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Old 06-23-2012, 12:33 PM
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Post [INFO][GSM] Own Your Cell Service ..with Prepaid and the Galaxy Nexus

Found this to be interesting so i thought someone else might want to see it
If you want to run dual sims check this out
http://www.magic-sim.com/index.php


SOURCE
: [INFO][GSM] Own Your Cell Service ..with Prepaid and the Galaxy Nexus [UPDATED 5/24] - xda-developers







WARNING:
This guide should not be considered definitive nor accurate at all times. I'm going to try to keep things up to date if only to serve my own needs, but the responsibility to make your own choices in cell providers and how you spend your money are yours. Please do your own research.



Hey... up until recently I've been a loyal Sprint customer. Ten years worth of arguing with my friends who passed through Analog, TDMA, and finally GSM. I had better coverage, better data speeds, and frankly, a whole raft of why CDMA beat out GSM in technical merit. But what I did have in common with all my friends was a contract. The revolving 2 year door was a giant chain around our necks. When in 2008 I got laid off from my job at a hedge fund, I tried to get Sprint to let me out of my expensive data card contract and just keep my phone. They didn't.

Since then I've become rabidly anti-contract as cell service becomes more and more a commodity. But few people really understand what it means .. or even how .. to commoditize their cell service. We've become so used to the 2 year contract setup and postpaid system (as well as stigmatized that prepaid is for losers and deadbeats) that I've had to walk out on wireless store clerks who still argued data speeds, coverage, and their lineup of phones. The phone is becoming a PC, we want hardware features (dual core, screen size, amoled) and not software .. we bring what our phone does with us, just like our laptops and desktops. So why would we treat it any different from commodity hardware in other parts of the market? Insanity.

What is a commodity market, why is it good for me, and how do I participate?


A commodity market, simply put, is a range of products that are interchangeable with each other. Using one product does not provide a substantive difference from another. In the case of cell service, we all want three things: minutes, texts, and data. There are some differences in the products in this space, but they're negligible. Sure, one guy may have more coverage than another .. but the networks are built out enough where unless you live in some kind of hole, you can choose. Phone calls all sound (roughly) the same, text messages are all the same, and data rates are all very similar (1.5-5Mb/s is 'good enough', though some providers have some seriously high speed stuff .. with the data caps, I'm just going to download the giant BlueRay Rip on my home connection so it doesn't matter.) For most of us, all providers do the same thing. And this is good, that means we as consumer can choose based almost solely on price. Whoever has the best price will get the monthly fee, and whomever sticks it to their customer gets left with lots of people jumping ship. Overall, prices go down. But it only works if you take on the mentality of dealing with a commodity ...

Rules for Participation
- Define your minimum needs. I need unlimited minutes and at least 2GB of data a month. You have tons of tools to figure out your average usage, so work it out.
- A cell provider SHOULD NEVER be a commitment. Contracts are like HIV, once you get it they're not going away unless you have Magic Johnson amounts of cash.
- Names, branding, and customer service are to be ignored. I don't care if this month I'm using Retard Cellular, if they've got the best deal for my minimum needs I'm using it!
- Reevaluate the market regularly. I need to make sure I'm not blindly paying into my provider, I need to reward the best priced provider with my money!

That last line is really important and it's part of what makes our shiny new GSM phones absolutely brilliant. If you want you can jump between providers EVERY MONTH. We can do everything that is GSM and it makes no substantive difference. With the inclusion of the AWS bands usually only found on stuff labelled "T-Mobile" (or i9020T) this frees us from the horrors of vendor lock-in and truly makes commoditization of cell service possible.

Question: What about non-GSM providers like Sprint and Verizon?
Good question! Screw them. Both Sprint and Verizon have the ultimate in vendor lock-in, they have every phone they'll ever activate in their databases custom made for them. It's a dying model. GSM/LTE style SIM based technologies are the way forward. It's a worldwide standard and you'll be likely to see mega-band radios (5 or more!) as we progress into the future.

