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Why not Mint?

Discussion in 'Google Fi' started by RCG, Oct 18, 2020.

  1. RCG

    RCG Newbie
    Thread Starter

    With the merger of T-Mobile and Sprint, Mint is beginning to look more and more attractive.

    Their unlimited plan is $30 per month, as opposed to $60 for Fi, and the advantage of switching between the two services is gone, now that they are one.

    Both Fi and Mint are an MVNO, so why are we sticking with Fi if we live where US Cellular has no presence?

    My Other Half has been a Mint customer for a couple of years and has had absolutely no trouble whatsoever.

    Thoughts, anyone?

  2. puppykickr

    puppykickr Android Expert

    What I know of carriers (Mint? Nothing.) is that there are only two systems in use in the USA.

    There is GMS, (AT&T) and CDMA (Verizon).

    All of the other smaller companies rent time on one of these two systems.

    In theory, and often in practice, this is fine.

    But there is a hitch.

    Because the smaller company does not own the towers or the system, and only rent the use of those from the large company, you are not a 'priority customer'.

    What this means for you can range from nothing on up to slow data speeds, dropped calls, and fast busy signals when trying to make a call during high volume times.

    AT&T and Verizon are going to prioritize their own customers before anyone else's.

    To be honest, I rarely use cellular data, and I have not heard a fast busy signal in years.
    That being said, I do live in a rather rural area, so a fast busy was pretty rare even back when they did occur.
    This could be different if I lived in a more populous area.
    ocnbrze likes this.
  3. RCG

    RCG Newbie
    Thread Starter

    Mint and Fi are both MVNOs.
  4. puppykickr

    puppykickr Android Expert

    They are renting towers from one of the big two.

    So the solution is to figure out which one each rents from, figure out the coverage of each one, and then choose basd upon which one rents from the company with better coverage.
    ocnbrze likes this.
  5. kate

    kate Dreaming of Bugdroid.

    If Mint has good coverage in your area and is half the price that sounds like a good choice.

    Before Sprint and T-Mobile merged there were four national carriers with their own network:

    With Sprint joining T-Mobile there are now three national carriers, but DISH is supposed to build a fourth.

    Google Fi uses T-Mobile/Sprint/US Cellular.
    Mint uses T-Mobile.
    A bochur and ocnbrze like this.
  6. RCG

    RCG Newbie
    Thread Starter

    That's my reasoning, and why Mint looks increasingly good to me.

    $10 per GB is not want anyone would consider to be a "deal" and as 5G expands the temptation to use even more data will expand with it.

    I can get everything I have now plus 8GB of data for the same $20 I am paying now.

    US Cellular does not do CT, so that is not a "benefit" of Fi for me.
    #6 RCG, Oct 19, 2020
    Last edited: Oct 19, 2020
  7. RCG

    RCG Newbie
    Thread Starter

    I did more reading, and it appears that T-Mobile users do not roam on Sprint towers, but Sprint users do roam on T-Mobile towers.

    Guess I'll stick with Fi until the networks are merged.
  8. puppykickr

    puppykickr Android Expert

    Actually, there were only three...

    Verizon (CDMA)
    Sprint (PCS)

    Sprint bought Nextel, and still could not compete with the big two,
    So now they are using Verizon towers.
    So there are only two operating systems in the US right now.

    T-Mobile uses GSM technology, so they are using AT&T towers.

    CDMA is a dying technology.

    Devices that are LTE capable may be able to be used on either network.
  9. kate

    kate Dreaming of Bugdroid.

    I've read some T-Mobile users are able to roam on Sprint, but not all. Not sure how that works on an MVNO like Mint though. And there probably will be changes as they slowly merge the two networks.

    Does your other Mint phone have a signal everywhere you need it, or are there some dead areas? If your phone on Google Fi has better coverage then it could make sense to say for now. :thumbsupdroid:

    I can assure you that you are incorrect. Just because two cell companies use the same technology doesn't mean they are one network.

    AT&T and T-Mobile are both GSM, but T-Mobile does not rent their network from AT&T. T-Mobile has their own independent network with their own antennas around the country.

    Verizon and Sprint both used CDMA, but both of them have their own independent network.

    Once T-Mobile and Sprint complete their merger they will still have a network that is independent of AT&T and Verizon. :)
  10. dontpanicbobby

    dontpanicbobby 100% That Guy
    VIP Member

    Deadpool's Mint Mobile?
  11. puppykickr

    puppykickr Android Expert

    I never said anything about them being one network.

    What I said was that there are only two systems in place, and that there used to be four, then three.
    These four all had different systems, were incompatible with each other, and used their own towers.

    But for the vast open swaths of the US, Sprint could not afford towers of their own.

    All of the smaller and local companies rented towers from the only two that could afford to put a tower anywhere- AT&T or Verizon.

    T-Mobile did not and does not even exist around here.
    Not unless they are renting service from an AT&T tower.

    I know these things because I used to sell cellphones.
    At that time, only AT&T and local companies that used their towers had service that worked here.

    It took 10-12 years for Verizon to put up enough CDMA towers for they and renting companies on that system to have decent service around here.

    Sprint did not work at all here untill they became LTE and CDMA compatible. Who owns those towers here? Verizon.

    Now it seems that all the companies are selling their towers off to companies that do towers exclusively, so even the big two are renting.
  12. puppykickr

    puppykickr Android Expert

  13. Unforgiven

    Unforgiven ...eschew obfuscation...

    I sorry I missed this thread for so long. I've been a Mint customer for a few years now and I'm plenty happy with coverage and service. I have it on 4 lines and recently I can manage all of them from one sign on. Also, I'm getting some 5G coverage which I wasn't sure I'd get from an MVNO that doesn't advertise 5G.

    My take. My phone makes calls and gets high speed data and I'm not paying for frills I wouldn't otherwise use. I pretty much get my choice of phones as most anything I want I can buy unlocked. Unless I'm buying a premium phone (S20, Z-Fold, iPhone 12, etc.) I can pay for it with my monthly savings.
    kate likes this.
  14. RCG

    RCG Newbie
    Thread Starter

    My phone does occasionally switch to Sprint, which makes me hesitate. I live in a not very good signal spot, but I don't know if this is why it switches or if they are monkeying with the towers. I have no way of telling.

    Other Half has never had a minute's trouble with Mint.

    I'm going to hang with Fi for now, but I have one foot out the door as soon as I find out the networks are merged.

    I'll know more after I get my Pixel 5 fired up and see how much 5G coverage we really have here.
    kate likes this.
  15. dontpanicbobby

    dontpanicbobby 100% That Guy
    VIP Member

    " I have it on 4 lines and recently I can manage all of them from one sign on."
    That's Gangsta!

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