Monday, April 16, 2018

Pace Cellular Becomes Kaptel Wireless & Disappears

Last year we reported on one of the best-kept wireless secrets about cellular carries that shut down their own network and start offering one of the Top 4 network products as their own.  While we prefer wireless companies that keep their own network going, this is a better choice than just turning out the lights and going away.  These carriers who re-sell products of the larger networks often provide a more local and  personal customer service than the major networks can from a far-away call center.  This often means the wireless user get a better network but still does business with a local company.


Most recently we discovered that Pace Cellular of Louisiana changed their name to Kaptel Wireless, similar to their parent telecom, Kaplan Telephone Company.  We lost Pace as an independent network operator before the name change but Pace was a marginal carrier and now Kaplan customers will have access to a much better wireless product, with a local face.  Pace has not reported what has become of their own wireless spectrum but I'm sure it's buried in the FCC records if someone wants to look.

Friday, April 13, 2018

Unlimited Data for a Buck!

We've been giving credit to Sprint for coming up with some wild promotions which are actually a good deal on a good performing network.  Another wild plan from the same corporate headquarters is Virgin Mobile's $1 for 6 months Unlimited promotion.  You can buy one of their iPhones...because that's all they sell...or you can bring your own compatible phone and get the same plan.  At the end of the 6 months you switch to their $50 Unlimited plan...it's the only plan the have...which is a good enough deal for a single line.


While Virgin needs to do something to get noticed after sleeping for the last few years, this is a nice wake up call, especially if you think you really need an Unlimited plan.  I found out certain members of my family were looking for a way to resurrect their old iPhone and this just may be the ticket.  We also gotta tell you we get a commission on Virgin Mobile purchases made from this page, however, we did not get paid for this article.  Got it?

Wednesday, April 11, 2018

Oh No, Sprint & T-Mobile Talk Again!

The T-Mobile and Sprint zombie that was hoped to be dead is once again alive!  You've probably heard this already and Mike Dano at Fierce Wireless offers a good explanation of why this is happening, and why now.  We agree that Sprint needs to be rescued, just not by T-Mobile.  The spectre of only 3 major carriers in the US is horrifying.  Yes, the new demands of spectrum and rising competition make the wireless world more complicated, but no matter how much we are told, "Bigger is Better," we still have no reason to believe it.


Just look at our neighbor to the north.  Canadian wireless users has cried for years about high prices. Their national government tried to expand the spectrum available, only to have what few new carriers appeared, be gobbled up by their Big 3.  Don't drink the Kool-Aid!  Make some noise.  The few visitors to this and similar sites may be the only ones who know the devil lurking just behind the "Bigger is Better" smoke screen.  All we need is a white knight with deep pockets, or an overwhelming amount of common sense at the federal government level.  We've been surprised before.  Is the man behind the curtain about to speak?

Friday, March 16, 2018

Voice Mail Back Doors Closing?

Last year I got a phone call from a party who wanted all of the possible "Back Door" voice mail numbers, as if we were not showing all of them on our Back Door Voice Mail number list.  He mentioned a "bulk" use of these numbers.  I gave him nothing.  I realized he wanted to spam every number that was available through these Back Door numbers, and could easily do so with just the information on our web pages.  I found the method for this to happen and realized how it will go down. And go down it did.

Recently I was alerted that many of the remaining voice mail access numbers no longer offer the option, "To leave a message for another subscriber, enter their number." Fortunately, the function still works on some of the numbers regardless of the lack of the prompt. How long before the spammers cause the entire Back Door to close?


Many of these numbers were used for callers to contact a mobile customer who was roaming outside their home area...what an ancient concept. As a result, the wireless companies have been slowly retiring these numbers, with a few disappearing every few months. Then we would receive the wrath from those customers wanting to know why their number was published on our site.

This explains how spam messages appear in your voice mail box without hearing the phone ring. It's another technical function now used for evil instead of for good. We will keep the numbers posted until they have been reassigned.