Question: So besides sticking it to the man, what do I gain from going to a commoditized model?
Cost savings. That's what this all comes down to. Saving your money and being smarter about how you spend it. Sprint sure loves their $10 you-have-a-cool-phone fee. F that. Screw extra fees, screw overage costs, screw desperately holding on to that grandfathered plan that you get $5 off on. Right now you'll pay pretty much $60 a month for unlimited talk and text with 2GB of data. My guess is that there's going to be a race to the bottom of costs as this model takes off (and it is, AT&T lost a pile of postpaid - that means contract - users and gain a ton more prepaid customers in Q4 2011).

Ok, so you're sold. What do you need?

1 - A GSM Galaxy Nexus Pentaband phone.
This phone allows you to use any GSM provider and get the maximum data rates from them. But you already know how awesome this phone is, you own it already!

2 - A stack of unactivated SIM cards.
If you're going to jump providers a lot, buy a pile of SIM cards off eBay. You'll usually be able to find SIM cards for a buck ($1). Buy 10 of each vendors' and have a variety.

3 - Optionally: Google Voice
This service has really matured over the last few years. It's free and works great with your Android phone. Port your number to GV if you want to keep it, or get a new one and tell all your friends you have a new number. (My God, you people who hold onto numbers like they're your own children need to understand that your number goes into someone's phonebook and is never seen again. No one memorizes numbers anymore, get over it and go through the new number process .. you'll see it's not hard. AND you'll be able to leave some people you don't want to have your number behind.) GV allows you to switch providers instantly without having to change you number with every SIM swap. Just set your new SIM's number up in GV and you're done. Also, GV's web based (and some windows clients) text messaging is really great for cube farmers like me who'll use it all day without having my phone's beeping pissing off the entire floor of cubes.

If you don't go the GV route, be prepared to port your number a lot. It can be done, but GV is so much easier.

So, the idea is simple. Review the plans offered by all of the providers. Choose their SIM, activate it, and pay for the month. At the end of the month, do the same thing again .. or stick with what you have if you want (most can be set up to do automatic payments) After 30-60 days (usually) an unused and zero value SIM card will be permanently deactivated. Shred it.

About the Providers

Service in the USA is really only provided by 2 major GSM carriers. You know them, they're AT&T and T-Mobile. Both have good coverage and both support HSPA+ (the fast data) in most metro places. HOWEVER, these two providers lease their towers to other companies called MVNO's (Mobile Virtual Network Operator). These guys give you the same coverage and service as AT&T and T-Mobile, but often at different price schemes. Below I've got a list of TEN (10) different operators you can buy service from! And they're not all the same price or features! This is where commoditization hits home. These 10 providers change prices and play against each other. Some are even the same company using different names but using different pricing and feature sets. The beauty of this arrangement is that YOU CAN CHOOSE. At any time (though it make sense monthly on your personal billing cycle) you can switch providers.

At the core it's still AT&T and T-Mobile. So let's look at the underlying networks:

AT&T: Signal at 850/1900, HSPA+ in metros (I haven't heard of much past 12Mb/s though) with great coverage nationwide, except for Nebraska and a big chunk of Maine. 850Mhz signal penetrates buildings better and repeater systems (like the one in my truck) will work with these bands. Data is overloaded in some places, most notably New York, but data rates may suffer in any major downtown .. you need to do your homework or try an AT&T SIM in the places you use it.

T-Mobile: Slightly less coverage, but quite built out in the last 10 years. 1700/2100 AWS band has a hard time with buildings sometimes and there's no install base of repeaters. Data is FAST where available, up to 42Mb/s. Less loaded than AT&T, but again, you need to test and see what works best for you.

Most of us in the US should be covered, but if you're not, it's not my problem. Try a contract on VZW if you can't get GSM coverage. I live in a city, and though I travel rurally frequently, metro functionality is my main requirement for coverage .. and both AT&T and T-Mobile work great.

