignorance' excuse will probably only stave off a termination the first time, should my intermittent use of my allowable limit on the internet continue. Does anyone know if 6mb is really the data transmission limit for 'off-net' usage per month?
     
  4. riverfreak macrumors demi-god

    riverfreak

    Joined:
    Jan 10, 2005
    Location:
    Thonglor, Bangkok
    #4
    But seriously, at any point in time, how can you tell if you are using another carrier? My phone always says ATT, even though I know that not to be the case...
     
  5. unity macrumors 6502a

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    Sep 30, 2005
    Location:
    Green Bay, WI
    #5
    There is a free network feature that can be added. I had it put on mine, but have not tested it yet to see how it works.
     
  6. riverfreak macrumors demi-god

    riverfreak

    Joined:
    Jan 10, 2005
    Location:
    Thonglor, Bangkok
    #6
    What do you mean? The calling plans already have nationwide free roaming and long distance.
     
  7. unity macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2005
    Location:
    Green Bay, WI
    #7

    Did you read the thread??? The feature tells you when you are off-network and using a partner network. Like all carriers, the coverage map does not denote a network owned. But instead coverage. Take northern Wisconsin for example. TONS of coverage, but ATT does not own any of it and has no reseller offices in that area. They will also not sell anyone service who lives up there. ATT has an agreement with the provider, Cellular One, to use them for coverage and ATT is then billed for every minute one of thier customers use up there. In tern, ATT eats that bill as part of the plan but if you use your phone too much out of network ATT has the right, per terms, to say "hey, your costing us too much - buy bye!".
     
  8. joeconvert macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2003
    Location:
    TX
    #8
    Well, at least AT&T bought Cellular One, so that should soon change for your neck of the woods.
     
  9. riverfreak macrumors demi-god

    riverfreak

    Joined:
    Jan 10, 2005
    Location:
    Thonglor, Bangkok
    #9
    < Ignoring flame bait >

    When you said "free network feature" it was less than transparent what you meant.

    I've never had to specifically request that my phone indicate when I'm on a subsidiary network. Then again, I was on the OneRate plan for the 90s, one of the first calling plan where the US is your home area. If I had a signal, I could make a call, simple as that.

    And since some of us travel -- often -- and oftentimes for periods of time exceeding the two months stated in the contract, it's important to know on which network you are without fear of account termination.

    Oh, and not being able to disable GPRS is a serious pain if you travel overseas and get hundreds of emails a day like I do. Just check the data rates for an eye opener.
     
  10. unity macrumors 6502a

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    Green Bay, WI
    #10
    I think it was obvious what i meant by free network feature. The post behind mine asked how could one even tell if they were off network and i replied about the feature. I think is was pretty clear to anyone who read the thread.

    And FYI, all US carriers have the clause about excessive off network use. And this clause has been around as soon as operators HAD to start offing nation wide plans. While maybe more or less strict, its always been in the fine print.

    And the iPhone does not have GRPS.
     
  11. riverfreak macrumors demi-god

    riverfreak

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    Jan 10, 2005
    Location:
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    #11
    I guess I'm just stupid then. It wasn't clear to me what "free network feature" meant.

    My mistake on the GRPS [sic; twice now in one thread!]. Thanks for the education.

    And FYI all carriers DO NOT have the clause about excessive off-network use. Many carriers simply deny roaming on networks they consider to be too expensive. But clearly you're more well-versed in all this than I.
     
  12. unity macrumors 6502a

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    Sep 30, 2005
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    Green Bay, WI
    #12
    Your sure right that some carriers, usually the smaller one, will simply not let you roam. Even when on a national plan. But typically thier coverage map will show that area blacked out. This is less of a problem today as carriers are being bought out and merged.

    Strange fact: The biggest network in the US is Alltel. The own more towers and have the largest foot print out there - if you combine all thier network types. Oddly they have the largest GSM network. However, they do not sell GSM to tjuer own customers byt instead resell it to T-Mobile and ATT.
     
  13. horation thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jul 10, 2007
    #13
    Thx Unity. TO help a newbie one step further, how would I go about getting and installing this free network feature?
     
  14. unity macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2005
    Location:
    Green Bay, WI
    #14
    Just call to have it added. Again, I am not sure how it works. I think it may show the actual carrier versus ATT all the time. Or maybe roam, I dunno. I did not ask , LOL So if you find out, let us know :)
     

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