So I'd like to hear from T-Mobile users who travel some, and who are in Houston, about their experiences with the service with regard to coverage and in-building use.
Why is this happening?
Would you recommend it? When I asked on Twitter about switching, John Legere responded to me , and asked one of his minions to help me out. I thanked him but politely demurred, saying I wanted to be treated like anyone else. To be fair, I've seen him do the same for others considering switching, but I wanted to see what the process was like.
Sprint vs AT&T
It's about time Dwight! You'd think that a company would have someone monitoring social media looking for people talking about switching and offering to address any concerns. A local sales manager texted me. But by then, it was too late. Their seniors plan doesn't kick in until age 65, and sounds like something out of the cellphone dark ages - no data is available, with only anytime voice minutes and unlimited mobile-to-mobile calls.
And it apparently doesn't work with smartphones, much less smartwatches. At the store, the basic process of switching took about 30 minutes, but there were complications that made it drag on. Trends: Verizon's subscriber growth is fueled by smartwatches. My wife's smartphone came online with the T-Mobile network flawlessly, but mine did not. I could get calls and texts but not data. The store reps were very patient and persistent, checking for errors in the system and calling T-Mobile tech support for help.
Two hours later, I was still not able to connect to the internet. I went back to the store, and after another conversation via phone with tech support, the store reps swapped out the SIM card, thinking the first one might be defective.
What the T-Mobile Takeover of Sprint Means for Your Wireless Bill
Sure enough, after a restart, I was online and rockin'. Some other minor issues: A typo initially prevented my Apple Watch from pairing to my iPhone's phone number, which was quickly fixed. I was able to remove that myself on T-Mobile's website before it made it onto our first bill. In terms of the service itself, we're pretty happy. In the parking lot of that same Kroger, I got well over Mbps.
And in the living room of our Montrose apartment, I also got over Mbps. Speed tests in other parts of town were sometimes better, sometimes worse. At the Chronicle at the intersection of U. S 59 and Loop near the Galleria, they are a little better. I have yet to head out of town and try T-Mobile on the road, but an upcoming trip to San Antonio will test that out.
See the results. If the feds approve it, the combined companies will have about million branded subscribers, and million if you count subscribers of cellular providers who resell the companies' service. Legere has vowed that the new T-Mobile will be as aggressive an "Uncarrier" as it was before, with more punch behind it. That's not been the history of what happens in America when there are fewer competitors. But there's been no cellular carrier like T-Mobile before, either.
Dwight Silverman is the technology editor for the Houston Chronicle and the grillmaster for the TechBurger tech news site. Follow him on Twitter and Facebook.
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Sign up for his tech newsletter. Get more tasty tech news at TechBurger. T-Mobile is the industry leader in the U. When T-Mobile busts out a brand new plan or feature, the rest of the carriers inevitably follow its example. T-Mobile started by ending overage charges, killing the two-year contract, and offering lower prices than its competitors. Now, T-Mobile offers a wide range of perks, including free gifts on Tuesdays, unlimited data plans, video streaming, free international service, and more.
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As such, T-Mobile wins our awards for best unlimited plan, best international service, and best urban service. Large families who make international calls or tether to mobile hotspots should opt for One Plus. Disclaimer: If you live in a rural area, T-Mobile may not work for you. Coverage is still spotty in rural America, though it excels in cities.
Why you should buy this: Sprint offers a cheap individual plan, and it comes with nice perks. Sprint typically undercuts T-Mobile prices and offers, but the carrier suffers in network coverage compared to the rest. Certain categories of traffic — like multiplayer gaming and music streaming — are throttled, and Sprint reserves the right to terminate your service if you exceed your monthly tethering limit.
Why you should buy this: Verizon offers the best coverage in rural areas across the U. Verizon offers the best service in rural areas across the country. Two caveats to note, though: Subscribers who use more than 22 GB on a line might be subject to throttled speeds, and Verizon limits high-speed 4G LTE tethering to Kbps. All capped plans come with unlimited talk and text. But you will get reliable service in all parts of the country.
Videos are capped at standard definition p , and you get maximum speeds of 1. None of the plans requires you to sign a contract, and you have to pay the full, unsubsidized price for each smartphone on the plan. Why you should buy this: T-Mobile and Sprint offer the best international coverage as part of their plans.
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T-Mobile and Sprint are the only carriers that include international service in their plans. The Day Pass covers all calls and texts for a hour period in countries covered by the plan. T-Mobile offers the best unlimited plan of all the carriers.
T-Mobile One customers get unlimited text and 2G data in more than countries around the world. In Mexico or Canada, you even get unlimited calls and high-speed data, and T-Mobile will even give you one hour of data and unlimited texting on Gogo-enabled flights.
The icing on the cake is T-Mobile Tuesdays, an app that offers free rewards every Tuesday, including movie tickets, free lattes, free tacos, and more. T-Mobile One customers with two or more lines on their account will also receive a free Netflix subscription. Sprint offers many of the same great features for about the same price. In our experience, T-Mobile has the better network and few more perks that make it worth your while. Prices tend toward the high end for both domestic and international coverage, but it offers a choice of cheaper capped plans as well.
The four main carriers all have prepaid plans, which are traditionally a bit cheaper than postpaid plans. Of the bunch, T-Mobile offers the most for the least amount of money.