Question: What about roaming?
There's no such thing on prepaid. Take a look at AT&T's coverage for postpaid contract and prepaid. There's a difference! Same goes for T-Mobile. Again, if you're in a position that you HAVE to roam on all these podunk little operators, then do what you must. But I do suggest you think critically on whether you really need coverage at that cabin in the mountains you go to once a year... is it worth the contract game for that one weekend a year?

REMEMBER: What works for one person may not be the right thing for another. Some people I know need only 250MB/mo .. they're on WiFi all the time. Me, I need about 1GB realistically, 2GB is my established minimum in case I need to do some tethering while on the road. Some people do just fine with the coverage of Simple Mobile (smallest national coverage) while others are better off with AT&T MVNOs. You need to make the decisions yourself. Just remember, you can change your mind at any time .. so if your test of Simple Mobile isn't working out, try an AT&T MVNO. If 2GB isn't enough, that $70 5GB plan on T-Mobile might do the trick. I always keep a few various sims in my laptop bag so if I'm on the road and I need more data or have poor coverage I can always pop in and activate a new one.

So, that's it. Free yourself from the carrier's contracts and postpaid bills and go prepaid. With a little bit of planning and effort you'll be riding the deals down in cost as the prepaid war heats up. It's just starting to boil ... and you're in a the perfect place to take advantage of it.









RAW PROVIDER DATA - 02/27/2012
I'm still collating this.

T-Mobile Prepaid - Prepaid Cell Phones | No Contract Cell Phone Plans| T-Mobile
Coverage: Pay As You Go Coverage Map | Prepaid Coverage Zones | T-Mobile
$30/mo 100m unlim text 5G
$50/mo unlim min unlim text 100MB
$60/mo unlim min unlim text 2GB
$70/mo unlim min unlim text 5G
Throttled to EDGE after data cap
Can disable voicemail
SIMs available on T-Mobile's site for $1, get a free SIM in-store for any of the above plans
WARNING: Activation requires an “activation code” that is not printed on the SIM. It is in the activation kit, but SIMs on eBay DO NOT HAVE THEM usually.

AT&T GO Phone -http://www.wireless.att.com/cell-pho...ones/index.jsp
Coverage: http://www.wireless.att.com/coverage...phone&opt=payg (Click GoPhone)
Pretty much crappy plans for our device. The GNex is a "smartphone" and requires a "data package", all of which suck.
$75/mo ($50/mo plan plus 500MB data) unlim min unlim text 500MB
SIMs on eBay $1, activate online

Simple Mobile (T-Mobile MVNO) - SIMPLE Mobile | Unlimited Cell Phone Plans
Coverage: http://www.mysimplemobile.com/Simple...-Coverage.aspx
$40/mo unlim min unlim text 5-8GB (not published) at 119kb/s
$60/mo unlim min unlim text 5-8GB (not published) HSPA+ speeds
SIMs on eBay $1 – activate online

H20 Wireless (AT&T MVNO) - http://www.h2owirelessnow.com UPDATE: Data size changes
Coverage: AT&T Go Phone
$50/mo unlim min unlim text 500MB
$60/mo unlim min unlim text 2GB "500MB at 4x speeds"??
SIMs on eBay $1 – activate online

Red Pocket Mobile (AT&T MVNO) Go Red Pocket
Coverage: AT&T Go Phone
$50/mo unlim min unlim text 250MB
$60/mo unlim min unlim text 2GB
SIMs on eBay $1 – activate online

Jolt Mobile (AT&T MVNO) - www.joltmobile.com
Coverage: AT&T Go Phone
$50/mo unlim min unlim text 250MB
$60/mo unlim min unlim text 2GB
SIMs hard to find online (ebay, ~$10), activate online
[
Skyview (AT&T MVNO) -http://www.skyvw.com UPDATE: Data size changes
Coverage: AT&T Go Phone
$50/mo unlim min unlim text 500MB
$60/mo unlim min unlim text 2GB "500MB at 4x speeds"??
SIMs Hard to find on eBay, activate online

