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  1. #1
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    What am I paying for?

    I live out in the middle of nowhere. There is no cell phone service unless you have a contract with a premium carrier. However, some people down here are having luck with Cricket's equivalent of "roaming". Been poking around the internet and I'd like to try to get service.

    I have 2 options:
    1. Find a way to get 70 miles away to the closest dealer on foot.

    2. Get a phone and flash it myself.

    #1 is expensive and time consuming for sure. What I don't know is how much of option 2 I can do mysef. I am familiar with the process of instaling custom software and I'm not afraid to get my hands dirty. But I still have a couple reservations about the process.

    a) Phone that I want
    I'd like to get an Xperia Play so that if / when they kick me off the network for extended network use, it still has a gamepad and whatever emulators I can throw on it. However, if flashing it becomes problematic or expensive I'll have to go to the dealer to buy a phone.

    b) Activation cost
    Whatever phone I find on ebay is likely to have a bad ESN. Also, I'm not sure all the network information for the conversion process is publicly avalible. I've seen it's $40-$50 to have someone flash your phone, but I can do it myself if I can just get the information. If someone could clear up this process for me and let me know how I can get this part done as cheaply as possible, that would be helpful.

    c) travel
    I'm probably going to have to travel at least 30 miles to get on "non-extended" network for activation. If anyone could tell me if a flashed phone on to a new account takes a store visit or if it can be done from a payphone, it would help me out a lot. If I have to pay someone to flash the phone and visit the store in town anyway, I might as well have them do it.

    It's been a strugle to try and get affordable service down here. But with your help, I might just get there.

    Thanks

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  3. #2
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    i suggest poking around the forums a little more before you continue. 'roaming' costs $5 per 30 minutes of talk time on the 'cricket monthly unlimited plans'. not all devices can be flashed to cricket and you will need a cricket account before you even flash the phone. have you visited
    Cell Phone Plans | Cell Phones | Mobile Broadband | Cricket Wireless


    yet? they may offer you the 'pay as you go' also known as 'pay-go' plans that do not have roaming but might have coverage in your area.


  4. #3
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    It's not the pay roaming yet but if enough people out here start using it, it's probably going to turn out that way. The company who set up the tower did it to rape the telcom companies. US Cellular and Altell yank the service of anyone who is down here using their phone for too long. As it stands right now, roaming does not cost anything but we are definatly outside the regular network for Cricket. However CDMA is going to be part of a wireless data network set up by Homeland Security / Recovery Act coming once they get all the contracts and money cleared. Xperia Play is definatly compatible. And sience I know it helps, I'll find one advertised with a clear ESN.


    wireless coverage maps | Cricket Wireless




    Last edited by Prinny; 03-24-2012 at 05:15 PM.

  5. #4
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    well, i have no clear idea what you're talking about. from the zip code provided i see you are outside of a cricket core network area. i could not sell you service from my cricket store because you must reside in a cricket core network area to receive the unlimited monthly plans.

    "Off-Network Usage: The primary use of your Device must be for domestic purposes within the Cricket-owned network. Cricket reserves the right, without notice, to deny, terminate, modify, disconnect or suspend service if more than 50% of your voice and/or data usage in on a Partner network. The display on your device may not always be on and will not indicate whether you are on a Partner network or roaming. Cricket may limit or terminate service if you no longer live and have a mailing address within a Cricket owned-network area."


    Cricket® Terms and Conditions of Service | Cricket Wireless





  6. #5
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    I know it's in the TOS, but a couple people down here are doing it already. That's also why I want the nifty phone in case it all goes wrong I still have a half way decent toy instead of a mini tablet. So do I have to buy a phone from them to start an account anyway? Or is this something that can fixed by having the flasher in town set up my account?

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    I wouldn't recommend using Cricket if you're not in a Cricket market. Cricket provides services in areas where they have towers and in other areas they sell service using Sprint's network. If you type in your zip code on Cricket's website, and service isn't available at all, that would mean you'd be on Verizon roaming, which costs money as mentioned earlier in this thread.

    If Cricket doesn't work for you, I'm sure there are other alternatives. I really wouldn't recommend trying to find a way around it because it's just going to cost Cricket more money, which other users will end up needing to pay for in the end. It's just like when people steal, the prices go up.

  8. #7
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    There is nothing else out here except premium providers and I'm not able to pay $100/mo for service. $55 is pushing it, but I need a phone to function in society and there is no more room for land lines at the exchange and that's if you can afford to have them run a line. Which I can't anyway. I'll probably get by with this for a while at least. If I can make this work anyone want to give me a job so I can aford to move? --;

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    Quote Originally Posted by Prinny View Post
    There is nothing else out here except premium providers and I'm not able to pay $100/mo for service. $55 is pushing it, but I need a phone to function in society and there is no more room for land lines at the exchange and that's if you can afford to have them run a line. Which I can't anyway. I'll probably get by with this for a while at least. If I can make this work anyone want to give me a job so I can aford to move? --;
    I sent you a PM with information on a provider that might work for you.

    Do those "premium providers" offer prepaid service? Most carriers do have prepaid now.

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    None of the cheap / pre paid plans will connect to the tower on any network.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Prinny View Post
    None of the cheap / pre paid plans will connect to the tower on any network.
    I think I found a solution for you. We can keep that discussion to PM.

    Cricket Wireless isn't going to work for you in your area, but hopefully you can get something else set up without the worry of getting disconnected.

  12. #11
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    It's about the same as Cricket. I'll give it a shot and see how long it takes for them to get rid of me. Will probably end up on Cricket and several others by the time this is all over.

  13. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Prinny View Post
    It's about the same as Cricket. I'll give it a shot and see how long it takes for them to get rid of me. Will probably end up on Cricket and several others by the time this is all over.
    You can try it out on a basic phone to start to see how it works. If it doesn't show a roaming indicator, you should be fine. Do you have an old Verizon Wireless phone laying around? If so, activate it on the provider I mentioned and see if it works.

  14. #13
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    Allright, been mulling through information and this is what I got. I have confirmed that I am on network for NO PROVIDER THAT OPPERATES IN ARIZONA. Not Cricket, not Verizon, not Page Plus, NO ONE. What's even worse is that the default provider for *228 is something called Choice Wireless that is opperated by Commnet but does not have any MIN/MDN setup for Arizona. They only have stuff for New Mexico and Nevada. I am screwed. I can not get service from anyone legitimatly.

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    That's one thing that really sucks about living out in the boonies... you may be able to get the MVNO Sprint coverage out there if you get one of the pre-paid phones from a place like Best Buy or Amazon.com (The cricket coverage maps have your ZIP code listed as "partner network" coverage, which is generally available what they call "Network 2" customers that are outside their normal service area). But as far as I know there is no way to use flashed phones in this way

  16. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kirby9058 View Post
    you may be able to get the MVNO Sprint coverage out there if you get one of the pre-paid phones from a place like Best Buy or Amazon.com
    Quote Originally Posted by Prinny View Post
    None of the cheap / pre paid plans will connect to the tower on any network.
    And it's not about having a flashed phone. It's about Having a plan that sees the tower as an OK place to be. There are no providers that do this. Roaming on premium plans is the only thing that works out here. Page Plus just turned off the pay-go that was charging me excessive roaming fees that would have made the price unsustainable anyway.


    The Roaming Zone-System ID (SID) List


    +
    OpenSignalMaps Android App


    = good way to tell what network you're on. From there it's a matter of finding a provider that likes that SID.




 

 

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