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The other issue for Draper is one he can’t control is the quality of the network. Even as Verizon Wireless and AT&T are finishing up the deployment of their LTE networks, Sprint has gone through the slow — and painful — upgrade of its network, which promises both LTE and improved 3G service. Even T-Mobile, which started after Sprint, has eked ahead of Sprint and covers more top markets, a fact that T-Mobile CEO John Legere hasn’t let anyone forget.
With typical wireless service that you may be used to, you are paying for what the industry calls “post paid” service. Post paid essentially means that you have signed a contract for a set number of months or years.
There are prepaid plans through your typical carriers (AT&T, T-Mobile, Verizon, etc.) and then there are MVNO providers, which are essentially companies who have made deals with big carriers to use their network. So someone like Straight Talk has made a deal with AT&T to offer prepaid service over AT&T’s growing network. There is nothing wrong with an MVNO, but they typically don’t have the same level of customer service or support as a traditional carrier might. If you like a hands-off approach to your wireless service, then that shouldn’t be an issue.
Prepaid carriers TracFone (80), Straight Talk (77) and Net10 (77) beat all four major carriers for service and got high marks for value. In fact, they’ve done better than the major carriers in this survey for the past few years.
So T-Mo has plans ranging (listed above) from $30 up to $70 per month, with varying amounts of high-speed data. At $70 for their top tier plan, you get unlimited talk, text, and 4G speed data. Verizon doesn’t come anywhere close to an offer like that. If you don’t need that much 4G speed data, they have plans at 2.5GB and 500MB that drop by $10 increments, if unlimited talk and text is still important to you.
Oh, this $30 plan also doesn’t play nice with Google Voice initially. For whatever reason, Google Voice and T-Mobile prepaid aren’t friends, so in order to get your GV voicemail working, you need to call T-Mobile and have them shut off the voicemail on your T-Mobile line. Once that happens and marinates for a few hours, all should be well again.