Coverage in out of network areas PlatinumTel

by Eric
(Seattle area)

After ~ 6 or 7 years I lost my phone. I'm interested in Pay as you Go from Platinum Tel. But they don't list service in an area I transit frequently, (towns of Enumclaw and Crystal Mountain, Washington, zip 98022). Platinum says they use Sprint. My old phone was Verizon which worked great in this area. Platinum Customer Service simply parrots the website; "no service" . Sprint's own web site shows coverage in and around the town of Enumclaw, which will be good enough for me if I have to.

Question 1: Will/can Platinum's service "roam on to" the Verizon network to provide me me with its superior coverage in this area? I don't care if there is a reasonable roaming fee.

Question 2: Enumclaw is a pretty significant town, ~5000 souls, and is growing fast as a bedroom community for Seattle and its suburbs. I find it hard to believe that a major player does not cover there. BTW 98022 is a big zip code area because it encompasses dozens, maybe hundreds of square miles of roadless forest and mountain terrain so this may be why Platinum says it offers no coverage. Do you think there is a chance that there really is coverage in this town despite what Platinum's website says? Platinum's customer service (real live person) said that there is no way for her to say whether or not Platinum will cover in this area around Enumclaw.

Thanks for your opinion on my two questions or advice as to where I can find the answers.

Comments for Coverage in out of network areas PlatinumTel

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Jun 14, 2011
PlantinumTel Prepaid Wireless Coverage
by: PrepaidWirelessGuy

Ah, yes, the age old coverage question ;-). This is a very good question actually. First, I want to highlight that currently one thing that separates the postpaid wireless from prepaid wireless is that carriers that offer both (ex. Verizon, AT&T, T-Mobile, Sprint) only allow their prepaid brands to work on their native networks. This allows them to have a large point of distinction when people start asking why prepaid wireless pricing is so much better than the contract plans.

Even the large carriers have many different roaming partnerships with one another, as well as smaller regional carriers to offer service in various areas where they don't offer any/good coverage. This could be in small towns or rural areas where it's either not cost effective to build their own network, or they haven't yet built there but plan to at some point based on their business priorities and network build-out roadmap.

So, to answer your questions:

#1: While it's possible that PlatinumTel has a roaming relationship with Verizon in certain areas, they don't sell roaming per se, so you shouldn't be able to roam on Verizon.

#2: Although Sprint may have coverage there, Sprint may be using a roaming partner; if so, while Sprint customers would have access to roam on their partners networks, PlatinumTel wouldn't. Given the size of the town (which is actually quite small), it's entirely plausible that Sprint does not have native coverage there, and hence PlatinumTel handsets won't work in that area. While it's certainly possible that the phone will work, as carriers are constantly expanding their networks (in this example, Sprint), if PlatinumTel's site shows that there's no coverage, I personally wouldn't count on having it. If you want to buy a phone from a retailer that will allow you to easily return it, you can always try it out, however, I personally wouldn't count on it!

Also, keep in mind that if for some reason you get some type of fringe coverage there, if you're going to spend a lot of time in that area, and ultimately have issues, if it's not an official coverage area, you're not going to have much luck getting technical support.

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