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Virgin Mobile Inner Circle Sprint Extended Coverage


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So as the title suggest what I'll be discussing is Sprints Extended LTE coverage on Virgin Mobile which if you have their Inner Circle plan seems to be the same network coverage as regular Sprint postpaid a surprising difference when compared to Boost and regular Virgin Mobile android plans, and Sprint MVNOs. All of which are limited in their network roaming capabilities and exclude access to Sprints Extended LTE partners. So recently I posted on Reddit which I'll link in the case you want to read over that Virgin Mobile Inner Circle & Extended Coverage.

So allow me to start, so about a week ago I visited my local Apple Store to see about picking up a Virgin Mobile sim card for the Inner Circle for use on my iPhone X from Verizon. To my surprise I was able to get one at no cost and all they had to do was check it out for their inventory to update, based on their reaction I was the first person to mention or ask about getting a Virgin Mobile sim card. At least at that store or those people. So I got the Sim Card and activated it, ported over a number from a T-Mobile sim I had activated to check coverage. And was all set up with Virgin Mobile Inner Circle for the 6 month $1 promo.

Once I got home I noticed that my device was still reading Virgin LTE even though I was in a US Cellular coverage area, Wayne County and Appanoose County, IA. Both of which don't have Sprint coverage, though a old image I found showed what looked like there was at some point Nextel coverage in Centerville, IA (Appanoose County) but I could never confirm. And when checking in field test mode it showed I was on band 12. Though when my iPhone is right next too a T-Mobile phone roaming on US Cellular or a actual US Cellular phone my phone has a weaker signal compared to the other too, though that could just be my device.

I remember a while back when Sprint updated their coverage map and made the US Cellular LTE roaming the same type of LTE Roaming as other partners such as Nex-Tech Wireless, and am wondering to what extent is the US Cellular roaming native. Is it truly treated like native or should I expect Virgin to hit me up at some point soon and say I need to switch, my usage on the Sprint network each month would be between 20-30%. I've attempted to use as little data off of wifi while on the US Cellular network as possible, but am wondering if this is something I should even be worried about? The website says that my device should indicate when its on a Extended partner but it isn't it says Virgin, someone on reddit gave me a code to enter to see if it would refresh and start reading Extended, it refreshed and said it for no less than a millisecond before switching back to saying Virgin LTE.

So the question is too what extent is US Cellular Extended LTE roaming coverage treated as native coverage the Virgin Map says "Roaming in these areas counts as on network usage. Similar level of service as on network, but not all services may be available."  and Sprint Coverage Map says "These roaming areas are included in your plan. Some services may not be available." will it not matter will I be able to go through the next six months with no problem or should I be prepared to switch to another carrier, by month 6 I'll be well within Sprints coverage area 100% of the time, but what about the end of month 2 or 3.

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5 hours ago, EntrepreneurKid said:

So the question is too what extent is US Cellular Extended LTE roaming coverage treated as native coverage the Virgin Map says

USCC usage is counted as native, there are no caps or limits, other than what is already included in your plan. If you're solely using USCC, your account could be flagged, but as long as it's not the majority of your usage, I don't think you'll encounter any issues. 

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1 hour ago, Dkoellerwx said:

USCC usage is counted as native, there are no caps or limits, other than what is already included in your plan. If you're solely using USCC, your account could be flagged, but as long as it's not the majority of your usage, I don't think you'll encounter any issues. 

Well I'm doing what I can to limit data usage on USCC but I can't limit voice or text as Virgin doesn't have wifi calling, yet. Hopefully they get it. But the ratio which I mentioned would be 20-30% on Sprint/Virgin and the rest on USCC though that changes in about 4-5 months to 100% on Sprint/Virgin as I'll be moving to Indianapolis which has Sprint coverage. Hopefully I can make it through till then without getting bumped off. Though most of my data usage has been from me running speed test while in a Sprint coverage area.

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2 hours ago, EntrepreneurKid said:

Well I'm doing what I can to limit data usage on USCC but I can't limit voice or text as Virgin doesn't have wifi calling, yet. Hopefully they get it. But the ratio which I mentioned would be 20-30% on Sprint/Virgin and the rest on USCC though that changes in about 4-5 months to 100% on Sprint/Virgin as I'll be moving to Indianapolis which has Sprint coverage. Hopefully I can make it through till then without getting bumped off. Though most of my data usage has been from me running speed test while in a Sprint coverage area.

I don't think they'll be bothered by voice or text usage. It's all about data now. And as long as you're not using hundreds of GBs, you probably won't draw any attention, and then as you said it won't be an issue after you move.

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On 8/14/2018 at 10:21 AM, vryan44 said:

How reliable have you found USCC's LTE network to be?

I've dropped to 1X a lot which is weird as I've had multiple US Cellular devices and they never dropped to 1X, it takes a few tries of toggling airplane mode to return to LTE, and for almost 2 weeks about a month ago I had nothing but 1X with the occasional 3G, again regular US Cellular devices don't do that. So it has to be something with the roaming itself.

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