Entries in AT&T (3)

Saturday
Jul292017

Secrets Your Mobile Phone Insurance Company Doesn't Want You To Know

Asurion is a company that works with three of the big United States carriers: Verizon, AT&T and Sprint as their officially endorsed subscriber phone insurance provider. Asurion covers loss, theft, accidental damage, and malfunction—the major things that people typically file claims for. Once the insurance claim is approved you'll be told if Asurion is electing to repair or replace the device— and you don’t get to have any say. If it's the latter, they'll ship it out to you overnight. A phone charger, battery, and a SIM card will be included. It may be new, or it may be refurbished. They do not feel obligated to openly inform you as to which you are receiving, but if it’s a refurbished phone it should have “Refurbished by Asurion” on the back of the phone.

Right from the start it’s easy to see how mobile phone insurance is a scam. The people that work in the carrier stores don’t know the details about how Asurion works as an insurance company, and are primarily motivated by the commission that they receive to by adding subscribers. They aren’t really sure whether or not the insurance is worth it but they know that they gain financially by telling you that it’s a must-have. 

The promise of phone insurance and the reality of it are vastly different. Most people seem to think that if they “break” their phone the insurance is there to replace it with a brand new one. For some, a “broken phone” is really just a shattered screen that could have been replaced at a repair shop for about $100, but instead they send it off to Asurion and have their phone (that had a perfectly functional motherboard and had never seen a drop of water) replaced with a “Refurbished by Asurion” phone whose mobo was shoddily repaired after liquid damage by a half-rate technician contracted by the company to mass repair boards collected from other phones sent to the company from customers that don’t really seem to understand what their phone is worth.

To make a point, a customer could bring a phone into Wires Computing and have us put their motherboard into a different frame that’s in decent shape, with a new charging port, battery and LCD, and they would likely be charged less than $200 depending on the model of iPhone. Alternatively, a person could send out their phone that merely has a cracked LCD and be charged between $150 to $200 depending on the deductible to replace it with a refurbished phone containing an older, previously repaired motherboard. The motherboard in the original phone was flawless, and should have been the part of the phone most valued— and now it is the property of Asurion.

These “insurance phones” are reassembled with replacement copy parts by glorified assembly-line workers. We have seen Asurion phones come into the shop that are taped together behind the LCD, with screws left out or loose in the phone. Unlike the repair shop setting, these people don’t know the customers that are receiving the phones and so they are much less invested in doing a good and thorough job. The longevity of these phones is greatly compromised— and to make matters more difficult, any boards that have been soldered during the refurbishment process no longer have the original clues of corrosion, making it much more difficult for even a highly experienced micro-soldering repair technician to return a compromised motherboard to full function. 

 

Most replacement phones have less than new parts in them that fail pre-maturely and are simply not the same quality of parts a local tehcnician would use. We often see our customers come into the shop with something broken on the asurion replacement phone and after opening it find many issues. Some even being 2-3 year old batteries that have half the life that the original phone had. Adding all the problems up with the phones that are replaced make it surely a crap shoot as to how long they will last. This is often the first time the customer is aware of this, making them wish they had just gotten the phone fixed properly at our local repair shop instead of dealing with a mess of a phone from a big cororation that cares ultimatly only about the bottom line instead of quality phones and parts.

 

To summarize the main points of this article, phone insurance isn’t what you think it is, and rarely is it worth it. Not only do repair shops pay more attention to each individual phone and customer that come through the door, but they have well-trained staff that do a better job in the first place, with the intention of maintaining the phone’s longevity. 

Saturday
Dec172016

What is a Sim Card?

A Sim card or also known as a Subscriber Identity Module is found in almost all mobile devices which have the capability of mobile wireless service for data and/or calls via a wireless company carrier such as AT&T, T-Mobile, H2O, Net10

 

 Contrary to popular belief, sim cards contain very little [if any] user saved data. The main purpose of a sim card to to authenticate your device onto the network of choice and facilitate wireless transfers to and from your device to the wireless towers in the form of data and/or voice calls.

 

A SIM card contains its unique serial number (ICCID), international mobile subscriber identity (IMSI) number, security authentication and ciphering information, temporary information related to the local network (MCC-MNC), a list of the services the user has access to, and two passwords: a personal identification number (PIN) for ordinary use, and a personal unblocking code (PUK) for PIN unlocking.

