How do you get your Verizon SIM to connect to LTE without active service? Mine will only connect to CDMA. Pixel 2 can do NSG, but Pixels require a licensed/pay copy of NSG to band lock. Other phones supposedly don't. Google disables Qualcomm diagnostic mode, so NSG has to jump through some hoops to get it working. On the 4 they don't even include the driver for it, and you have to flash the userdebug vendor image every month. Pixels are fantastic for NSG and logging, except if you need to band lock and don't have a license. No other way to lock bands. A lot of people in the NSG community really like one plus phones. They support a lot of bands, and play well with NSG. But I'm not sure how good Sprint support is with their older models (ie CDMA). If band locking isn't super important to you, you could get a Pixel 3a since they're on sale. They support dual SIM, so you can log on two networks at once with Cellmapper. SCP doesn't support dual SIM yet, and seems to report data for the active data SIM. Neighbors will show both SIMs though usually. Sent from my Pixel 4 XL using Tapatalk
Wifi calling uses your internet connection to route just the the call, not SMS or MMS (thanks Sprint....). VoLTE uses the carrier's LTE data connection to route the call and allows for SMS and MMS at the same time. When on a wifi call, you can still receive SMS and MMS but not if you have a shit cell signal (doesn't even matter if you are on a call or not, with a shit signal you will still have trouble anyway). The Pebble is used to boost your cell signal so your SMS and MMS will be more reliable (and your LTE data connection). For actual internet use, you are correct, you can just use your wifi.
Femtocell for the Home
For the consumer, Femtocells can be used to transform an already existing internet connection into useable cellular service. It may sound counter-intuitive, but there are many people in the United States who have access to high-speed broadband but who are unable to make phone calls from anywhere inside their home, and for people facing that situation, femtocell technology may be their best option.
Here’s why: Femtocells operate like a tiny cellular base station, literally tiny, at about the size of a cordless phone’s base station, and can be easily attached to your home internet network modem. The Femtocell then transforms your home broadband connection into a usable cellular signal that can be used to make phone calls and send and receive SMS text messages.
In a scenario like this, a femtocell system may be the absolute best option, especially for consumers who are unable to utilize Wi-Fi calling with their current contacts and cellular provider. Most individuals, especially those who run a small business from their home, still require a reliable cellular signal in order to handle their affairs, and a Femtocell network can provide 5 bar connectivity from anywhere within the home.
Unfortunately, this cellular connectivity does come at a cost. Because the Femtocell uses the existing broadband to create the cellular signal, there can be a noticeable loss of broadband speed in certain situations where phone calls and web browsing (especially uploading or downloading) behavior is occurring simultaneously. However, if your home office broadband connection is currently 50 Mbps or faster, then your internet connection should remain perfectly steady, even if you decide to use both at the same time.
Thank you all for the advice! Luckily for me, I am covered as far as SIMs go; I was just looking for suggestions on a cheap android. I'm able to get a really good deal on a Pixel 2 - do NSG (is some other form of band locking)/SCP/Cellmapper run well on those phones?