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Options for GSM phones including iPhones - Simple Mobile and Straight Talk

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  • Options for GSM phones including iPhones - Simple Mobile and Straight Talk

    I am pretty much MAC (Apple Computer) only, so my phone of choice is the iPhone.

    Over the past few years I've looked for alternatives to At&T and T-Mobile for my iPhones. Not that there is anything much wrong with the services provided by At&T and T-Mobile for GSM (SIM card enabled) iPhones, except for COST.

    To obtain unlimited talk, text and web (up to 5Gb), for example with At&T, has cost up to $150. per month on AT&T (current cost: about $130.), and with T-Mobile, just under $100.

    Two alternatives to the traditional carriers are explored below: Simple Mobile and Straight Talk.
    Please read the forum rules before you post.

    And if you need extra help:
    Modee Tech Support

  • #2
    Simple Mobile - runs off T-Mobile's network - review reviews

    I used Simple Mobile about 2 1/2 years ago, when they were first getting started. I paid $60. per month for their higher data plan, which included unlimited talk and text.

    There is a procedure first of all to jailbreak and, if the phone is not already set for T-Mobile use, unlock the iPhone before using it on Simple Mobile. Once that is done, it's pretty easy to set the iPhone for use on Simple Mobile's network.

    Currently, Simple Mobile costs $40. per month for unlimited talk, text and web (3G).

    I assume that Simple Mobile is better now than it was then (for example now it has full 3G which 2 1/2 years ago data services were EDGE), but even back then it wasn't bad. Occasional dropped calls, but otherwise no real issues. Ran off T-Mobile's network, which is fine.

    Simple Mobile now has a 4G plan for $50. per month.
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    • #3
      Straight Talk - runs off AT&T's network - review reviews

      For about a month now, I have been on Straight Talk's unlimited plan, which is $50. for unlimited talk, text and web (supposedly limited to 2G per month though, supposedly 4G).

      I have experienced the following issues:

      1. Occasional dropped calls.

      2. All calls between a friend and me, who is also on Straight Talk, experience an annoying echo of my voice whenever I say something. Straight Talk claims that the problem may be a setting on his phone, which is an Android Galaxy S II, but I set his phone myself and I don't think there is anything wrong with settings.

      3. Much of the time, the data just doesn't work until I turn the phone off and back on. Straight Talk claims this is because the phones ROAM data-wise (talk and text work always no matter what, it seems) unless in the activation zip code.
      This doesn't make much sense to me as the activation zip code area isn't very large at all, and then when the phone does fail to work web (data) wise, driving a short distance makes it work again without the need to re-boot.

      4. Most voice calls on the phone are not so very clear.


      Because of these issues I am thinking of switching the phone back to Simple Mobile for a month to try them out again, on their above noted 4G plan. But the iPhone 4S I am using on Straight Talk is AT&T compatible, so while it is jailbroken, it is not unlocked - since Straight Talk is basically AT&T, no need to unlock an AT&T compatible iPhone to use with them.

      I will have to investigate whether I will need to unlock it in order to use the AT&T iPhone with Simple Mobile.
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      And if you need extra help:
      Modee Tech Support

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      • #4
        Frequency issues with using an AT&T iPhone on Simple Mobile

        I just realized though - Simple Mobile has T-mobile type 3g/4g (1700/2100 mhz). AT&T iPhones have 850/1900 mhz 3g/4G frequencies.

        Because of the frequency mismatch, all iPhones that are unlocked will default to 2G/EDGE speeds for data on Simple Mobile/T-mobile, so until T-Mobile expands its frequency (which is supposed to happen in a few months), I am stuck on Straight Talk, problems and all, if I want iPhone 3G/4G.
        Please read the forum rules before you post.

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        • #5
          T-Mobile expands its frequency (which is supposed to happen in a few months),
          How do you knw of this? Thanks

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          • #6
            I've been in contact with some of the executives at T-Mobile and this is the story anyway - that in a few months the frequencies will expand such that we'll be able to use AT&T frequency iPhones with carriers like Simple Mobile and get 3G/4G data.

            It is a rumor when it comes right down to it, but my sources have been reliable in the past.

            Also, this is straight from the CTO's mouth:
            T-Mobile Expands HSPA+ Network, Says Failed AT&T Deal “Paved Way” For LTE | | TmoNewsTmoNews

            Will refarming make your network compatible with the iPhone? And will you stop offering 2G services?
            A nice side benefit of the refarming effort is that our 4G network will be compatible with a broader range of devices, including the iPhone. The other important benefit of our network modernization effort is the coverage improvements it will deliver, especially when it comes to in-home coverage.

            As we refarm our 1900 spectrum, we will continue to fully support our customers with 2G devices.
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            • #7
              I continue to use Straight Talk, their unlimited nationwide plan which includes 5Gb of data per month, on my iPhones. LTE speeds. Works fine on iPhone 6, 6 plus and 6S plus, and you may jailbreak your phones, add an app called TetherMe via Cydia, and then tether away with impunity (up to the monthly 5Gb limit). Do NOT go over the 5Gb per month or you WILL be throttled to nearly unusable speeds.
              Please read the forum rules before you post.

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              • #8
                Straight Talk is great! for iphone.

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