Post by Bhairitu Post by Roy
Here is the Bay Area test
Here is the results for the US
I'll confirm the T-Mobile experience. I consistently get speeds
comparable with my U-Verse 12 mbps broadband. Last weekend I tried a
speed test at Starbucks to see how Google Wi-fi does and it barely got
up to 1 mbps. Then switched the phone to data with T-Mobile and 10-11 mpbs.
Only thing is I don't get LTE at the house, mainly just Edge. But a few
years back T-Mobile wanted to fix that by putting a tower almost
literally behind my house. The neighbors fought it but I think the city
council would have approved it but then AT&T tried to buy T-Mobile which
put the plan on hold.
Edge only is pretty bad. You don't even get 3G HSDPA?
Post by Bhairitu
I would hate to see Sprint buy T-Mobile.
Two carriers with lousy coverage combining into one would not improve
anything for anyone.
I keep a T-Mobile account active for one reason--it's only $10 per year
and it's useful to have a GSM SIM card active. If one of my family is
traveling outside the U.S., and using a prepaid SIM card in the foreign
country, I want a GSM account for the U.S. part of the trip so they
don't have to carry a Verizon phone too (though since my present Verizon
phone also has an unlocked GSM side that's no longer an issue anyway). I
just did this for my daughter who is in Israel--she use the T-Mobile SIM
in the U.S. and the Orange Israel SIM in Israel and left her Verizon
(Page Plus) phone at home.
The big problem with T-Mobile is that their coverage outside urban areas
is often non-existent, especially in the western region. We often go to
locations in California with no T-Mobile coverage at all, and there is
little roaming. The fastest LTE data rates is great, but if there is no
coverage there's no value in it.
The "thing" I'm looking for is an MVNO with either Verizon or AT&T
native coverage, preferably with LTE data (not just 3G), plus
off-network roaming (preferably for both voice and at least 3G data).
This is very rare of course because neither AT&T or Verizon want to
undercut their own service plans. I want to keep our total cost for four
smart phones down to around $100 per month. We only need about 300-500
voice minutes per person, 100-300 texts per person, and maybe 0.5GB of
data per person.
Amazingly, the best option appears to be Consumer Cellular which I've
always been critical of in the past. It would be about $101 (after taxes
and surcharges) for 1200 shared minutes, 15,000 shared texts, and 2.5GB
of shared data for four phones. They include off-AT&T roaming for both
voice and data. Cheaper then Page Plus. But it would violate my pledge
to keep my life AT&T-free.