Karen is finding that her Virgin Mobile service is just terrible. Leo says that's because Virgin uses Sprint and their coverage is pretty spotty. There's no carrier that works everywhere, unfortunately. Karen should make sure to go with a service that works where she travels the most and where she lives. That's likely going to be AT&T or Verizon.
Evan bought an iPhone 6s Plus on the first day. He hears there's a different phone for AT&T, though. Leo says that's true. The AT&T iPhone is different, but only in that it has an extra band. Leo says that's not a bad thing as the AT&T model has a lower frequency to pass through walls. But can it work with other carriers? Leo says that nobody has really addressed it, but with all the bands that it has, it's a question an RF engineer might be able to answer. Leo's betting if he put the SIM in it, it should work in most cases.
Randy's wireless provider is an MVNO, or a third party carrier, and the phones he gets are unlocked as a result. But he wants to buy a new phone and keep his existing account. Leo says he can, as long as it's GSM. Leo suggests going with T-Mobile because it's unlocked out of the box. Then he can use it with any carrier.
Albert wants to know if there's any way to stream audio on his phone without killing his data caps. Leo says no. It'll use what it uses, but T-Mobile offers a way around this. They have deals with some of the streaming services and they don't count it against your data. T-Mobile calls it "Music Freedom".
T-Mobile is very aggressive with great packages that include stuff like this, which is one of the reasons Leo likes them.
Moe is going to be traveling to India in a few months and he wants to know if Verizon is a good choice for traveling. Leo says no, it really isn't. They've gotten better, since they've left CDMA behind for LTE and that means it could work in India. And the FCC requires all Verizon SIM slots to be unlocked. Moe will have to be sure that the frequencies are supported. He may also request his phone be unlocked as well. A better bet would be to get a cheap GSM compatible phone locally in India, with a local SIM card. He'll have a local number, but it'll work better.
Ron bought a Samsung Galaxy Note IV from T-Mobile and he's having issues with the hardware. They offered him a refurbished replacement. Leo says that Ron should be able to get a new one under warranty and he should stick to his guns and demand it. That being said, refurbished isn't bad.
Google announced its own wireless service on Wednesday called "Google Fi." It's very restricted, and only works by invitation and its exclusive to Google's Nexus 6 phone. It uses both Sprint and T-Mobile cellular service along with Wi-Fi, and it switches between those to whatever has the best coverage. It costs $20 a month for unlimited talk and text, including international text. It does not include data though, but it only costs $10 a month per gigabyte. If you don't use all of the data you're paying for, you'll get reimbursed. No contract and its very straightforward.
Multiple news reports are saying that Google has plans to enter the wireless business. The idea is that you'll be able to buy a phone with Google as the service provider. The interesting part, however, is that Google is negotiating with Sprint and T-Mobile. The phone you buy will work with both carriers, and it will connect to whichever network has the best signal. It will also utilize Wi-Fi whenever possible.
This is only a rumor as of now, but it's an interesting idea. The cell phone industry is ripe for disruption.
Soup is ready to get his first smartphone. Leo says the number one thing to decide is which carrier he wants. Then choose the phone from there. He'll want the carrier that offers the best coverage in his area. Service-wise, they're all horrible in some way. But coverage is better for some than others.
Corky is ready to buy her first smartphone. She's going to be traveling to Spain and needs to know what kind of phone to get. Leo says that Corky should check out PrepaidWithData.wikia.com. It'll show what data SIMS to buy in the country she travels to. Roaming can be expensive and buying a local SIM is a great way to save a lot of money.