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Same as Sprint, but MUCH cheaper?

Discussion in 'Virgin Mobile' started by SupraLance, Nov 16, 2010.

  1. SupraLance

    SupraLance Well-Known Member
    Thread Starter
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    Nov 16, 2010
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    I think Sprint owns Virgin Mobile and the *coverage is identical* (not always, see 2 posts below)*, which leads me to evaluate the following 3 options:

    A) Intercept on Virgin for $25/month ( 300min/unl txt,data)
    B) Intercept on Virgin for $40/month (1200min/unl txt,data)
    C) Epic/Evo on Sprint for $80/month ( 450min/unl txt,data)

    The upfront cost of each phone is about $200, but with Sprint you are paying another $40-55/month under contract for 2years ($960-1320!!!). Hard to justify, especially if not in a 4G area.

    Does anybody think the Epic/Evo on Sprint are worth that? Or am I missing some big difference with Virgin Service?
    If anybody knows how to make a better Android phone than the Intercept work on Virgin, I'm all ears.
     

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  2. jrfuda

    jrfuda New Member
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    Nov 12, 2010
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    I figured out the same thing when deciding among carriers and phones. Sprint/Nextel owns both Boost Mobile and Virgin Mobile USA.

    My wife and I both wanted an Android phone, and Virgin Mobile had the best one available on a prepaid plan.

    Even with the upfront costs for the phone, we'll break-even on costs (Samsung Intercept would have been $99 instead of $219 if we'd have gone with a 2-year contract) after 10-months, and be well ahead of the game after 2 years. Another great thing is that I will be deployed for a good part of next year, and I'll be able to cancel my Virgin Mobile line (or go down to one of the $20/month plans where you never lose your payments in order to keep my number) and be able to reacctivate it or roll all the $20 payments into top-ups for my phone when I return. I can even use the phone wifi-only when I'm overseas as a sort-of ultra portable PC, I tested it on wifi only before I activated it and it worked fine without any service, if they can get the bugs out of the Skype app, it'll be even better.

    We're both currently onthe $60/month unlimite everything plan from Virgin Mobile. The cheapest we'd of gotten with a family plan would have been $139 plus taxes and fees per month (so closer to $160). With Virgin Mobile it's $60 each plus about $4 in taxes, so about $128 per month for both of us. Now, if you have more than 2 phones in your houshold, then the contract plans where each phone is only incrementally more, typically $10 each line for voice/text and $40 for data, then the difference gets smaller (about even for 3 phones, then an advantage to contract plans for 4 phones).

    Now, as far as quality of the connections goes, so far so good. We've had them for about 2 weeks now. Data is great. Using speedtest, I routinely get 500-900 kbps and have had a few spikes over 1 Mbps. Even though I have wifi at home, I usually keep it turned off becuase my 3 Mbps connection at home doesn't really offer much of an advantage for what I typically do with my intercept (though, if I may use it in the future for some home automation tasks I know use an iPod Touch for).

    The only issues we've had so far are with MMS. They won't send at all if you're connected to a wifi network (which is another reason why I leave them turned off), there's typically a 10-15 minute delay between when they're sent and received between our two phones (not sure how long other carriers take to get them), and we've had 2-3 messages each that we've sent to eachother that never made it to the other. This is only with MMS, SMS comes and goes instantly. Searching the web shows that MMS issues seem to be widespread among all the carriers.

    Bottom line, coming from having 2 feature phones on a T-mobile family plan and paying nearly $100 month for 750 minutes and unlimited text, we are extremely happy with the Virgin Mobile Intercepts for a little more than $20/month over our previous cost with unlimited everything.
     
  3. lumbeejake

    lumbeejake Member
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    Verizon and TMobile staff keep telling me that Virgin does not use the same towers that Sprint uses.

    Is this true or not?

    Jake
     
  4. SupraLance

    SupraLance Well-Known Member
    Thread Starter
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    Nov 16, 2010
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    Missouri
    False enough to be a lie, but with a slight spec of truth on which they are basing that statement:

    Virgin has full use of all Sprint towers & 3G service.
    Sprint also has full use of all those, plus use of Verizon towers for roaming (for voice & 2G data, NOT for 3G), plus use of Clearwire 4G towers for Evo & Epic users.
    So YES they use the same exact towers, but Sprint phones can access some extras that aren't actually Sprint's at all. If you live in a metro area and stay under Sprints umbrella, this does not matter to you and signal will be identical.

