Discussion:
Verizon failing incoming calls again
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David Arnstein
2015-06-05 18:33:25 UTC
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Incoming calls go straight to voicemail. Disappointing, to say the
least.

I last experienced this problem about four years ago, when I was using
dumbphones. Then I switched to iPhones and the problem went away.
Coincidence? I assumed that Verizon was punishing users who use dumbphones.
Now I don't know what to think.

Is AT&T any better? Different failure modes perhaps?
--
David Arnstein (00)
arnstein+***@pobox.com {{ }}
^^
n***@sbcglobal.net
2015-06-05 19:01:48 UTC
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Post by David Arnstein
Incoming calls go straight to voicemail. Disappointing, to say the
least.
I last experienced this problem about four years ago, when I was using
dumbphones. Then I switched to iPhones and the problem went away.
Coincidence? I assumed that Verizon was punishing users who use dumbphones.
Now I don't know what to think.
Is AT&T any better? Different failure modes perhaps?
--
David Arnstein (00)
^^
Might depend on where you are trying to get calls. I had AT&T with no problems but not on a smartphone but then their antenna is about 1 block away. Then with my first Android phone I had Verizon and not such good reception. Their antenna is a few blocks up the street on the other side of the freeway. With my next phone I switched to T-Mobile because I rarely use voice so it was their $30 a month prepay with 5 GB of 4G data. In the house I seldom see anything more than 1 bar and often it shows no bars and occasionally that there is no connection. But I will still get calls which are probably at least coming over 2G.

Step outside and it's a different story with a much stronger signal. When I installed a second security camera I needed to drill through a wall to pass through the power cable. Of course insulation came out and some foil. IOW, my house has similar foil lined insulation I helped my dad install back in the early 1960s (when this house was built). The foil undoubtedly reduces the signal strength.
Peter Lawrence
2015-06-05 20:45:23 UTC
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Post by David Arnstein
Incoming calls go straight to voicemail. Disappointing, to say the
least.
I last experienced this problem about four years ago, when I was using
dumbphones. Then I switched to iPhones and the problem went away.
Coincidence? I assumed that Verizon was punishing users who use dumbphones.
Now I don't know what to think.
This happens on Verizon when their circuits get overloaded or when their
cell coverage shrinks in times of heavy use (which happens on CDMA systems).

Since AT&T uses GSM for voice, this tends to be less of a problem. I have
both a Verizon phone and an AT&T phone and the direct-to-voicemail only
appears to happens on Verizon. That said, I've had more calls didn't get
through on AT&T. So you pick your poison. Do you prefers calls not going
through at all, or calls being directly routed into voice mail?

Your choice.


- Peter
n***@sbcglobal.net
2015-06-06 19:49:35 UTC
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Post by Peter Lawrence
Post by David Arnstein
Incoming calls go straight to voicemail. Disappointing, to say the
least.
I last experienced this problem about four years ago, when I was using
dumbphones. Then I switched to iPhones and the problem went away.
Coincidence? I assumed that Verizon was punishing users who use dumbphones.
Now I don't know what to think.
This happens on Verizon when their circuits get overloaded or when their
cell coverage shrinks in times of heavy use (which happens on CDMA systems).
Since AT&T uses GSM for voice, this tends to be less of a problem. I have
both a Verizon phone and an AT&T phone and the direct-to-voicemail only
appears to happens on Verizon. That said, I've had more calls didn't get
through on AT&T. So you pick your poison. Do you prefers calls not going
through at all, or calls being directly routed into voice mail?
Your choice.
- Peter
FYI, Verizon is also going GSM. I learned this a week ago talking to a friend who is retiring on the Oregon coast and he needed to switch from AT&T to Verizon because AT&T does not have good coverage there and Verizon does. He told me he had to cope with installing a SIM card for Verizon. I thought that was strange because Verizon has been CDMA but a quick check shows they are moving to GSM for 4G LTE coverage.
Steve Pope
2015-06-06 23:14:21 UTC
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Post by n***@sbcglobal.net
FYI, Verizon is also going GSM. I learned this a week ago talking to a
friend who is retiring on the Oregon coast and he needed to switch from
AT&T to Verizon because AT&T does not have good coverage there and
Verizon does. He told me he had to cope with installing a SIM card for
Verizon. I thought that was strange because Verizon has been CDMA but a
quick check shows they are moving to GSM for 4G LTE coverage.
I think it's more accurate to say that LTE modes on CDMA carriers
are identical to LTE modes on GSM carriers, and the Verizon SIM
card is there only for LTE.

Voice telephony is likely still done in CDMA modes.

