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ExcessBLarg!
Aug 31, 2001


BonerJams 03 posted:

Actually, it will force my hand to AT&T because of all the International travel our people do, we need GSM based phones..
Or world phones.

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ExcessBLarg!
Aug 31, 2001


BonerJams 03 posted:

Well we tried Sprint's "World Phone" service with their CDMA + GSM phone and found it to be a giant pain in the rear end.
Which phone was this, and how long ago was it?

Both Verizon and Sprint stock world phone models. The Android ones tend to be Motorola devices, and some of them quite good, e.g., Droid 3 and Photon.

If it's been a while, poo poo's changed, and it might be worth reevaluating.

ExcessBLarg!
Aug 31, 2001


What's rather nice about it is that after the initial $100 for 1000 minutes, you can reup for however many minutes you want (35 for $10, 150 for $20, 460 for $50) and they're also good for a whole year.

ExcessBLarg!
Aug 31, 2001


Mark Larson posted:

T-Mobile and Walmart co-announced a new $30 Monthly4G prepaid plan today.
...
Well, overages are 10c a minute.
10/min is also their standard prepaid voice rate.

Which means, finally, a US nationwide carrier is offering an awesome prepaid data plan that doesn't have a stupidly restrictive device selection!

(Please T-Mo, don't die.)

ExcessBLarg!
Aug 31, 2001


ilkhan posted:

Lots of people here balk at the SGSII because it has an oddball SoC (actually its just a dual core snapdragon, which is common enough.
It's not so much that it's an oddball platform, but oddball for Samsung. It is, however not unique. The AT&T Skyrocket is also MSM as is the Telus Galaxy S II X, off the top of my head.

ilkhan posted:

But its not the "normal" SGSII SoC) and ROM developer support is, well, abysmal.
Basically this. In the case of the T989 specifically, some xda folks were desperate enough for CM support that they bought and "donated" a phone to an unqualified teen who then failed to deliver anything in a "reasonable" time frame, sent him a nasty-gram asking for the phone back, getting his father involved who threatened to smash it with a hammer. What appears to actually have happened is that he got banned from xda and all the drama threads purged.

Anyways, the real question with the T-Mo SGSII is when Samsung is going to port ICS to it. They "should", however mind you that the Vibrant, along with the Captivate, is still officially on Froyo despite being the same platform, and very similar hardware-wise to the Nexus S. So that's a gamble.

But you're right, a dual-core Snapdragon isn't particularly uncommon and as most of the kernel support code was written by Google, HTC, and Qualcomm, it's actually pretty darn good relative to Samsung's poo poo.

ExcessBLarg!
Aug 31, 2001


redsai_ posted:

Motorola RAZR MAXX ... If I got my hands on one that's unlocked, could I use it on T-Mobile?
The Verizon RAZR MAXX is a CDMA/LTE device and to my knowledge there's no GSM/UMTS version of that device. The original RAZR doesn't have nearly as large of a battery, although I don't know how that translates into battery life. Either way, that device doesn't support the AWS band, and so won't work on the majority of T-Mobile's 3G service.

ExcessBLarg!
Aug 31, 2001


Porkchop Express posted:

Reviews seem to be pretty favorable for it, and it looks like an ICS update has been pushed out for it to boot.
Has it? I mean, yeah, the article is a few days old, but I haven't found any newer info.

ExcessBLarg!
Aug 31, 2001


Denzalo posted:

We are getting a really sweet deal from a Sprint employee friend. Do you think there's any chance I can get T-mobile to come close to this deal?
I'd be shocked if T-Mo can come close to Sprint Advantage Club pricing. $40/mo 500 voice minutes (with any mobile), unlimited text, and unlimited data, and device subsidies in untouchable. The only reason Sprint even has such a cheap plan is because your employee sponsor is on the hook for any of your missed payments.

Denzalo posted:

Or am I going to have to finally walk away from the company I have been with since they were Aerial Communications?
Do you get a prize for this? If not, who gives a poo poo.

ExcessBLarg!
Aug 31, 2001


MaakHatt posted:

The physical T-Mobile store in my area is running a buy-one-get-one-free sale on all smartphones.
That's a pretty good deal.

MaakHatt posted:

Are there any precautions I need to take before selling the free phone?
You should be careful and make sure that you're not contracted for any rate changes. For example, since the device itself requires a data plan, they'll have to add a data plan on to one of your folks's lines. Now, I think that's not a contracted feature, so if you sell the phone and move back to a dumbphone, you should be able to remove that data plan. But you want to make sure of that before getting stuck with a $20/mo data plan nobody is using.

