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Coverage comparison between postpaid and prepaid plans

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Coverage comparison between postpaid and prepaid plans

I've read such conflicting comments regarding coverage comparison between prepaid and postpaid plans. 

 

If the coverage is really the same then why don't all postpaid customers switch to prepaid unless they just don't want to pay for the phone upfront?

 

Are there roaming fees with prepaid and does the prepaid plan allow you to access towers besides AT&T?

 

Is the data speed relatively the same?

 

Does AT&T give it's postpaid customers first priority and if so does this have a significant impact on the quality of prepaid service?

 

Are there many dropped calls with prepaid?

 

If you do try prepaid and find you don't have good coverage with it is it easy to switch back to postpaid? 

 

I'm concerned because the fine print states that once you activate a prepaid phone you can only use it with prepaid plans so how would I be able to switch back to postpaid if I had to?

 

Because of this caveat is it better to purchase my own unlocked phone through ebay and use it?

 

Thanks!

 

Emily

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Message 1 of 9
ACE - Expert
Solution
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Accepted by Mimidebecca73
‎03-27-2018 7:42 PM

Re: Coverage comparison between postpaid and prepaid plans


@Mimidebecca73 wrote:

I've read such conflicting comments regarding coverage comparison between prepaid and postpaid plans. 

 

If the coverage is really the same then why don't all postpaid customers switch to prepaid unless they just don't want to pay for the phone upfront? There are features and services available on postpaid not available on prepaid such as HD Voice, WiFi calling and international roaming.

 

Are there roaming fees with prepaid and does the prepaid plan allow you to access towers besides AT&T? There are no roaming fees. My understanding is prepaid is limited to ATT towers only.

 

Is the data speed relatively the same? All things equal, speed should be the same but all things are never equal. We do know that prepaid customers get a lower priority than postpaid customers. What that translates to speed wise, I’m not sure anyone but ATT network managers know.

 

Does AT&T give it's postpaid customers first priority and if so does this have a significant impact on the quality of prepaid service? See above.

 

Are there many dropped calls with prepaid? Don’t know.

 

If you do try prepaid and find you don't have good coverage with it is it easy to switch back to postpaid? Switching back is possible, don’t know how easy, though.

 

I'm concerned because the fine print states that once you activate a prepaid phone you can only use it with prepaid plans so how would I be able to switch back to postpaid if I had to? Any phone you use on prepaid will also work on postpaid.

 

Because of this caveat is it better to purchase my own unlocked phone through ebay and use it? Personal choice. Just be aware that those postpaid features such as HD Voice and WiFi calling ate only supported on ATT branded phones, except iPhones.

 


 

*The views and opinions expressed on this forum are purely my own. Any product claim, statistic, quote, or other representation about a product or service should be verified with the manufacturer, provider, or party.
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Message 2 of 9
Contributor

Re: Coverage comparison between postpaid and prepaid plans

Thank you. I really appreciate your input. Do you have a prepaid plan? If
so have you been happy with it or do you know anyone who has one who is
happy with it?
Message 3 of 9

Re: Coverage comparison between postpaid and prepaid plans

My husband and I had prepaid for roughly 5 years as well as 4 of our kids. He was Military and it never seemed like a good idea to get into a contract situation with a phone company! Anyways, we never had any issues with connectivity, web, or any type of data uploads or downloads UNLESS we were out in the woods, mountains or places like that. I loved it. Now we are on postpaid and still have no issues what so ever.

Message 4 of 9
Contributor

Re: Coverage comparison between postpaid and prepaid plans

If the above answers are correct regarding prepaid plans using AT&T towers only with no ability to force a roaming situation, and no option to use wifi for other services like SMS messaging, then prepaid has some issues. There is also no online chat support for prepaid services. I'm currently in a part of the US with no AT&T tower. My prepaid AT&T phone won't roam. I have access to wifi off a Verizon hotspot. I could get by for a few days with the Messages App on a tablet over wifi, but AT&T sends the PIN to verify identity to your phone on their network, which obviously won't help me.  

 

I may be able to call AT&T on a borrowed phone, on the Verizon network, to verify my identity, to get a PIN, to at least access my texts. Maybe.

Message 5 of 9
ACE - Sage

Re: Coverage comparison between postpaid and prepaid plans

@superdiff

Nope.  Pin is sent by text to your phone only.  

You will have to relocate to have access.

 FYI....  Verizon prepaid has WiFi talk and text.  They also have a double data promotion.  I got the $60 plan with 20 gigs

 

(The following is included after all posts to save typing) I don’t work for AT&T. My replies are based on experience and reading content available on the website. Our answers are honest, but not always appreciated. If you posted personal information, please edit and remove.
*The views and opinions expressed on this forum are purely my own. Any product claim, statistic, quote, or other representation about a product or service should be verified with the manufacturer, provider, or party.
Message 6 of 9
Tutor

Re: Coverage comparison between postpaid and prepaid plans

Also be aware that prepaid customers can not use VoLTE, only HSPA.  HSPA does not have the same coverage footprint as LTE so there are areas where one can experience a strong LTE signal and yet not be able to place a voice call because there is no usable HSPA signal.  My home is in one of these areas.

 

Message 7 of 9
Contributor

Re: Coverage comparison between postpaid and prepaid plans

I’m also having this issue on prepaid. I’m not recieving incoming calls... I have full bars HSPA and I have good LTE. Anywhere from 1 to 4 bars. Sometimes it seems like my phone switches towers and possibly there is no HSPA on one of them, causing calls not to come through on the network. Someone with postpaid has the same service and switching of signal, but remains on LTE for calls and there are none amiss. AT&T simply refuses to provision prepaid accounts for proper voice communication, resulting in failed and missed calls as HSPA degrades. I’m just hoping no emergency calls are missed or work calls. I tell everyone to leave a voicemail. Kind of messed up for being the second wireless carrier... Verizon is sounding better 

Message 8 of 9
ACE - Sage

Re: Coverage comparison between postpaid and prepaid plans

@bkehrer

At&t has no inventive to improve if customers use and pay for a sunstandard service.   Verizon Prepaid has voLTE and Wifi calling as long as you have a compatible device (iPhone or Verizon android)

 

(The following is included after all posts to save typing) I don’t work for AT&T. My replies are based on experience and reading content available on the website. Our answers are honest, but not always appreciated. If you posted personal information, please edit and remove.
*The views and opinions expressed on this forum are purely my own. Any product claim, statistic, quote, or other representation about a product or service should be verified with the manufacturer, provider, or party.
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