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Does anyone know whose towers TracPhone uses??

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OmahaBlueDog Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Mar-29-09 09:41 PM
Original message
Does anyone know whose towers TracPhone uses??
I'm looking at their coverage area and I can't figure it out.
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Lyric Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Mar-29-09 09:44 PM
Response to Original message
1. They buy bandwidth (?) from lots of different carriers.
It really depends on who your local cellular carriers are. In our town, there are Tracfones with Cellular One numbers, Ntelos numbers, Sprint, Verizon, and lots in between.
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Critters2 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Mar-29-09 09:44 PM
Response to Original message
2. They contract with different companies in different areas.
My first cell phone was a Tracfone. In Iowa, they used US Cellular towers. My folks lived in a US Cell deadzone, but I still got service there. I think they used Sprint there.

I now have a phone through a small local company that mostly contracts with Alltel, but with other companies where there's no Alltel service.
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Orrex Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Mar-29-09 10:10 PM
Response to Original message
3. They use roving transceivers
Piggy-backed on secret satellites and silent black helicopters.


Now quit asking questions before you get us all killed.
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OmahaBlueDog Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Mar-29-09 10:12 PM
Response to Reply #3
4. Mrs. OBD neds a phone for a cash deal - repeat - a cash deal
It needs to be completely untraceable.


Actually, we're just sick of paying for a 450 min @ 39.99 ($52 w/tax) when -- at best -- she uses 150 minutes in a month.
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Orrex Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Mar-29-09 10:15 PM
Response to Reply #4
5. Well, you didn't hear it from me, but...
I've had a TracFone for about three years with no complaints at all. I got it for emergency use, and although there's been some "mission creep," I still don't use it all that much, but it's never failed me. I have good signal availability, and for my purposes the price is right.

And it's also good for untraceable cash deals, but you have to be careful to use cash when you buy your PIN cards from a Dollar Store, and then activate the TracFone via a payphone or the like. Otherwise they can easily track you from your internet transaction.


But, as I say, you didn't hear it from me.
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OmahaBlueDog Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Mar-29-09 10:22 PM
Response to Reply #5
7. Mrs. OBD is part of the secret, left-wing agenda talking points network
Edited on Sun Mar-29-09 10:23 PM by OmahaBlueDog
Every day, she will call into the super secret talking points telecon, the phone number of which changes weekly.

Your information on the cost and reliability of TracPhones has made the start of her plan possible. She will soon start a parallel plan to stop nedlesssly paying her carrier hundreds of dollars per year.

Plot within a plot -- older daughter may get a much desired phone out of this deal.

Now, if you'll excuse me, I will sip a latte, and go back to watching "Sicko".
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FloridaJudy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Mar-29-09 10:20 PM
Response to Original message
6. I had a TracPhone for years
Since I rarely used it, it was a good deal. During one of our major hurricanes, mine was the only phone that still worked, though my colleagues all had pricey contracts. So whatever they're using - it works.

I switched to CREDO when my land line went bad. So far, that's worked well too.
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OmahaBlueDog Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Mar-29-09 10:50 PM
Response to Reply #6
8. Wow!
I remember we had no coverage after Wilma.

As I said above, we're looking to get out from under a needless $52/month bill and (maybe) get my daughter a phone. Mrs. OBD has a 450 min/month plan (the lowest offered by her provider) and she uses an average of like 80 minutes a month.

We looked at Verizon prepaid (too gimmicky), Virgin (love the plans, but she hates the phone choices). ATT coverage is horrid by our house. TracPhone is increasingly looking like a winner.
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mwooldri Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-30-09 02:28 AM
Response to Original message
9. Depends on the hardware of the phone.
As others posted upthread, Tracfone contracts with a number of companies. However if the phone is a CDMA based one then it's likely to be Sprint's network but it will roam with others. If it's GSM, then AT&T and T-Mobile are your carriers (yep, both of them).

One way to make sure: go to Tracfone's site and go through to look at the phones to purchase. It will ask you for your zip code and then affirm that you are going to use the phone in that area zip code. If I enter my home in Greensboro I get GSM phones (i.e. I'll be on AT&T or T-Mobile). If I enter Ocracoke, I get CDMA phones (because believe it or not there's no GSM phone service on the island, only CDMA (I think Alltel) so they sell you a phone that will work in that area.