    Cell Phone Coverage - Check Cell Phone Coverage | Virgin Mobile
    Sprint - Nationwide Coverage

    Exa: The small town I live in is covered by Sprint, and therefore Virgin, but the areas between small towns out here are covered only by Verizon towers (shown in grey on Sprint coverage map). With Virgin, I would have no service & no data outside of town. With Sprint, I would have voice service outside of town (roaming on Verizon) but only slow 2G data. I ended up paying more for Verizon service, because only they have 3G data even between towns. YOUR AREA MAY BE DIFFERENT.
     
  5. FreakyLocz14

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    The Virgin plans don't include the unlimited Any Mobile, Anytime or Nights & Weekends calling. That's a BIG factor you left out.

    And to the above poster: You can 3G roam on Sprint via Verizon's towers, but there's a soft cap of 300 MB per month or a majority of MBs used in the month.
     
  6. TampaShooters

    TampaShooters Well-Known Member
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    I currently have an Evo and am on the EPRP $109.99/mo family plan 1600 min + unlimited everything else (+ 24% Taxes/Fees + $10 B.S. 4G Fee, which I don't get)

    In three years with Sprint, I have never roamed.... and am tired of a $140/mo bill, so after 2 months of side to side extensive testing I am in the process of switching to Virgin, from Sprint. My wife and I both generally stay a few hundred minutes under 1,000 per month total, so the freebie extra minutes like Night/Weekends, and Mobile to Mobile, don't matter much... so the VW 1,200 will be more than adequate.

    Sure, it's a noticeable difference in handsets (I'm going to the Optimus & she is going with the Intercept because of the keyboard) but in the end, I will be saving around $60/mo ($720/yr!), and NO contract.. That to me is pretty significant at this point in time.

    Oh, and I am tired of charging my Evo every 6 hours... compared to the two days I get with the Optimus...

    If the time comes and I need to switch, I can, no biggie...
     
    UnixPimp likes this.
  7. TampaShooters

    TampaShooters Well-Known Member
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    Next time ask them which fantasy virtual towers do they use? The one's in the Unicorn fields?
     
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  8. Puddin422

    Puddin422 Well-Known Member
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    For those reading this, here is an update. Sprint is not currently roaming on Verizon's network. Which i why I'm here..researching cheaper carriers..
     
  9. m-cman

    m-cman Well-Known Member
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    Feb 27, 2011
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    I was in Euless the other day (a suburb between Dallas and Ft Worth) at a Lowe's Building Supply Store and could not get a signal either in the store or in the parking lot. Had the "V" about 1.5 months and this was the first time I have had a problem. I knew the coverage was not as good as Sprint (which I had for 5 years) but it still surprised me. Thought it would only happen away from urban areas. Have not tried a call out of the Metroplex since getting the "V" so do not know the extent of the problem.
     
  10. gogreen25

    gogreen25 New Member
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    I am too! I have been looking into prepaid cell phone providers and am trying to get some feedback on their service/reviews from previous/current users. Boost Mobile has unlimited talk/text/web/411/IM/Email for $50/mt; Virgin Mobile has unlimited talk/text/data/messaging for $55/mt; StraightTalk (which is a branch of Tracfone) has unlimited talk/text/web/411 for $45/mt or $540/yr.

    I've tried to research reviews but it seems that either I find old reviews or the same 2 websites. I would greatly appreciate ANY feedback as I am just trying to go without a contract and cut my cellphone bill literally in half.
     
  11. TLBones

    TLBones Member
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    I had Tracfone for many years. They operate on the AT&T network(at least here in my area of PA) I ALMOST always had a good signal. With VM not so much.... I'd say it's significantly less strong in my area...BUT it has 3G data. If you're wanting a cell phone to make calls only then you cannot beat tracfone (or straighttalk) if you want 3g android,etc. then VM is the way to go without a contract. You need to decide. I love having 3G and Android apps but your use may vary.
     
  12. Puddin422

    Puddin422 Well-Known Member
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    Boost is good in cities, but get into more rural areas, and forget it.
     
  13. Petrah

    Petrah Psychotic Female
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    It's kind of funny.. Boost Mobile and Virgin Mobile USA are both subsidiaries of Sprint. Makes me wonder what other mobile companies Sprint owns.
     
