Trying T-Mobile, Google Fi and Verizon

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Well, we’ve been using Verizon for a while (mainly because coverage in house was just so poor with AT&T). But two years ago, GoogleFi shipped and the ability to pause the service and the roaming with T-Mobile and Sprint actually worked pretty well. And of course the zero roaming charges was really great. It has been our Goto for travel for a while and it does work.
Lately though, along with good reports on T-Mobile standalone from OpenSignal (and a little help from a good buddy there),  I thought it would be a good time to try the service as a daily driver. The new T-Mobile One is pretty impressive. Basically you get $40/month unlimited data, text and talk time with a 28GB/phone limit (!!!). That compares with the Verizon plans which are a little more complicated but basically the lowest cost one I could find is $15/phone but $70 for 10GB of data, so mathematically that’s a pretty good deal.
Even with limited usage, say 5 phones sharing 10GB, this costs $180 or so including all taxes and with a decent discount for being a small business.
So with this new plan the notational five phones would be $160 (without discounts and probably taxes although they say all taxes are included).
The main concerns are:

  1. Coverage
  2. Service

So here’s the adventures with a T-Mobile SIM:

  1. I got a one cent T-Mobile prepaid SIM from Amazon. Hard to beat that price!
  2. When I opened it, it said here’s the activation code when you call. Remember to flip the page and there you will find the phone number.
  3. Then with T-Mobile.com, at least right now, I had to use Firefox on the Mac. Safari kept hanging on the pages and Chrome seemed to work better, but the billing system kept showing the bill screen and then went back to main screen. They definitely to convert to Bootstrap and a more modern screen look. I had forgotten how much I had expected that (microservices!)
  4. It took about 10 minutes for the phone to figure out that it had been paid for. But you get a nice text message telling you the phone number. And when you connect to Wifi and enable Wifi calling, you get coverage in the house. Hurray!

Anyway that’s all for now, so now I’m doing my own little test! I sure hope it works.

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