Same deal if there's a mail-in rebate involved. If so, you'll probably have to keep the data plan, maybe even the phone active, until the rebate comes through. Or you could just ditch the rebate if it's not worth it.

Here's something else to consider:

If your folks are content with old/cheapo dumbphones and you're on a Classic (or earlier) family plan, there's a good chance you're massively overpaying for service. You would be better off in the long run switching over to a Value family plan which does have a two-year contract and no device subsidy, but is considerably cheaper.

Compare a 3-line Classic 1000 voice min, unlimited text, plan with 2 GB data on one line: $80/mo + $5/mo add-a-line + $20/mo 2 GB data = $105/mo.

And a 3-line Value 1000 voice min, unlimited text, plan with 2 GB data on one line: $60/mo + $0/mo add-a-line + $10/mo 2 GB data = $70/mo.

That's a savings of $35/mo, which after 24 months comes to $840. You can easily buy two new smartphones, plus any used dumbphones as replacements, if you simply pocket the difference.

If you do decide to that route, I'd recommend picking up the GSM/UMTS Galaxy Nexus for $350 on Google Play, instead of the SGS3. It's a very good phone and the price is absolutely right. Not that the SGS3 is a bad phone, but it's expensive at retail price and the hardware benefits aren't really worth it, particularly considering that it gets delayed updates relative to the Galaxy Nexus.

ExcessBLarg!
Aug 31, 2001


MaakHatt posted:

I went to the T-Mobile store a few days ago and the dude told me I'd be better off with a Classic plan (probably in the context of purchasing a new phone, but he wasn't specific).
It depends, if you have a really old grandfathered-in plan, he might be correct (but sticking with your current plan, not a new classic plan).

Try building a Value plan online with the features you want and compare the monthly price against what you (or your folks) paid on the last bill. Take the difference, multiply out by 24 months, that's how much hardware you can purchase without spending anymore.

ExcessBLarg!
Aug 31, 2001


MaakHatt posted:

BTW, there is some major loving bullshit going on with T-Mobile. My dad went in on Tuesday and cut a line that we no longer used from the family plan (my sister's is now paid for by her work).
Call retentions. Explain your problem, tell them you will walk if they don't change you over to the equivalent Value plan immediately. If they do, confirm the actual savings, make sure it makes sense to you. If they refuse, cut over to Verizon, when they bill you to the ETF, don't pay it and follow FDCPA protocol.

ExcessBLarg! fucked around with this message at Jul 28, 2012 around 13:24

ExcessBLarg!
Aug 31, 2001


Willfrey posted:

What is the best smartphone by T-Mobile?
The GSM/UMTS Galaxy Nexus sold unlocked for $350 on Google Play.

If for some reason "crazy plan" comes with a device subsidy that you must make use of and the Galaxy Nexus isn't a favorable option, I'd go for the Galaxy S III.

Willfrey posted:

I'd prefer something with a keyboard if at all possible,
Honestly it's a bad idea. Hardware keyboard Android phones are second-class citizens at best, more typically they're just awful. Also, the vast majority of people, even those who purposefully purchase hardware keyboard phones, end up just using on-screen keyboards anyways. Which explains why there's such little market for them.

ExcessBLarg!
Aug 31, 2001


Zarfol posted:

Is this the best way to go with the Monthly 4G plan ($60 w/2gb data).
Phone-wise yes. Plan-wise depends. The Value plan is $10/mo cheaper but actually does have a two-year contract and ETF, despite no device subsidy. So the real issue is how like you're to jump away from T-Mo.

There's also the StraightTalk unlimited voice/text plan for $45/mo that can work on either AT&T or T-Mo's service. The difference is that it's only 1 GB/mo or so data before they drop you as a customer.

ExcessBLarg!
Aug 31, 2001


Cuttlefish Party posted:

if I were to buy a Galaxy Nexus today for use on T-Mobile, how compatible will the phone be with T-Mobile's future network?
It'll be fine.

Cuttlefish Party posted:

I am guessing that HSPA+ would still work (since they are transitioning to the frequency that AT&T uses), or is that wrong?
Yes.

Cuttlefish Party posted:

How about a Nexus S (the i9020T variant)--what is the future of this device on T-Mobile's current path? Does the lack of a 1900 MHz HSDPA radio mean that it will lose all high-speed connectivity?
Deploying LTE in AWS doesn't require a complete removal of UMTS AWS service. The band has multiple channels and can support both, where T-Mo's allocations are sufficient.

And in general, usually decomissioning networks is a long process specifically because they don't want to introduce incompatibility issues any more than they have to.