Steve
Julian Macassey
2015-06-07 02:37:50 UTC
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Post by Steve Pope
Post by n***@sbcglobal.net
FYI, Verizon is also going GSM. I learned this a week ago talking to a
friend who is retiring on the Oregon coast and he needed to switch from
AT&T to Verizon because AT&T does not have good coverage there and
Verizon does. He told me he had to cope with installing a SIM card for
Verizon. I thought that was strange because Verizon has been CDMA but a
quick check shows they are moving to GSM for 4G LTE coverage.
I think it's more accurate to say that LTE modes on CDMA carriers
are identical to LTE modes on GSM carriers, and the Verizon SIM
card is there only for LTE.
Voice telephony is likely still done in CDMA modes.
After much buggering about with Verizon help desk that is my understanding.

The Toothless Texans that call themselves AT&T, don't care about the
lack of coverage on the Oregon coast. They have the sites, but can't be
bothered to provide coverage to their punters.

Go with Verizon, better coverage and cheaper. Fuck AT&T.
--
"We tend to forget. Ours is a society where things are like instant, so
therefore, history almost is like so far back it doesn't count."
- GW Bush, 3/29/06
Peter Lawrence
2015-06-07 03:23:39 UTC
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Post by Julian Macassey
Go with Verizon, better coverage and cheaper. Fuck AT&T.
Neither is perfect. Both have gaps. I have phones on both networks.

Pricing-wise AT&T is currently a little bit cheaper than Verizon. Also AT&T
usually offer a better selection of phones (and updates the OS on them
faster) than Verizon.

But the call-in support is a lot better on Verizon than AT&T, but on the
other hand, if you go to their respective stores the AT&T reps at their
stores appear to be better trained and knowledgeable than their Verizon
counterparts.

Currently the best value, IMHO, is to get a unlocked smartphone and then
sign up for Consumer Cellular service (they use the AT&T network and allow
full functionality, like call forwarding and voice mail forwarding) unlike
some other MVNOs.


- Peter
Steve Pope
2015-06-07 04:58:59 UTC
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Post by Peter Lawrence
Currently the best value, IMHO, is to get a unlocked smartphone and then
sign up for Consumer Cellular service (they use the AT&T network and allow
full functionality, like call forwarding and voice mail forwarding) unlike
some other MVNOs.
As I have probably rambled on about before, my partner has Consumer
Cellular on an unlocked (obviously) HTC Windows phone.

We haven't been able to get it to become a hotspot. And on a recent
trip to Canada, we could not, with reasonable effort, get it to
function at all. We gave up and stuck a Worldsim SIM card into
it (which fortunately we have on hand from past travel).

In terms of pricing and plans CC is good, and it has typical ATT
connectivity while in USA, generally delivering quite well for
LTE and voice. Although there may be a few ATT roaming partners that CC
will not connect to.

Steve
Peter Lawrence
2015-06-07 09:31:16 UTC
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Post by Steve Pope
Post by Peter Lawrence
Currently the best value, IMHO, is to get a unlocked smartphone and then
sign up for Consumer Cellular service (they use the AT&T network and allow
full functionality, like call forwarding and voice mail forwarding) unlike
some other MVNOs.
As I have probably rambled on about before, my partner has Consumer
Cellular on an unlocked (obviously) HTC Windows phone.
It might be the phone. I've been able to create hotspots with my Consumer
Cellular phone (an unlocked Amazon Fire Phone) without any issues.
Post by Steve Pope
We haven't been able to get it to become a hotspot. And on a recent
trip to Canada, we could not, with reasonable effort, get it to
function at all. We gave up and stuck a Worldsim SIM card into
it (which fortunately we have on hand from past travel).
Consumer Cellular states clearly it's a domestic U.S. Only service. No
international roaming capabilities using their SIM cards.


From their website:

“ *Calling from outside the U.S.*

The international rates listed below apply to calls placed while in the U.S.
However, Consumer Cellular devices will not be able to connect to our
cellular network outside of the U.S. .

While traveling internationally, we recommend powering your phone off or
placing a smartphone into airplane mode. Here’s a tip for smartphone users:
while in airplane mode, connect to a Wi-Fi network and use an App like
Google Hangouts, Skype or FaceTime (for iPhone). These apps allow you to
make voice or video calls back to the U.S. at no charge. Testing this
functionality before leaving the country is also recommended.”

https://www.consumercellular.com/Support/InternationalRates/


- Peter
Steve Pope
2015-06-07 19:01:30 UTC
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Post by Peter Lawrence
And on a recent trip to Canada, we could not, with
reasonable effort, get it to function at all. We gave up
and stuck a Worldsim SIM card into it (which fortunately
we have on hand from past travel).
Consumer Cellular states clearly it's a domestic U.S. Only service. No
international roaming capabilities using their SIM cards.
Somehow I wasn't thinking of Canada as interentational.