MyBlack Wireless (AT&T MVNO) - Black Wireless
Coverage: AT&T Go Phone
$50/mo unlim min unlim text 250MB
$60/mo unlim min unlim text 1GB
SIMs Hard to find on eBay, activate online

AirVoice Wireless (AT&T MVNO) - Airvoice Wireless :: Prepaid Wireless Service :: No Contract
Coverage: AT&T Go Phone
$50/mo unlim min unlim text 100MB
$60/mo unlim min unlim text 500MB
SIMs on eBay $1 – activate online

Pure Talk (AT&T MVNO) - Pure TalkUSA :: Find No-Contract Cell Phone Plans & Affordable Cell Phone Service
Coverage: AT&T Go Phone
$43.95/mo unlim min unlim text 300MB
SIMs hard to find on eBay, activate online

Straight Talk (AT&T/T-Mobile MVNO) Welcome | Straight Talk
Coverage: AT&T and/or T-Mobile (depends on local coverage, select when you order a sim)
Additional Note: ST voice (not data) roams on other networks (including a lot of the little ones), potentially even on sister networks (AT&T will voice roam on T-Mobile and vice-versa). This likely is the largest coverage MVNO out there.
$45.00/mo unlim min unlim text "unlim" data*
* Data usage limits are not specified in the documentation .. the going theory is that 100MB/2GB a month is about "safe", though there's a lot of stories that talk about different (even more) usage. This is the sticking point of ST, you really don't know what metrics they use and you can get cut off .. so YMMV. AT&T users, including myself, are getting the standard att.mvno APN speeds of 7Mb/s or so .. so it's not throttled like the Simple Mobile $40 plan or anything.
SIMs found on their website for $15 with free 3-day shipping. Activate online.






*** NEW ***

Some AT&T MVNOs have changed to some kind of 500MB at "4x" speeds, then some kind of slowdown up to 2GB. I have no idea what this means ... if anyone actually uses these offbeat plans, please report it.

StraightTalk appears to be the best deal for full "unlimited", given the caveats about data use.

T-Mobile's $30 still rocks for high data with 100mins.

Some notes: T-Mobile activation of SIMs can take "up to 24 to 48 hours". (as said by several CSRs) Mission activation codes CAN be overridden if they do not work, but they will backtrack the source of the SIMs by order number and tracking number. I had trouble with shipped SIMs with activation codes online, and CSRs took forever to get activated.

Simple Mobile SIMs can be activated online without CSR intervention and are immediately provisioned and available. (Other MVNOs do the same as well)
__________________

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Last edited by Karl; 06-23-2012 at 01:38 PM.
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Old 06-23-2012, 12:53 PM
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Re: [INFO][GSM] Own Your Cell Service ..with Prepaid and the Galaxy Nexus

hm another solution is buying a sprint world phone, like the photon then get it sim unlocked. I think it'll work on other US carriers, not sure if you have to get it altered like the touch pro 2...

but that's what I did with my tp2 on sprint :S $30/month, I don't mind the slow speeds since I don't really use phone much. But I paid off the contract so I'm on a month to month now and I can get them to pause account so I don't get charged. Then I put in sim card in (I tend to keep 1 $10 t-mobile prepaid sim in it incase sprint service drops for some reason, I can switch to it)

i think sprint's iphone is also a world phone with a sim card.

the htc evo design also has sim card on sprint too i believe.

it's just that aside from t-mobile's $30/month plan, the rest are around the $50/month mark (aside from boost/virgin mobile). So sero kind of wins out for me since I can switch between the $50 and $30 plans as I need to. I just have to put up with slow speeds

yeah the 2 year contracts become month to month after you complete the contract, nothing forces you to buy another subsidized phone to sign another contract. Verizon will do this with the old unlimited data plans. Buy outright for phone and keep using plans
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Old 06-23-2012, 01:35 PM
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Re: [INFO][GSM] Own Your Cell Service ..with Prepaid and the Galaxy Nexus

straight talk is $45 a month
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