Tuesday, October 30, 2012

The True Test: Solavei Social Cellular Service

It’s time for a better look at Solavei’s actual service offering. Before we go too far in to things though, we need to clarify that we do indeed have a member of the Social Commerce Network on our staff and he is testing this not only for our site, but also is seeing how well Solavei treats their users and commission program. We will start with the basics and move forward from there.

Call Quality:

We live in the the MVNO’s yard here in the Seattle area, so we would expect coverage to be good for voice calls here. Since fairing, not so well in call quality during our 2012 Best Value in Wireless survey, Solavei’s home network has undergone some dramatic reinforcement in our area. With the roll out of the 1900mhz bands throughout the area, voice quality is now very strong and dropped calls are few and far between. As a matter of fact, it rivals even the best voice services in the area for quality of sound.

Data Speed:

The data speeds using our AT&T Titan are quite good, actually, downright fantastic. With peak download speeds of 9.85 Mbps, the 6.5 Mbps average was more than adequate for most users. Using a fully compatible AWS device, users should easily top those numbers. The best part of the network speed is the consistency. In our 12 speed tests, only one dropped below 6 Mbps, with most of them settling in the 6.5 Mbps range.

Customer Service:

There isn’t much more to say than epic fail in this department. Solavei has you enter your device IMEI number before you have your phone approved for network use. We entered the number for our Nokia Lumia 900 and watched it say “Fully Compatible” with the network. We waited a few days for our Micro SIM to show up and when the package finally arrived, it had a normal SIM. Fortunately for them, AT&T didn’t get an unlock code for our Lumia to us yet, so in to our Titan it went. They get a pass on that one for now, but serious issue for the average Joe.


Solavei is quickly passing the 50,000 member mark, making them a solid MVNO carrier with a legitimate presence in the US. If they are able to offer some of the additional features soon, and manage to stay out of the ‘retail’ format that some members are taking them to, there is a good possibility of them being a major player in the game for a long time. The performance is definitely there and the price is extremely aggressive for the level of service that is offered. Overall, Solavei, gets a solid recommendation from us, as long as you live in a good coverage area.

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