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first world problems - the phone number porting process continues to confuse me

04 Dec 2013

2013-12-04 00:16:07 -0600

Day 2. I still have no firm clue what is going on.

However, when I did the check activation thing today, instead of returning a broken image, it returned an overlay that said I needed to setup a payment method... and gave me absolutely no way to do that. The overlay was also grayed out somewhat, so I assume something is still jacked.

I wondered though if this meant the porting process was complete.

I tried my old phone and immediately got excited when it failed to make the call over wifi (this is Republic Wireless). It auto-switched to cell service after the failure, and the cell call went through. Then I tried again, and this time the wifi call worked. So then my hopes that the port was complete were dashed.

Next, I tried logging into my Virgin Mobile account (attempts yesterday were greeted with messages about it being an invalid account).

Finally, I did get to see something that wanting me to setup payment and actually let me set it up.

I also separate setup the auto-pay option so that I could get the $5/mo discount.

So I'm presuming at this point that things will magically start working once the port happens. However, this makes me wonder what would've happened if I didn't have a payment method on file.

Based on random things I've read, I think I would've gotten a text from customer service on the new phone once the port was complete. And presumably that text would've told me that I needed to make a payment. I'm just guessing.

Meanwhile the only email I have seen was after I setup auto pay. Otherwise, I feel I've been left completely in the dark.

And on a related note, I'm wondering if it might be a good idea to just keep the tethering I have on my iPad rather than doing a tethering plan on Virgin Mobile.

First, I have LTE tethering on the tablet. My iPhone 4 only supports 3g. Ironically (or not), when you get slapped on the wrist for exceeding bandwidth, you get 3g speeds. I wouldn't even know the difference.

I would need an iPhone 5 or newer in order to get LTE tethering.

Second, CDMA networks still have the problem of not being able to do data and voice at the same time. Apparently most manufacturers address this by having two radios in the phone, but the iPhone doesn't have this. So of course, if I keep my iPad tethering plan then I can always reach for my iPad if I need to use data while I'm on a call.

Frankly, I have no idea what happens in the reverse situation (you're using data, but someone calls you). Does the person calling you go straight to voicemail? Would you know immediately that you got a voicemail? I think visual voicemail stuff goes over data, so maybe you would. It would be interesting to test.

So yeah.

The downsides are that I'd continue to always have to take my iPad with me and I'd spend $5 more/month. That and the bandwidth would actually be greater than my iPad plan. It would be 3.5 gig and then throttled to 3g speeds. If I understand correctly, my iPad plan is 1 gig and then that's it. No slower speeds, I just have to pay for more.

Frankly though, the sort of tethering stuff I do generally tends to be ssh and light surfing. Now, if I had 3.5 gig to waste, maybe I'd abuse it more. But I'm always paranoid that there's going to be another home internet outage or some other reason why I suddenly need all of my available bandwidth, and then I'll really wish that I hadn't wasted so much of it. Again, first world problems.

Of course, all of this is moot for now.

Ya know, until next week some time when the port finally flipping completes.