Coverage for Prepaid Phones

Professor

Coverage for Prepaid Phones

[ Edited ]

I have a question regarding wireless coverage:

 

Under Terms and Conditions, if I click coverage, this is what I get for Pay As You Go:

http://www.wireless.att.com/support_static_files/images/maps/payasyougo.gif

 

and this is what I get for Pick Your Plan:

http://www.wireless.att.com/support_static_files/images/maps/pickyourplan.gif

 

There is another coverage map on the AT&T Coverage Viewer, with Pay As You Go clicked:

http://www.wireless.att.com/coverageviewer/#?type=gophone&opt=payg

 

So for Pay As You Go type, which map do I use?

 

Thanks.

 

 

 

 

Message 1 of 20 (4,686 Views)

Re: Coverage for Prepaid Phones

 

Well, over AT&T under GoPhone "brand" of plan options, there are two types of plans available which are: Pay As You Go, and Pick Your Plan. So, if you want to go for Pay As You Go then you should look at the Pay As You Go network coverage, the link of which is following:

 

http://www.wireless.att.com/support_static_files/images/maps/payasyougo.gif?01AD=3snqOH9ttYkHEYW3Zg2...=

 

Pick Your Plan options are a different kind of plan offering from AT&T. They are not Pay As You Go offering. Meanwhile, AT&T has stopped offering Pick Your Plan options to new customers.

 

Message 2 of 20 (4,667 Views)
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Master
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Accepted by topic author ilikewireless
‎09-30-2015 1:39 AM

Re: Coverage for Prepaid Phones


ilikewireless wrote:

I have a question regarding wireless coverage:

 

Under Terms and Conditions, if I click coverage, this is what I get for Pay As You Go:

http://www.wireless.att.com/support_static_files/images/maps/payasyougo.gif

 

and this is what I get for Pick Your Plan:

http://www.wireless.att.com/support_static_files/images/maps/pickyourplan.gif

 

There is another coverage map on the AT&T Coverage Viewer, with Pay As You Go clicked:

http://www.wireless.att.com/coverageviewer/#?type=gophone&opt=payg

 

So for Pay As You Go type, which map do I use?

 

Thanks.

 

 

 

 


As already noted, at&t ceased offering Pick Your Plan service for new customers quite some time ago.  I would use the GoPhone information from the coverage viewer (it's for PayGo service).  The other map looks like it is something put together for a brochure - it gives no "effective" or "update" date, as is given at the coverage viewer.  Also if you look at the final sentence, it pretty much indicates there may be quite a bit of wishful thinking included in the map - not only in terms of terrain issues, etc., but also plans for future coverage.  Since there is no distinction between the two on the map, I'd want to know what at&t actually states their current coverage footprint is.

 

Additionally, with the coverage viewer you can drill down into a specific area of interest.  It's easy for it to appear there is complete coverage in an area on the highest level maps; but in many areas once you start drilling down you can see there are really very large coverage gaps.

                                                                                                                         =^..^=
There must be a happy medium somewhere between being totally informed and blissfully unaware.

     - Doug Larson

Message 3 of 20 (4,664 Views)
Professor

Re: Coverage for Prepaid Phones

[ Edited ]

hme83 wrote:

ilikewireless wrote:

I have a question regarding wireless coverage:

 

Under Terms and Conditions, if I click coverage, this is what I get for Pay As You Go:

http://www.wireless.att.com/support_static_files/images/maps/payasyougo.gif

 

and this is what I get for Pick Your Plan:

http://www.wireless.att.com/support_static_files/images/maps/pickyourplan.gif

 

There is another coverage map on the AT&T Coverage Viewer, with Pay As You Go clicked:

http://www.wireless.att.com/coverageviewer/#?type=gophone&opt=payg

 

So for Pay As You Go type, which map do I use?

 

Thanks.

 

 

 

 


As already noted, at&t ceased offering Pick Your Plan service for new customers quite some time ago.  I would use the GoPhone information from the coverage viewer (it's for PayGo service).  The other map looks like it is something put together for a brochure - it gives no "effective" or "update" date, as is given at the coverage viewer.  Also if you look at the final sentence, it pretty much indicates there may be quite a bit of wishful thinking included in the map - not only in terms of terrain issues, etc., but also plans for future coverage.  Since there is no distinction between the two on the map, I'd want to know what at&t actually states their current coverage footprint is.

 

Additionally, with the coverage viewer you can drill down into a specific area of interest.  It's easy for it to appear there is complete coverage in an area on the highest level maps; but in many areas once you start drilling down you can see there are really very large coverage gaps.