US Cellphones normally roam up there without any problem, but
CC is our first foray into using an MNVO.

Steve
sms
2015-06-21 22:33:17 UTC
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Post by Peter Lawrence
Post by Steve Pope
Post by Peter Lawrence
Currently the best value, IMHO, is to get a unlocked smartphone and then
sign up for Consumer Cellular service (they use the AT&T network and allow
full functionality, like call forwarding and voice mail forwarding) unlike
some other MVNOs.
As I have probably rambled on about before, my partner has Consumer
Cellular on an unlocked (obviously) HTC Windows phone.
It might be the phone. I've been able to create hotspots with my
Consumer Cellular phone (an unlocked Amazon Fire Phone) without any issues.
Post by Steve Pope
We haven't been able to get it to become a hotspot. And on a recent
trip to Canada, we could not, with reasonable effort, get it to
function at all. We gave up and stuck a Worldsim SIM card into
it (which fortunately we have on hand from past travel).
Consumer Cellular states clearly it's a domestic U.S. Only service. No
international roaming capabilities using their SIM cards.
Well actually CC is quite unclear about its international capabilities.

Is it:

"Outside of the U.S., your phone will work in parts of Canada and
Mexico, but you will be charged a roaming rate."

or

"And their Consumer Cellular phone will not work beyond the U.S.
borders, thus protecting them from any outrageous international roaming
fees, which are mostly unregulated and can vary widely."

If you call and ask you get an incoherent answer. I was told that my
phone would work in Canada and Mexico if I was close enough to the
border to connect to a U.S. tower. But that makes no sense either
because then I would not be charged a roaming rate.


What about cruise ships? Is it:

"Our service is not designed to be used outside of the U.S. (including
cruise ship travel). If your device does work while you are abroad, it
will fall under the regulation of the country in which you are located.
This will cost you at least $1 per minute and possibly much more."

or

4.5.1.4 Cruise Ship Roaming
Cruise ship roaming rates apply for calls placed or data used while on
the ship.

And if there is no international roaming why would they put this in?:

1.6 Billing of usage for calls, messages, data or other Services (such
as usage when roaming on other carriers’ networks, including
internationally) may occasionally be delayed.

or this?:

4.5 Billing for domestic and international roaming usage may be delayed
up to three billing cycles due to reporting between carriers.
Substantial charges may be incurred if your phone is taken out of the
U.S. even if no Services are intentionally used.

The following is probably what is really true:

4.5.1.1 International Roaming
Consumer Cellular’s Service is intended for use within the United
States, Puerto Rico and U.S. Virgin Islands. Generally, your Service
will not work when outside of these areas. However, there may be times
when the Service does work internationally. If the Service works when
roaming internationally, you will be charged international roaming
airtime rates including when incoming calls are routed to voicemail,
even if no message is left. Taxes are additional.

--------------------

I ported out of CC because we are planning a trip to several countries
outside the U.S. and I did not want to deal with multiple prepaid SIM
cards per phone or use a multi-country prepaid SIM card which tend to be
very expensive.

So <gulp> I went to T-Mobile for at least a few months since the
child-unit will be staying in Europe for two months. T-Mobile includes
texting and low speed data outside the U.S.. Calls are 20¢/minute.
Apparently the low speed data is throttled 3G data, not 2G data but VOIP
calling will work, kind-of, and PTT apps (half-duplex walkie-talkie)
will work over the slow data connection.

T-Mo is a little more expensive than CC but it includes a lot more data,
not that I need a lot more data. I was paying $85.50 for four lines with
1500 minutes, unlimited texting, and 3GB of shared data. Now I'm paying
$100 for unlimited minutes and texts and 2.5GB of high-speed data per
person plus unlimited throttled data.
Peter Lawrence
2015-06-26 18:35:41 UTC
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Post by sms
I ported out of CC because we are planning a trip to several countries
outside the U.S. and I did not want to deal with multiple prepaid SIM cards
per phone or use a multi-country prepaid SIM card which tend to be very
expensive.
So <gulp> I went to T-Mobile for at least a few months since the child-unit
will be staying in Europe for two months. T-Mobile includes texting and low
speed data outside the U.S.. Calls are 20¢/minute. Apparently the low speed
data is throttled 3G data, not 2G data but VOIP calling will work, kind-of,
and PTT apps (half-duplex walkie-talkie) will work over the slow data
connection.
T-Mo is a little more expensive than CC but it includes a lot more data, not
that I need a lot more data. I was paying $85.50 for four lines with 1500
minutes, unlimited texting, and 3GB of shared data. Now I'm paying $100 for
unlimited minutes and texts and 2.5GB of high-speed data per person plus
unlimited throttled data.
This won't help you while you're in Europe (no international roaming), but
H20 Wireless does offer offer plans will free unlimited international
calling from the United States to the landlines in over 50 countries (plus
low rates to non-landlines) plus unlimited international text messaging.

