AT&T Solavei Considerations
I put this post together for reference. I want people to refer to it when I post a deal on an AT&T device, for example.
Here’s the story:
Solavei is what’s called an MVNO; ‘mobile network operator’. We operate on the same towers as AT&T and T-Mobile through a lease/contract whatever you want to call it. T-Mobile is our primary network, and roaming is included on AT&T for no extra cost.
T-Mobile devices work the best for now, but here’s the info on using AT&T devices on Solavei.
2G/EDGE Data speeds:
AT&T and T-Mobile are compatible across the board on 2G data/calls/and text with some minor technical differences. You will always have 2G data/talk/text on either network. Mail, maps, and other things that save previously used data and don’t use a lot of data will work fine. Streaming video will not be good. Streaming audio will work for things like talk. Music won’t sound so great when streaming. You can always use WiFi if the data experience isn’t as you’d like. 2G is the data speed the original iPhone was. It’s about like low speed DSL to a little more, like maybe 1.5 times a low speed DSL line depending on conditions.
3G/4G Data speeds:
I’m combining these because if you have one of them on an AT&T device, your area should have the other. If your area has it, your device will determine the highest speed. So it would be your phone and not the network. A good example would be an iPhone 3GS which has a low upload speed. It’s the phone, and not the network. The iPhone 4 has faster data, and so on.
3G and 4G data on AT&T and T-Mobile have not been compatible until recently due to different radio frequencies. So now it makes good financial sense to consider using an AT&T device on Solavei. You can check the unofficial map here at airportal.de to see user reports.
Most places should be done I think by the summer of 2013 if not sooner. Many major metro areas are nearing completion.
LTE is the cable modem of wireless internet. This is already turned on in some places on Solavei/T-Mobile. I heard from a little birdie that Houston has operating LTE on T-Mobile but the devices aren’t out there yet. I have an AT&T device that is unlocked with LTE so rest assured I will report on that.
So to sum, if you don’t need high speed mobile data much, or use WiFi most of the time, you’re good either way. My sister reports her AT&T iPhone is a much better phone after signing up vs. when she was on AT&T. Imagine, a phone as a phone!
If you want or need higher mobile data speed, check the map before considering an AT&T device on Solavei.
Questions? Comments? Shoot me a question from my about.me page.
You can always enroll and try Solavei for a month to see if you like it.