 

 

 

Thanks hme83. I have another question. When I drill down to an area say:

 

http://www.wireless.att.com/coverageviewer/#?type=payg&lat=45.26593796060786&lon=-111.2528504289296&...

 

how do I interpret the shaded area with different colors?

Message 4 of 20 (4,648 Views)
Master

Re: Coverage for Prepaid Phones


ilikewireless wrote:

hme83 wrote:

ilikewireless wrote:

I have a question regarding wireless coverage:

 

Under Terms and Conditions, if I click coverage, this is what I get for Pay As You Go:

http://www.wireless.att.com/support_static_files/images/maps/payasyougo.gif

 

and this is what I get for Pick Your Plan:

http://www.wireless.att.com/support_static_files/images/maps/pickyourplan.gif

 

There is another coverage map on the AT&T Coverage Viewer, with Pay As You Go clicked:

http://www.wireless.att.com/coverageviewer/#?type=gophone&opt=payg

 

So for Pay As You Go type, which map do I use?

 

Thanks.

 

 

 

 


As already noted, at&t ceased offering Pick Your Plan service for new customers quite some time ago.  I would use the GoPhone information from the coverage viewer (it's for PayGo service).  The other map looks like it is something put together for a brochure - it gives no "effective" or "update" date, as is given at the coverage viewer.  Also if you look at the final sentence, it pretty much indicates there may be quite a bit of wishful thinking included in the map - not only in terms of terrain issues, etc., but also plans for future coverage.  Since there is no distinction between the two on the map, I'd want to know what at&t actually states their current coverage footprint is.

 

Additionally, with the coverage viewer you can drill down into a specific area of interest.  It's easy for it to appear there is complete coverage in an area on the highest level maps; but in many areas once you start drilling down you can see there are really very large coverage gaps.


 

 

 

Thanks hme83. I have another question. When I drill down to an area say:

 

http://www.wireless.att.com/coverageviewer/#?type=payg&lat=45.26593796060786&lon=-111.2528504289296&...

 

how do I interpret the shaded area with different colors?


Once you've drilled down into a specific area, you should be able to scroll down slightly and see the legend.  I hadn't looked at the coverage viewer for GoPhone in awhile; interestingly enough, they are now indicating specifically where there is 3G coverage for GoPhone service, as well as having an indicator for roaming partner coverage (although I couldn't find any areas indicated on the map for roaming partner coverage).

                                                                                                                         =^..^=
There must be a happy medium somewhere between being totally informed and blissfully unaware.

     - Doug Larson

Message 5 of 20 (4,622 Views)
Professor

Re: Coverage for Prepaid Phones


hme83 wrote:

ilikewireless wrote:

hme83 wrote:

ilikewireless wrote:

I have a question regarding wireless coverage:

 

Under Terms and Conditions, if I click coverage, this is what I get for Pay As You Go:

http://www.wireless.att.com/support_static_files/images/maps/payasyougo.gif

 

and this is what I get for Pick Your Plan:

http://www.wireless.att.com/support_static_files/images/maps/pickyourplan.gif

 

There is another coverage map on the AT&T Coverage Viewer, with Pay As You Go clicked:

http://www.wireless.att.com/coverageviewer/#?type=gophone&opt=payg

 

So for Pay As You Go type, which map do I use?

 

Thanks.

 

 

 

 


As already noted, at&t ceased offering Pick Your Plan service for new customers quite some time ago.  I would use the GoPhone information from the coverage viewer (it's for PayGo service).  The other map looks like it is something put together for a brochure - it gives no "effective" or "update" date, as is given at the coverage viewer.  Also if you look at the final sentence, it pretty much indicates there may be quite a bit of wishful thinking included in the map - not only in terms of terrain issues, etc., but also plans for future coverage.  Since there is no distinction between the two on the map, I'd want to know what at&t actually states their current coverage footprint is.

 

Additionally, with the coverage viewer you can drill down into a specific area of interest.  It's easy for it to appear there is complete coverage in an area on the highest level maps; but in many areas once you start drilling down you can see there are really very large coverage gaps.


 

 

 

Thanks hme83. I have another question. When I drill down to an area say:

 

http://www.wireless.att.com/coverageviewer/#?type=payg&lat=45.26593796060786&lon=-111.2528504289296&...

 

how do I interpret the shaded area with different colors?