If nothing else, I'd expect UMTS AWS service to be around for at least two years after the point that T-Mo stops selling their last AWS-only UMTS device. I'm guessing you won't hold onto a Nexus S for that long.

Cuttlefish Party posted:

While I am asking dumb questions, someone recently told me that their stockbroker friend believes Sprint is gearing up to buy T-Mobile. Is that even plausible?
Sprint would have a better chance of getting it past the regulators than AT&T did, but the fact that the AT&T/T-Mo deal was shotdown makes it risky.

I can't say whether Sprint is financially in any position to acquire T-Mo or not. I suspect they probably aren't though, given they're still bleeding from Nextel.

Cuttlefish Party posted:

I have seen some references to acquisition discussions between the companies, and I imagine Deutsche Telekom would still love to offload T-Mo, but wouldn't the incompatibility between CDMA and GSM make this pairing very difficult?
It's no worse than CDMA and iDen which Sprint has been running for years now, although that's a pretty awful situation. Basically you run the two networks separately, and merge them in the future by switching to a unified technology (e.g., LTE). Once merged you reap the benefits of being able to combine spectrum, but up until that point it's pretty much the mess that maintaining two (eight, actually) networks is.

Keep in mind that it's happened before. Aside from the aforementioned Sprint acquisiton of Nextel's iDen network, Cingular had to merge their TDMA and GSM networks with AT&T's TDMA and GSM networks (they both were using both technologies). Alltel (CDMA) divested markets were bought by AT&T and are transitioning to GSM. And historically-CDMA Canadian providers (Bell and Telus) built a combined UMTS network.

Captain Cool posted:

Can any phone that supports all pieces support all combinations?
Phones are supporting increasing number of combinations, yes. But it becomes more expensive to do as you increase them.

The best radio situation right now is what Qualcomm is doing with S4 (Krait). The radio internally supports "everything", CDMA, GSM, LTE, you name it, and the expensive/costly parts (filters, final stage amplifier, etc.) hardware-only changes, tailored to a specific carrier's network. What's great about this is you can support the same device across different carriers and different hardware combinations with the same software layer, which makes software maintainability much easier, but also keeps hardware costs down.

Captain Cool posted:

I thought LTE was going to unify a lot of the different standards, but that same article has Sprint as the outlier after T-Mobile's refarm.
LTE isn't about unifying standards. It's basically a new standard that all the carriers are moving towards. One day the cross-carrier compatibility situation should be much better, but in the interim it's getting worse as we add support for new network technologies (LTE) while maintaining backwards-compatibility with legacy networks.

ExcessBLarg! fucked around with this message at Aug 14, 2012 around 15:52

ExcessBLarg!
Aug 31, 2001


Cuttlefish Party posted:

However, the phone is for my dad, and I'm guessing he will try to keep whatever he gets for a good long time.
Hopefully by that time GT-I9020A models won't be that hard to find in reasonable condition, unless they're just scarce.

But I wouldn't get a GT-I9020A at this point unless you're in T-Mo UMTS 1900 land now.

Cuttlefish Party posted:

It's hard to see how the combined entity would end up saving costs without transitioning to a common platform.
They can combine all non-network-related support services. But yes, maintaining two networks is a big issue.

Probably the biggest reason to buy your competitor is to gain access to their spectrum licenses, especially given that spectrum doesn't come often anymore and it's certainly not cheap. Sprint intended to decommission iDen long ago. The fact the network is still operating is relevant to Sprint's financial problems. It may still end up being "cheap spectrum" if the acquisition amounts and subsequent losses are under $10 billion though.

Cuttlefish Party posted:

The thing is, when that happened, a lot of existing phones would become obsolete, and I suspect customers would be pretty unhappy about it.
Which is why it takes them darn near 10 years to decommission old networks. Pretty much by then the phones just don't work anymore.

ExcessBLarg!
Aug 31, 2001


spanko posted:

How likely are you to get caught on a rooted phone?
"Pretty likely" given that T-Mo already has the capability.

spanko posted:

I know about changing the ID thing in your browser but is that foolproof?
Nope. It's not even a particularly good method since mobile browsers lie about their user-agent strings all the time.

There's some other workarounds that avoid the detection method du jour. But basically the only way to tether unimpeded is to exactly pretend to be an Android phone (which limits its usefulness) or to encrypt all tethering traffic through a proxy. The latter of which they could end up throttling, who knows.

ExcessBLarg!
Aug 31, 2001


Powered Descent posted:

Out of curiosity, what sorts of tethering detection methods DO they use?
At one point T-Mo was throwing up paywalls based on user-agent. Koush's app is a workaround for TTL-based approaches, although I don't know if T-Mo themselves were ever using TTL detection.