  14. micahdiablo

    micahdiablo Well-Known Member
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    Feb 15, 2011
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    I've noticed this as well.

    Aside from Boost's Android and overall phone selection to be crap, their coverage is not as strong compared to Virgin even though they are under Sprint lol. My friend has a Samsung Prevail on Boost...and I have an Optimus V with Virgin and while my coverage is shotty in our rural neighborhood, he is constantly without signal.

    The only thing Boost currently has over VM is the fact their unlimited plan is 5 bucks cheaper(and at one time 10 bucks cheaper) and that shrinkage plan.
     
  15. AmishFury

    AmishFury Well-Known Member
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    comparing the 3 is simple... Boost and VM run off of Sprint's network (though from what i hear it's coverage is somehow a little worse than VM) Straighttalk piggybacks on a few networks and has a better looking coverage map (seems to depend on where you live... all the random zipcodes i entered gave me the same selection of GSM phones)

    as far as phone selection... VM has the best... Boost's best phone lags a little behind the Optimus V and Straighttalk's only "smartphones" are low end symbian phones
     
  16. androidfonefan

    androidfonefan Well-Known Member
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    Notice to those buying the Intercept. Unless you get an exceptional hand set you will regret it.
    The Intercept has been a pain in VMs side ever since they started selling it. They will tell you it is a great phone to make the sail as most any business will, but the Intercept is a terrible phone.
    The Optimus is the Best Android they currently have. It does not have the hardware specs of the net Motorola Triumph but it is more stable, has better GPS and 3G reception on board memory is not as large as the MT but much of that can be compensated for with apps like AppMonsterPro which can move apps from the phone to the SD card.
    If you do get the Intercept, good luck. After the first few weeks the phone starts degrading.
     
  17. androidfonefan

    androidfonefan Well-Known Member
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    If you buy one of the Smart Phones and put the Sim card in an Android make some adjustments to the APN settings you can have a fully functional Android with 3G for that low price. It cost a bit to get started but then it pays for itself over the long haul.
     
  18. agianne

    agianne Well-Known Member
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    Sprint Nextel Corporation offers wireless communications services under four brands: Sprint, Boost Mobile, Virgin Mobile and Assurance Wireless.
     
    Petrah likes this.
  19. Petrah

    Petrah Psychotic Female
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    How you use the Intercept makes a huge, huge difference. I had no issues with it when I used it.. very light texting, light browsing, light voice calls, and perhaps 4 or 5 downloaded apps. I had no issues with the phone whatsoever. When I gave it to my daughter (she's a teen, need I say more?).. she's had all kinds of issues with it. :(

    After having 3 different phones through Virgin Mobile, I have to say their smartest move was the Optimus V. It's by far and hands down their best phone.
     
  20. micahdiablo

    micahdiablo Well-Known Member
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    LOL so basically if you barely use the phone, you are great. But the moment you use an Intercept like a smartphone, it goes to crap?
     
  21. Petrah

    Petrah Psychotic Female
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    lol Well, when you put it that way, yes. It's a low end entry level phone (over-priced by about 100 bucks imho). If I had to compare the Intercept to the OpV... it's like comparing a Ford Pinto to a 1969 Chevelle SS.
     
  22. micahdiablo

    micahdiablo Well-Known Member
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    I hate my Optimus V. It too is about 100 bucks to expensive.
    I am test driving a Motorola Triumph to see if i like it.
     
  23. TampaShooters

    TampaShooters Well-Known Member
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    Ironically, I couldn't take the buginess and poor responsiveness of the scree with the Triumph, and went back to my Optimus V. I sold the Triumph, it was just too flawed for that price..
     
  24. micahdiablo

    micahdiablo Well-Known Member
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    I have only been using it for like 20 minutes so far and that mainly has been the camera.

    If I do have the problems that you and others have had, I figured I can sell it and make a (Small) profit since when I sell it, I'll be including my plan(with minutes) for 25 bucks since it no longer exists.

    The Camera is great though.

    I just hope it will perform better all around than this crap Optimus V
     
  25. TampaShooters

    TampaShooters Well-Known Member
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    My Optimus performs better in responsiveness (especially with swype), but the Triumph did have a much better camera. The Triumph touchscreen just lagged or locked up alot, and I couldn't take it. Otherwise it was OK. I wanted it to work, because I miss my Evo, when I came from Sprint.
     

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