Once you've drilled down into a specific area, you should be able to scroll down slightly and see the legend.  I hadn't looked at the coverage viewer for GoPhone in awhile; interestingly enough, they are now indicating specifically where there is 3G coverage for GoPhone service, as well as having an indicator for roaming partner coverage (although I couldn't find any areas indicated on the map for roaming partner coverage).



Interesting. I just happened to pick an area with no roaming partner.

 

Would you think that areas shown as 3G is overlaid on 2G?

Message 6 of 20 (4,616 Views)
Master

Re: Coverage for Prepaid Phones


ilikewireless wrote:
Interesting. I just happened to pick an area with no roaming partner.

 

Would you think that areas shown as 3G is overlaid on 2G?


Yes - they seem to be indicating the moderate/good/best categorization and then overlaying the 3G indicator - so the areas with 3G coverage will also have 2G coverage.

 

I found it interesting that in many states in my area of the country (I live in Oklahoma) where there are pretty large GoPhone coverage gaps, they are indicating what coverage they have *is* 3G coverage (ex. New Mexico, Colorado).  Yet in Oklahoma where they have a significant footprint of native network 3G coverage for post paid customers, they do not indicate any of the GoPhone service is 3G (and realistically, my post paid service is no faster in terms of data access than my prepaid service is anyway).  And in South Dakota, the entire state is pretty much blanketed in GoPhone 3G coverage *except* for the primary interstate corridors - which seems odd to me.  lol.

                                                                                                                         =^..^=
There must be a happy medium somewhere between being totally informed and blissfully unaware.

     - Doug Larson

Message 7 of 20 (4,596 Views)
Professor

Re: Coverage for Prepaid Phones

[ Edited ]

hme83 wrote:

ilikewireless wrote:
Interesting. I just happened to pick an area with no roaming partner.

 

Would you think that areas shown as 3G is overlaid on 2G?


Yes - they seem to be indicating the moderate/good/best categorization and then overlaying the 3G indicator - so the areas with 3G coverage will also have 2G coverage.

 

I found it interesting that in many states in my area of the country (I live in Oklahoma) where there are pretty large GoPhone coverage gaps, they are indicating what coverage they have *is* 3G coverage (ex. New Mexico, Colorado).  Yet in Oklahoma where they have a significant footprint of native network 3G coverage for post paid customers, they do not indicate any of the GoPhone service is 3G (and realistically, my post paid service is no faster in terms of data access than my prepaid service is anyway).  And in South Dakota, the entire state is pretty much blanketed in GoPhone 3G coverage *except* for the primary interstate corridors - which seems odd to me.  lol.


lol. That's incredible. No 3G along the East Coast???

 


 

Message 8 of 20 (4,580 Views)
Professor

Re: Coverage for Prepaid Phones

[ Edited ]

ilikewireless wrote:

hme83 wrote:

ilikewireless wrote:
Interesting. I just happened to pick an area with no roaming partner.

 

Would you think that areas shown as 3G is overlaid on 2G?


Yes - they seem to be indicating the moderate/good/best categorization and then overlaying the 3G indicator - so the areas with 3G coverage will also have 2G coverage.

 

I found it interesting that in many states in my area of the country (I live in Oklahoma) where there are pretty large GoPhone coverage gaps, they are indicating what coverage they have *is* 3G coverage (ex. New Mexico, Colorado).  Yet in Oklahoma where they have a significant footprint of native network 3G coverage for post paid customers, they do not indicate any of the GoPhone service is 3G (and realistically, my post paid service is no faster in terms of data access than my prepaid service is anyway).  And in South Dakota, the entire state is pretty much blanketed in GoPhone 3G coverage *except* for the primary interstate corridors - which seems odd to me.  lol.


lol. That's incredible. No 3G along the East Coast???

 

When I tried editing this a second time, it is verboten. Perhaps the editing time expired for the previous post?

 

Anyway, when I come to think of it, chances are that the map is correct. Here's a possible explanation:

 

I am guessing that perhaps it has more to do with how the map is interpreted. One possible interpretation could be that the map would specify 3G requirement only in areas where the spec is absolutely necessary. For example, in New York, 2G or 3G handsets would work so that there would be no need to specify,"3G handset required". On the other hand, in Big Sky Montana, only 3G would be available for GoPhone access to towers. Hence they specify,"3G Gophone required". The scheme is kind of like reporting by exception, to avoid cluttering the map. If so, AT&T should clarify how information is displayed. It's always not easy to put too much information on a map with 2G, 3G, 4G plus signal strength indications - it can easily become unreadable. I believe there's always a need to balance readability with the amount of information one can put on a map.


