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help me make the switch


Apr 14, 2011
Ok, after months and months of waiting, my young lady-friend will be making the switch from verizon to a prepaid carrier. I am currently a cricket customer, and although I'm considering the switch to vm myself, I'm using my girlfriends intentions to switch as an experiment.


1. Her primary focus is the actual phone itself. She is already sold on the monthly rates, but is curious about the handset options. I have done a little research, and have come to the opinion that for the money ($200), the galaxy s2 is hard to beat. Am I wrong on this notion? I understand the gs3 is a better phone, but a $400 price tag is a bit much (considering her current phone is destroyed in a manner Thor himself would approve of).

2. While I am a cricket mobile user, I do use VM's mobile broadband. I am relatively happy with it. My question is such. Can I expect the same data speeds/performance from the handset? I have good coverage at my home, and want to make sure that the phone itself will compare.

3. How easy is it to switch from any carrier to VM? (basically, how easy is it to keep the same number and what information do we need to get from Verizon to do so).

4. Is there any difference with VM's version of the gs2 when compared to other carrier's gs2's in regards to cases? She will have a case, preferably otterbox. When looking at the otterbox website, I see 3 different models to choose from, and I need to make sure I purchase the correct one. (Sites-otterbox_us-Site)

Any help/input on this subject would be greatly appreciated. I should apologize if this information is buried elsewhere in the forum, and I couldn't find it.

Thank you
Okay, I will take a stab at this. Please note that a lot of this is MY OPINION of the situation based on a combination of what I have learned, and trying to read some tea leaves.

Sprint, the owner of Virgin Mobile and Boost Mobile, is in the process of extensively upgrading its network infrastructure (i.e. towers) to 4G LTE, and should have most of this completed WELL before the end of 2014. The current Wimax network (3G/4G) will not be expanded or upgraded, and will only be maintained as needed.

Here is a site that has some up to date service maps. Note that Sprint's 4G is the new 4G LTE and the Wimax is the current/original 3G/4G service.

Coverage Maps | Sensorly

It appears that all of the newer high end phones now being introduced by Virgin Mobile will be 4G LTE, not Wimax 4G. Bye Bye Wimax.

1. The Galaxy S3 is 4G LTE which means it may not be able to utilize the 4G LTE network immediately, depending on the location of where it is being used. My understanding is that it does not have 4G Wimax, but does have 3G Wimax. The Galaxy S2 does have 4G Wimax. If you plan on having the phone longer than a year or so, the Galaxy S3 is the way to go and it will grow into the nework. If not, the Galaxy S2 is a great value to get 4G service on the Wimax network.

2. I do not personally know how well a phone delivers hotspot data, but I would think it would be the same as the broadband to go service.

3. Virgin Mobile should be willing to port a cell phone number from another carrier without too much trouble. From personal experience, getting them to port a land-line number is almost impossible. DO NOT cancel your current cell phone service until AFTER the number has been ported to Virgin Mobile, or whatever new carrier you choose. I think all you need is the phone and its number that you are trying to port from. It depends if you are trying to do it in a store or by calling Virgin Mobile. I would recommend doing it in a store such as Radio Shack or Best Buy.

4. I believe the Virgin Mobile Galaxy S2 is the same size as other carriers' S2's You may want to check the specs on Virgin Mobile's website.

I like Virgin Mobile. As with any carrier, service may be spotty, depending on where you use the phone. Virgin (and Boost) Mobile will always provide service and phones below Sprint's contract customers. I believe this to be true of how all carriers treat their prepaid service. The good thing about prepaid service is that you can leave at any time. The bad thing is (with Virgin Mobile, at least) that you cannot take a phone you now own to another carrier.

I hope this helps and Good Luck!
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Just a small correction, Wimax is Sprint's original "4G", released prior to LTE becoming available. It allowed Sprint to be the first mobile provider to have "4G" but has hurt, long term, as they are far behind AT&T and Verizon in introducing LTE. 3G has nothing to do with Wimax, rather it is a CDMA standard.

LTE is pretty much better in every way than Wimax. The best way to think about it is that Wimax is 3.5G and LTE is 4G. Beyond Wimax not being as fast, it doesn't always work well in the cities that have it; for example, I could not get Wimax in the areas I need my phone, despite living in a city with Wimax. Sprint's contract with Clearwire, that provides Wimax service, ends in 2015 -- at that point I expect Wimax to no longer be available.
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Thank you all for the information. I do apologize for the delayed response, but rest assured, I am taking this information to heart.

The S3 is also on sale right now at $339, if you buy it from the Virgin Mobile website. There is also a $70 credit on your account for new users. Virgin's 3G speeds are terrible in many cities, so I'd definitely recommend an LTE phone like the S3.
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The Virgin Mobile version of the S2 is identical to the Sprint Epic 4G Touch, unlike most others that have a 4.3" Amoled screen with pentile it has a 4.5 Super Amoled Plus with RGB, also has the camera horizontal instead of vertical, slightly larger battery, so you need to make sure that you get the right accessories. :D
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