Thursday, March 1, 2018

Northwest Missouri Cellular Name Change

Northwest Missouri Cellular...whew, not a very snappy name, eh?  Well, 2 good things have happened.  They have shortened the name to NorthwestCell, bringing to mind green forests and rainy days.  But it's not Seattle, it's Missouri.

The other good news is that when a company goes to the trouble and expense of a name change, it means they are willing to invest in other parts of their operation as well.  NorthwestCell appears to have finally upgraded their entire network to 4G - LTE.  Otherwise, not much else seemed to have changed. They still maintain a large selection of plans that still seem to be a bit overpriced.  Fortunately, their coverage is excellent.


Bravado Wireless of rural Oklahoma changed their name last year and with the change came quite a few improvements in their plan structure.   Customers get excited at something new but if they eventually find the same old tired product, they may feel cheated.  And cheated customers rarely return.   We're hoping that NorthwestCell at least applies a nice new coat of paint to their stores...if they still have any.

Tuesday, January 30, 2018

Focus on America's Small Carriers

A few years ago there were well over a hundred wireless carriers in the US.  Today that number is closer to 70.  Most of those networks are now in survival mode and we're here to make sure their story gets told.  Most of us are familiar with the Top 4 cellular companies.  Our objective at Mountain Wireless is to help the other 66 networks rise up in our collective conscience.  Very few of them involve a sacrifice in products or services.  Some have better prices than the major carriers and some have much better customer service.  They just need to get noticed.


Before you jump from one of the Top 4 to another, consult our Local Reviews page and see if one of these smaller-but-better carriers serves your neighborhood.  We host a narrative of what's available based on location, including how they compare with the major wireless companies.

We would also like to send a heads-up to those smaller carriers that it's time to consider a hook-up with a neighboring carrier instead of selling out to one of the majors.  Yes, they're the ones who have the cash to at least help the exiting owner catch up on his bills on the way out the door, but we'd rather see some holding of hands, a little singing of Kumbaya and maybe yield a new top 10 carrier.  It wouldn't take much.

Thursday, January 18, 2018

And Then Sprint Dropped to FREE

We've given much exposure to Sprint's plans lately and how users with their old cheap promotions need to convert to something else to continue saving.  Zowee, then Sprint resurrects their "1 Year FREE" promotion.


FREE isn't good enough for some people, but it's good enough for us.  This time we will talk about Sprint's FREE plans.

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

ClearTalk Sells Last Piece to Boost

ClearTalk, a scrappy CDMA network that started in small town USA, has been selling off bits and pieces of their network to Sprint over several years.  The last part of ClearTalk, located in Arizona, California, New Mexico and Texas has finally been taken over by Sprint and will be integrated with their Boost Mobile product. By the end of February, Cleartalk will disappear and their stores will become Boost Mobile stores.  In the past, that has also meant some stores will close.


Cleartalk's local networks were so small the local store pretty much bragged about how you'll get "nationwide" coverage, which means they expected you to be roaming a significant amount of time on Sprint's network.  ClearTalk phones should work in the future as Boost phones.  We can't find anyone who knows whether or not the ClearTalk network will be integrated into Sprint's network, but we expect them to only keep operating if there isn't a Sprint site in the area.

Monday, January 15, 2018

Sprint's Really Good Deal-If You're Family

Last we noted that Sprint's Half-Off plans were expiring and that some alternatives were a bit cheaper than Sprint's current plans.  There's always a Sprint fan out there to remind us that Sprint does offer some outstanding prices...if you qualify.  How to qualify?  Go have kids.  Or better, get a group of friends and family together and go in for a Sprint "family" plan.  If you get 2 lines of service, the price comes out to $100, and they'll throw in the 3rd, 4th and 5th line for FREE!

Why doesn't Sprint advertise the fact that this is a $20 per line plan?  I'll tell you why.  This sets the precedent that customers will then expect more $20 per month plans, and no carrier wants to go down that path.  Even though that's where we're heading, anyway, no carrier wants to be accused of what our elders call "pissing in the whiskey."


Fortunately, most carriers are pretty loose about defining "family", so round up your homeys, they don't even need to be in the same state, and start singing, "We are family..."  No need to plan Thanksgiving dinner together...just call.