In general there's a few different approaches to determine if someone is tethering:

1. HTTP user-agent strings that match desktop browsers. Although the false-positive rate here is high as mobile browsers can/do masquerade as desktop browsers to get desktop versions of sites. But we know they've used this in the past.

2. The time-to-live (TTL) field of IP packets. This is a number (e.g., 64) that's decremented once for every hop a packet traverses, and when the value reaches zero, a router (hop) will drop a packet even if it hasn't reached it's destination yet. It's one mechanism to avoid routing loops.

Thing about TTL is that each OS uses some default value for packets originating from them, e.g., 64 on Linux and Android. So when your phone sends packets they start with a TTL, decrement to 63 at the PPP gateway, 62, 61.... Now, if the PPP gateway sees incoming packets with TTL 63, it likely means an extra hop was added, specifically your phone acting as a router. This is the method of tethering detection Koush's app worksaround.

3. Incidental traffic that suggests packets are originating from non-phone devices. This would include a Windows laptop pinging the Windows Update server over a tethered connection. I'm not aware of this method being used, but it's trivial to implement.

4. Traffic that directly corresponds to non-mobile services. This includes Steam downloads, non-mobile Netflix, basically any data-consuming service that isn't available on smartphones, or uses different servers than their mobile equivalents. Again I'm not aware of it being used yet, but it's trivial to implement if you're willing to enumerate these services.

So we know methods 1&2 are or have been in use in the past. Method 3 can be worked around if you're very careful with firewalls to block incidental traffic from using a tethered connection (which isn't a bad idea just for bandwidth conservation purposes). Method 4 can't be worked around without using proxies and encryption.

Powered Descent posted:

I tether my laptop to my Virgin Mobile phone now and then, and they've never said a word.
To my knowledge Sprint hasn't taken any active steps against tethering aside from device-level prohibitions.

invision posted:

Are they gonna be like "oh no a nook!" and throttle me?
If they detect it and decide to act, it's probably going to be a paywall.

ExcessBLarg!
Aug 31, 2001


ilkhan posted:

I don't see how Sprint expects to get phones in the future.
The same way they've been getting phones for years, custom order.

At least this time they're using the same modulation schemes as everyone else, just need different RF amps and filters.

ExcessBLarg!
Aug 31, 2001


MrMoose posted:

Now, I thought GSM was one thing, and CDMA was another. Is WCDMA different?
Sort of, it refers to the 3G service deployed by traditionally-GSM carriers like AT&T and T-Mobile. In other words, T-Mobile's 3G service isn't actually "GSM", although WCDMA/UMTS is part of the GSM standards family.

MrMoose posted:

He told me that it supports T-Mobile's AWS bands (1700/2100) and that I can buy an unlocked one and use it on the prepaid plan just fine. Is this true?
Pretty much every GSM smartphone sold for years is quadband and so will work on T-Mobile's GSM/2G service, although with slow data. However, since this device supports both 1700 and 1900 UMTS (WCDMA) bands, it works with all of T-Mobile's 3G service as well.

In short, yes it'll work.

ExcessBLarg!
Aug 31, 2001


spanko posted:

That's weird because I have an openvpn server on my router at home and the client on my laptop wouldn't connect after I got the paywall.
You need to run the OpenVPN client on your phone, not your laptop, to avoid the paywall.

ExcessBLarg!
Aug 31, 2001


texaholic posted:

How is that even possible?
It's rather easy to write a computer program (or "app") that spams out messages as fast as possible. You're still an rear end in a top hat for doing it, but it's not particularly time consuming once written.

ExcessBLarg!
Aug 31, 2001


Naffer posted:

and I've come to the realization that Tmobile is doing a terrible job of making their value plans a good deal,
Counterpoint: A T-Mo "branded" Nexus 4 on a classic plan is $180.99 more than a Play Store-purchsaed 16 GB Nexus 4 on a value plan. And that's with T-Mo's $150 web only discount.

Sure, value plans aren't necessarily going to be the best deal on T-Mo branded devices, but that's a reflection of the absurdly inflated "retail" prices of carrier-branded devices.

The fact that you can get a GN2 on a classic plan for $20 cheaper than a value plan is meh. One of the reasons the retail price is so high is that when you inevitably drop and shatter your GN2, purchasing a new device while already under contract is major profits.

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ExcessBLarg!
Aug 31, 2001


Yes there are other ways to insure phones. However, given that your typical phone policy carries a $100 deductable, and the Nexus 4 is $350 total, the $250 difference shouldn't be that hard for most people to come up with in extraordinary circumstances. Especially considering that most folks carry auto policies with a $250 deductable or higher.

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