Why won't virgin prepaid Internet work off a verizon (CDMA) tower?

Why won't the prepaid Virgin internet work off a Verizon tower. I understand both are CDMA compatible, but when I checked the Virgin website there was no coverage in my area even though I can see the Verizon tower from my front porch.

Comments for Why won't virgin prepaid Internet work off a verizon (CDMA) tower?

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Jan 08, 2012
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by: Cheapskate Chuck

Go ahead and get that cheap prepaid phone with the $50.00 unlimited plan. Then go out and buy a Wilson repeater and save BIG bucks! I do this with BOOST mobile. I rooted my phone so now i can tether with my computer now i have no more internet bills!

Feb 01, 2011
Roaming with Prepaid Wireless
by: PrepaidWirelessGuy

I've addressed this question in other areas of the site, however, I think that it's so critical to understand, that I'm also including some info here. Basically, prepaid wireless providers/MVNOs/services don't roam on networks that aren't native to the host carrier.

For example, whether it's a Sprint MVNO, or even one of its own companies like Virgin Mobile or Boost Mobile, they don't allow roaming on their roaming partner networks for prepaid. So, while Verizon is certainly a compatible CDMA network with Sprint handsets (as you noted), and you can roam on Verizon if you have a Sprint phone with Sprint service, you cannot roam on Verizon with any of its prepaid brands or partners.

The important thing to stress here is that even when prepaid wireless providers say that they work (or roam) on the Sprint network, that does NOT mean that they roam on Sprint roaming partner networks. For example, in mid-2010 Cricket Communications announced a nationwide roaming agreement with Sprint. HOWEVER, this means that you can roam (with no fees) on Sprint's network if you have Cricket service. It does NOT mean that you can roam on Sprint roaming partner networks.

This serves two purposes. First, and likely the most prominent reason is that it's too expensive to allow such roaming. With low prices, carriers need to be wary of high roaming fees for prepaid wireless customers using their network. Using their own network is a great business model, however, the fees they need to pay out of pocket to third parties with which they have roaming agreements are simply too steep.

While it may be affordable if you were to roam only occasionally, if you lived and worked in a roaming partner area, they literally could lose money on providing you service.

The secondary benefit for carriers to limit roaming is that it enables them to have another point of differentiation between postpaid and prepaid services. In other words, they can say that they offer better coverage on their postpaid plans even though prepaid wireless plans often have better pricing in general.

This is why I always remind people to check the prepaid provider's coverage maps to ensure that you'll get good coverage where you work, live, and play. Thinking that a service runs on Sprint, Verizon, AT&T, T-Mobile, etc., does not mean that you'll have the same coverage area had you previously used on of these services. In fact, you won't!

I hope this helps.

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