One Downside To Prepaid Wireless Service

Discussion in Landline & Mobile Phone Networks started by troutski • Aug 4, 2015.

  1. troutski

    troutskiWell-Known Member

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    Few people realize that most prepaid wireless service providers limit your data speeds. Today this applies to 4G more than anything else. Cricket Wireless (running AT&T's network), MetroPCS (running T-Mobile's network), and countless others engage in this practice.

    This typically means limiting your 4G speeds to around 8 Megabits per second, which is fast enough for most tasks, but it's nothing compared to what speeds postpaid customers receive from AT&T or T-Mobile (or others). On AT&T's network, you can consistently get over 20 Mbit/s with ease, but you're going to max on Cricket at 8 Mbit/s no matter what.

    It's something that won't affect or bother most people that want the savings, but power users shouldn't trick themselves into believing that they're getting the same service on prepaid compared to postpaid. Even the straight prepaid options from T-Mobile and AT&T (and others) limit the data speeds more often than not.

    Just something to keep in mind.
     
  2. Pat

    PatWell-Known Member

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    I am aware that the speed is reduced but I thought it was reduced after you have used a certain amount of data. I have MetroPcs which I am not happy with. I keep getting a not on registered network message when I try to make calls. My daughter is on a contract with T-Mobile and her service is not any better than mine in the house.
     
  3. Theo

    TheoWell-Known Member

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    In some places, like Vermont you only get 2G , yes not even 3G and only in certain places so paying for 4G is pointless. What you do is if you are in a cafe, or hotel you switch to their wi-fin signal instead which is stronger as it's via a router. It's what my friend does when he has zero credit, he logs onto free wi-fi and Facebook messages everyone or emails them instead.
     
  4. troutski

    troutskiWell-Known Member

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    But many of the prepaid networks ALSO limit your 4G speeds before you hit the data cap. So say that postpaid customers get 40 Mbit/s download speeds, but you'd be throttled already to 8 Mbit/s, which is still considered 4G speeds. However, when you exceed your data cap, you're just bumped all the way down to 2G speeds. They're two separate types of speed reduction in essence.
     
  5. Ke Gordon

    Ke GordonWell-Known Member

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    That might be true, but I use Net 10 or Tracphone because their wireless service works almost anywhere in the country and they are dirt cheap in terms of both phones and service. I am out in the boonies, and having a phone that works anywhere is one of the things that I need and can use. I don't think cricket, frog, or Tmobile will work out here.
     
  6. gracer

    gracerActive Member

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    In my area, prepaid wireless internet is admittedly slower than wired postpaid but I seem to be fine with it because I'm not really a power user. I mostly use the internet for browsing and doing my writing jobs. I rarely use voip, video and music sites so the speed I'm getting with my prepaid service is okay for me at the moment. I have trouble updating my apps sometimes though so I just go out and search for cafes or malls where they have a free wifi, which is definitely faster than my internet service. :)
     
  7. remnant

    remnantActive Member

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    Apart from being slow with the maximum speed of data being around 56kbps, postpaid wireless service has to be user controlled to prevent one from running out of bandwidth especially when downloading. Access cards also have a number which can be lost and one would not be able to use the services. It is also expensive when one is using alot of data and a monthly plan is most economical.
     
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