 

  • The use of SIM cards is required in GSM Devices

 

 

Sim Card Cross Section

 

SIM cards store network-specific information used to authenticate and identify subscribers on the network. The most important of these are the ICCID, IMSI, Authentication Key (Ki), Local Area Identity (LAI) and Operator-Specific Emergency Number. The SIM also stores other carrier-specific data such as the SMSC (Short Message Service Center) number, Service Provider Name (SPN), Service Dialing Numbers (SDN), Advice-Of-Charge parameters and Value Added Service (VAS) applications.


SIM cards can come in various data capacities, from 8 KB to at least 256 KB. All allow a maximum of 250 contacts to be stored on the SIM, but while the 32 KB has room for 33 Mobile Network Codes (MNCs) or "network identifiers", the 64 KB version has room for 80 MNCs. This is used by network operators to store information on preferred networks, mostly used when the SIM is not in its home network but is roaming. The network operator that issued the SIM card can use this to have a phone connect to a preferred network, in order to make use of the best commercial agreement for the original network company instead of having to pay the network operator that the phone 'saw' first. This does not mean that a phone containing this SIM card can connect to a maximum of only 33 or 80 networks, but it means that the SIM card issuer can specify only up to that number of preferred networks; if a SIM is outside these preferred networks it will use the first or best available network.

 

 

Sim Card Sizes

 

An integrated circuit that is intended to securely store the international mobile subscriber identity (IMSI) number and its related key, which are used to identify and authenticate subscribers on mobile telephony devices (such as mobile phones and computers). It is also possible to store contact information on many SIM cards. SIM cards are always used on GSM phones; for CDMA phones, they are only needed for newer LTE-capable handsets. SIM cards can also be used in satellite phones.

 

The SIM card introduced a new and significant business opportunity for MVNOs — mobile virtual network operators — who lease capacity from one of the network operators rather than owning or operating a cellular telecoms network, and only provide a SIM card to their customers. MVNOs first appeared in Denmark, Hong Kong, Finland and the UK. Today they exist in over 50 countries, including most of Europe, United States, Canada, Mexico, Australia and parts of Asia, and account for approximately 10% of all mobile phone subscribers around the world.

On some networks, the mobile phone is locked to its carrier SIM card, meaning that the phone only works with SIM cards from the specific carrier. This is more common in markets where mobile phones are heavily subsidised by the carriers, and the business model depends on the customer staying with the service provider for a minimum term (typically 12, 18 or 24 months). SIM cards that are issued by providers with an associated contract are called SIM only deals. Common examples are the GSM networks in the United States, Canada, Australia, the UK and Poland. Many businesses offer the ability to remove the SIM lock from a phone, effectively making it possible to then use the phone on any network by inserting a different SIM card. Mostly, GSM and 3G mobile handsets can easily be unlocked and used on any suitable network with any SIM card.

In countries where the phones are not subsidised, e.g., India, Israel and Belgium, all phones are unlocked. Where the phone is not locked to its SIM card, the users can easily switch networks by simply replacing the SIM card of one network with that of another while using only one phone. This is typical, for example, among users who may want to optimise their carrier's traffic by different tariffs to different friends on different networks, or when traveling internationally.

In 2016, carriers started using the concept of automatic SIM reactivation whereby they let users reuse expired SIM cards instead of purchasing new ones when they wish to re-subscribe to that operator. This is particularly useful in countries where prepaid calls dominate and where competition drives high churn rates, as users had to return to a carrier shop to purchase a new SIM each time they wanted to churn back to an operator.

 

Thursday
Jun022016

iPhone Unlock Services

Do you have an iPhone and are traveling overseas and need your device unlocked to work with another carrier?

At Wires Computing we offer all iphone network unlock services, starting at only $45

 

The process to unlock your iphone to work with any carrier is straight forward, bring your device into our shop so we can get the IMEI (International Mobile Equipment Idenity) number which we will then run through our servers and process the network unlock within 1-6hrs.

After the server has run the network unlock we will then reboot the phone and the phone will then be sim unlocked to work with many other network carriers*

iPhone unlocks do not use a subsidy code and thus are processed on the server side.

We unlock all iPhones from iPhone 5/5S/5C

iPhone SE

iPhone 6/6 Plus

iPhone 6S/6S Plus

 This service will allow your T-Mobile or AT&T iPhone to work with carriers such as Vodafone, O2, H2O, Straight Talk

Wires Computing also provides unlock services for samsung galaxy and motorola phones as well

*Please note that the phones may be unlocked for voice calls, but some programming may be required to setup data services on iphones.

Give us a call today to unlock your iphone!

(802)448-0403

Expedited services also available