The plans even including unlimited international calling to cellular phones
to a few countries like China, India and Israel. Helpful for those who make
a lot of international calls from their cell. phones.

They use AT&T GSM network in the U.S., another plus.

https://www.h2owirelessnow.com/mainControl.php?page=planMon30

https://www.h2owirelessnow.com/wireless/images/pdf/unlimited_50_message.pdf


- Peter
n***@sbcglobal.net
2015-06-07 19:12:29 UTC
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Post by Steve Pope
Post by n***@sbcglobal.net
FYI, Verizon is also going GSM. I learned this a week ago talking to a
friend who is retiring on the Oregon coast and he needed to switch from
AT&T to Verizon because AT&T does not have good coverage there and
Verizon does. He told me he had to cope with installing a SIM card for
Verizon. I thought that was strange because Verizon has been CDMA but a
quick check shows they are moving to GSM for 4G LTE coverage.
I think it's more accurate to say that LTE modes on CDMA carriers
are identical to LTE modes on GSM carriers, and the Verizon SIM
card is there only for LTE.
Voice telephony is likely still done in CDMA modes.
Steve
From what I read opinions vary on that issue.
Steve Pope
2015-06-07 20:07:40 UTC
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Post by n***@sbcglobal.net
Post by Steve Pope
I think it's more accurate to say that LTE modes on CDMA carriers
are identical to LTE modes on GSM carriers, and the Verizon SIM
card is there only for LTE.
Voice telephony is likely still done in CDMA modes.
From what I read opinions vary on that issue.
The reason I say "likely" is that there is a mode in which
the voice telephony is done over LTE. Internally this is
voice-over-IP but it looks like normal mobile telephony
to the user, and the user would not particularly notice when
this happens.

However, I believe most CDMA carriers have placed their LTE
services into different bands and still operate legacy CDMA
(including voice) in the bands they've always used for this, and that
a typical phone call still is routed through these
CDMA channels.

Eventually it will all migrate and most voice telephony
will be over LTE. (And its successors.)

Steve
Jeff Liebermann
2015-06-05 21:15:19 UTC
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On Fri, 5 Jun 2015 18:33:25 +0000 (UTC), David Arnstein
Post by David Arnstein
Incoming calls go straight to voicemail. Disappointing, to say the
least.
I last experienced this problem about four years ago, when I was using
dumbphones. Then I switched to iPhones and the problem went away.
Coincidence? I assumed that Verizon was punishing users who use dumbphones.
Now I don't know what to think.
I use an LG VX8300 dumbphone (also known as a "featurephone") on Page
Plus, which uses the Verizon system. No problems at all with incoming
calls going to voice mail for a long time. By coincidence, I just
finished repairing a Casio Cz'One dumbphone on Verizon. It's been
ringing furiously with call for it's owner since he dropped it off
yesterday.
Post by David Arnstein
Is AT&T any better? Different failure modes perhaps?
Nope, but when I get calls from people using iPhones on AT&T, I can
usually tell it's an iPhone or AT&T by the garbled and distorted
audio. I don't know if it's the iPhone or AT&T, but it's quite
consistent.

Good luck finding the lesser evil among the cell phone vendors.
--
Jeff Liebermann ***@cruzio.com
150 Felker St #D http://www.LearnByDestroying.com
Santa Cruz CA 95060 http://802.11junk.com
Skype: JeffLiebermann AE6KS 831-336-2558
David Arnstein
2015-07-02 23:56:12 UTC
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I finally dialed 611 and asked for help with this issue. It was a long
phone call, but it got results. I reached a second level technician and
he found an issue with Verizon's network: my account was configured to
give data traffic priority over voice traffic. In other words, incoming
voice calls were *deliberately* being sent straight to voicemail to
avoid interrupting my internet play^Wwork.

The technician toggled this configuration item at Verizon. After
power-cycling my phone, the problem appears to be resolved. Time will
tell.

This is the first time that I have reached a second level technician
at Verizon. Coincidentally, this is the first time that dialing 611
has not been a waste of time.

It was a good day. Happy Independence Day ba.internet.
--
David Arnstein (00)
arnstein+***@pobox.com {{ }}
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