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OmahaBlueDog Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-30-09 08:31 AM
Response to Reply #9
14. Stupid question - How do I tell which kind of phone it is?
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mwooldri Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-30-09 10:53 AM
Response to Reply #14
19. One site that can help is phonescoop.com
they list lots of phones - present and discontinued - their specs and everything. They'll also state what phone networks use the phone. If they say AT&T or T-Mobile - GSM. If they say Verizon, Sprint, Alltel - CDMA.

If they don't have it then google can help if you key in the make/model.
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blogslut Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-30-09 04:37 AM
Response to Original message
10. Been using TracFones since 2001
Edited on Mon Mar-30-09 04:39 AM by blogslut
I love the service. I mostly use it to call or text blogslut jr. We text - a lot. That's cool because a text message costs less than one unit/minute. I recently got a new Motorola model that has a camera and can do a bunch more stuff than the last one I bought. Blogslut jr's grandma put her on their cell-phone plan but I have no trouble sending her text messages and the occasional photo I've taken.

Here's the model:



It's a Motorola Motorola W376g. Tracfone is currently offering this one with DOUBLE MINUTES FOR LIFE. Meaning that I can buy a 60 minute card for $20.00 but I get 120 minutes of usage.

EDIT ADD: The phone cost $29.99 but Tracfone offers lesser and higher priced models.
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OmahaBlueDog Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-30-09 08:30 AM
Response to Reply #10
13. Thanks - that's actually the exact phone we're looking at
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blogslut Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-30-09 08:37 AM
Response to Reply #13
15. I love it
It's like a RAZR but smaller in diameter. It has speaker phone, FM radio (requires cellphone headphones), caller ID and cute little blinking icons on the outside when you get a call or text message. The only problem I have with it is that the web button is close to the SEND button and it's too easy to accidentally push the web button. Connecting to the net costs something like 7 units per minute, so that little mistake can add up.

You can go online and download extra ringtones and wallpaper and stuff if you want. Me, I just take a photo of an image with my phone and save it as wallpaper.

:)
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Angel Donating Member (423 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-30-09 11:25 AM
Response to Reply #10
21. I have the same phone model
I use Net10. $20 buys 200 minutes a month. Oddly Net10 is affiliated with TracFone but their minutes are cheaper. The coverage with Net10 is the same as with TracFone. I've never lost coverage with mine either.
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Phoebe Loosinhouse Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-30-09 06:37 AM
Response to Original message
11. I used TracPhone a few years ago and thought they were great!
Extremely cheap and controllable costs and their customer service was also excellent. The ONLY thing that I didn't care for was that you had to dial the area code for ALL calls, even local ones. That might have changed by now.
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blogslut Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-30-09 06:52 AM
Response to Reply #11
12. That has not changed
It is a bit of a pain, but only for those numbers that aren't programmed into my phone book.
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TreasonousBastard Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-30-09 08:38 AM
Response to Reply #11
16. On mine it's changed. I don't have to dial the area code for..
local calls in my code.

Howsumever, sometimes they run out of numbers in an area and you have to get the next areas code over, and while it doesn't affect the cost, it does mean you have to keep dialing the code.

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blogslut Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-30-09 08:45 AM
Response to Reply #16
18. I guess it has to do with the area of the country
It's really not a big deal, compared to the advantages of the phone/service.
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Critters2 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-30-09 11:05 AM
Response to Reply #11
20. We have to do that here with all phones--landlines, cells, everything.
A couple of years ago, they ran out of numbers for our area code, and instead of splitting the area code geographically, they just assign a new area code as new numbers come on line. Which means we have always have to dial area codes.
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TreasonousBastard Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-30-09 08:43 AM
Response to Original message
17. Out here they use Verizon, but I know that because...
once in a while there's an error message from Verizon when calling the phone. As other people said, they rent space from a lot of carriers, so it depends where you are.

FWIW, I got rid of my Verizon phone a while ago when I didn't need it for the job and did need to save the 70-80 bucks a month it was costing me. The TracFone is perfect for my needs now-- I drop 20-30 bucks on a card every couple of months, and the phone works as well as anyone else's.





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