T-Mobile Pre-paid: Pain in the ass (but worth it)

Sprint’s 3G network in San Diego is awful. The network can’t even handle Pandora without buffering. YouTube? Forget it. Now that my Sprint contract is complete I’m finally free to change providers.

After reading Why I’m ditching the Verizon Galaxy Nexus I decided to go with a Galaxy Nexus. The Galaxy Nexus isn’t as fast as the new Samsung Galaxy S3, however it will be the first to get new Android updates, because it’s Google’s baby. It also uses the stock Android user interface and doesn’t come with a lot of bloatware (Sprint: I’m looking at you… NASCAR? Seriously?).

I purchased the phone directly from the Google Play Store. The up-front cost was $350 and the monthly fee from T-Mobile is $30/month. This pre-paid plan gives 100 minutes, unlimited text, and 4G of un-throttled data. Perfect for a light talker such as myself. Since I’m paying $79/month with Sprint it costs $50 less per month, so I’ll re-coup the cost of the phone in 7 months.

It proved difficult to activate the phone on T-Mobile’s “secret” pre-paid plan. T-Mobile wouldn’t activate it, because the pre-paid plan is only available from Wal-Mart. Wal-Mart wouldn’t activate it because I didn’t buy it from Wal-Mart.

The solution was to purchase a 99 cent SIM Card Activation Kit from T-Mobile’s website. Unfortunately I had to wait several days for it to arrive, so make sure to order the phone and the SIM card at the same time. Now that the SIM card has arrived, I was able to activate the Galaxy Nexus on T-Mobile without issue. My Sprint number should transfer by tomorrow. Bye Sprint.

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