 


 

Message 9 of 20 (4,570 Views)
Master

Re: Coverage for Prepaid Phones


ilikewireless wrote:

lol. That's incredible. No 3G along the East Coast???

 

When I tried editing this a second time, it is verboten. Perhaps the editing time expired for the previous post?

 

Anyway, when I come to think of it, chances are that the map is correct. Here's a possible explanation:

 

I am guessing that perhaps it has more to do with how the map is interpreted. One possible interpretation could be that the map would specify 3G requirement only in areas where the spec is absolutely necessary. For example, in New York, 2G or 3G handsets would work so that there would be no need to specify,"3G handset required". On the other hand, in Big Sky Montana, only 3G would be available for GoPhone access to towers. Hence they specify,"3G Gophone required". The scheme is kind of like reporting by exception, to avoid cluttering the map. If so, AT&T should clarify how information is displayed. It's always not easy to put too much information on a map with 2G, 3G, 4G plus signal strength indications - it can easily become unreadable. I believe there's always a need to balance readability with the amount of information one can put on a map.


 


 



I believe you can only edit a post for an hour. Smiley Happy

 

You may be correct in your interpretation - I really don't know.  It does seem strange that there isn't more 3G indicated over the eastern half of the US - just a couple of little pockets in Alabama and Virginia.  Because of the way they have overlaid the 3G indicator on top of the good/better/best indication, the way I was taking the comment was just that it requires a 3G capable device to receive 3G service, but that you'd still have the GSM network if you aren't using a 3G capable device.  And I was presuming that maybe at&t has given GoPhone access to the 3G network in areas of the country where they feel they can do so without compromising the quality of service for all customers.  Since the introduction of the iPhones, at&t has taken the worst rap for their service level along both coasts; so maybe within the interior, western part of the US they can give prepaid customers access to the 3G network - either due to their own original network footprint or recent acquisitions. (?) 

 

I really don't know - someone who keeps up more with the network/at&t "history" side of things (acquisitions/technology acquired) might be able to shed some light on it. 

                                                                                                                         =^..^=
There must be a happy medium somewhere between being totally informed and blissfully unaware.

     - Doug Larson

Message 10 of 20 (4,553 Views)
Professor

Re: Coverage for Prepaid Phones

hme83,

 

Thank you very much for all your replies. I really appreciate you for sharing your thoughts with everyone.

 

 

Message 11 of 20 (3,929 Views)
Guru

Re: Coverage for Prepaid Phones

I just wanted to chime in and say that I live on the East Coast and I get 3G service. I would like it if the coverag map were a bit more explanatory, for example it says that there is limited roaming off the AT&T network for  Go Phone users and I would like to know how limited it is.

Message 12 of 20 (3,921 Views)
Master

Re: Coverage for Prepaid Phones


ilikewireless wrote:

hme83,

 

Thank you very much for all your replies. I really appreciate you for sharing your thoughts with everyone.

 

 


You're welcome. Smiley Happy

                                                                                                                         =^..^=
There must be a happy medium somewhere between being totally informed and blissfully unaware.

     - Doug Larson

Message 13 of 20 (3,914 Views)
Master

Re: Coverage for Prepaid Phones

[ Edited ]

Razr8 wrote:

I just wanted to chime in and say that I live on the East Coast and I get 3G service. I would like it if the coverag map were a bit more explanatory, for example it says that there is limited roaming off the AT&T network for  Go Phone users and I would like to know how limited it is.


I just tried my 3G at&t branded W518a with the prepaid SIM - specifically to see if I am using the 3G network here.  I am - the ability for simultaneous voice and data is present.  (Just to confirm the network being used.  On an at&t branded device, they can probably make the network indicators function however they desire - at one time they were not displaying the "Edge" indicator, for ex.)  I'm also in an area where they are not indicating 3G coverage for PayGo GoPhone service on the coverage viewer. 

 

All that said however, data speeds are no faster than they are with my at&t branded 2G W580i; so at least for me "getting 3G service" is just a matter of semantics - for both my prepaid and post paid service.  lol. Smiley Sad

                                                                                                                         =^..^=
There must be a happy medium somewhere between being totally informed and blissfully unaware.

     - Doug Larson

Message 14 of 20 (3,912 Views)
Guru

Re: Coverage for Prepaid Phones

That's interesting, that your post paid and prepaid data speeds are the same. Is that pretty much how it is all the time and everywhere you go?

Message 15 of 20 (3,903 Views)
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