Altice Mobile Is Unveiled
Altice Mobile Is Unveiled

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A new MVNO provider launched today, Altice Mobile.  It is operated by Altice USA, the nation's 4th largest cable provider.  Altice USA joins two other cable providers that are already established in the MVNO marketplace, Comcast with its Xfinity Mobile brand and Charter Communications with Spectrum Mobile.  Both established brands operate as MVNO's on the Verizon network.  Altice USA however, is taking a different approach with its mobile brand.  The company describes itself as being an "infrastructure-based MVNO." It recently built out a network of over 19,000 small cells through a partnership with Sprint.  That infrastructure will allow Altice to operate more economically compared to other MVNOs in the marketplace and it won't have to rely as much on its network partners.  The company will have more control over the features and customer experience that it can offer compared to a typical MVNO.

Altice Mobile's primary network partner is Sprint, and the company has a roaming agreement in place to use AT&T's network.  Should the Sprint and T-Mobile merger be completed Altice USA's deal with Sprint will be expanded to include a 7-year wholesale agreement with T-Mobile.  The expanded deal will grant Altice USA access to T-Mobile's network including its 5G infrastructure and give it more time to strategically plan the further build-out of its own wireless infrastructure.

Altice Mobile's Wireless Plan Appears To Be The Cheapest Offering In The Marketplace

Altice Mobile will offer only one wireless plan.  The plan will give subscribers unlimited talk, text, and data with the first 50GB of data at 4G LTE data speeds for $20/month.  After a subscriber exceeds 50GB of data usage in a billing cycle, video streaming and mobile hotspot will be throttled to 2G data speeds, while all other data will remain at LTE speeds.  The price includes a $5/month auto-pay discount and is a limited time offer exclusive to Altice USA's Optimum and Suddenlink customers.  Customer's who take advantage of the limited time offer will be locked into that price point for life.  Those who do not have Optimum or Suddenlink internet or cable service will pay $30/month with auto-pay for service which is still competitively priced compared to a majority of the wireless marketplace. Taxes and fees will cost extra.  A maximum of 5 lines are allowed per account.  There is no multi-line discount pricing available.

Besides the unlimited talk, text, and data the plan will also include mobile hotspot.  Mobile hotspot speeds are limited to 600Kbps, and streaming video while using hotspot will be limited to a resolution of about 480p.  Service will also include unlimited international text messaging and talk from the USA to more than 35 countries.  Subscribers will also have unlimited talk, text and data access while traveling in those 35+ countries.  Only the first 1GB of data will be available at 4G LTE data speeds while traveling after that speeds are reduced to 2G data speeds.   Customers can add additional international 4G LTE data priced at $15 for 1GB good for 15 days, or $30 for 3GB good for 30 days.

Available Phones With Altice Mobile

Altice Mobile says that it can support a majority of unlocked phones, and offers an IMEI device checker to confirm if your phone is eligible for use on their network.  Eligible Optimum and Suddenlink customers will have the option to purchase smartphones at their corresponding retail stores.  Customers will be offered the choice to pay for a new phone in full or for device financing with zero-down, zero-interest and 36-month financing.

Editor's Take

Altice USA's press release today says that its mobile service offers unbeatable pricing and I find that hard to argue with.  I'm not aware of a better deal out there for the price, at least for a single line customer.  The closest option that comes to mind is Sprint's unlimited kickstart plan which offers unlimited talk, text, and data to customers for $25/month.  Besides that offering, Altice Mobile's pricing blows away the competition, and you can see that for yourself by comparing it to other cheap plans in the marketplace.

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Brandon Galler
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Brandon Galler

I don’t see anyone commenting that they’ve signed up, so I guess I’m the first. The initial issue that’s going to turn away a lot of folks is the complete absence of phone support. That’s presumably a major component of the $20/$30 price point…they simply don’t have people answering phones, and judging by my first day with them, they only have a handful of folks answering their “digital messaging” support option (chat). I got the same person both times I messaged in. I’m in a fairly well covered area North of Dallas Texas. I have T-Mobile as my primary provider,… Read more »

Jutta Kirchgeorg
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Jutta Kirchgeorg

Thanks for your thorough review of the new service. I’ve been contemplating a switch from T-Mobile to Altice in the NYC area. More than price, my key incentive is the ability to roam on the AT&T network outside of the immediate urban area where T-Mobile sucks. The other reason for switching is the convenience of having 1GB of full speed international data in most European countries. I’ve already had a frustrating experience with the chat bot who wasn’t able to tell me the total of monthly taxes and fees that would be added to the bill and the fact that… Read more »

GUESS
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GUESS

I LIVE IN NYC THE GREATEST CITY IN THE WORLD WITH MORE WIRELESS TOWER THEN PHONE PER PERSON AND YET SOON AS I WALK OUT THE HOUSE MY DATA STAYS HOME yeah something is wrong we being BAMBOOZLE PIECE cRAP LOL GET EXCELLANT DATA AT HOME UNDER MY OWE DAM PAID DATA WIFI SUB. WHAT A RIP OFF FCC NEED TO INVESTIGATE ASAP!

David Stratton
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David Stratton

how do i get a new sim card4 my apple 6+, so i can save $$ & join the Altice family

Ryan
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Ryan

Great article amd discussion. I’m a long time verizon wireless customer in the CT/NYC area that still has a grandfather contract of 18GB a month but never throttled. Trying to get a sense if the speeds would be similiar if I made the switch to Altice mobile.

Is Altice mobile essentislly going to be using their local infrastructure and Sprint towers? I was initially excited about the notion of getting AT&T coverage (recently rated best in the country by PCMag) but if it’s a roaming contract, am I right to now think I’ll rarely ever be on AT&T?

Hombre
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Hombre

I’m sure it will be horrid. Sprint refuses to roam until it can’t find the faintest, most unusable Sprint signal. Besides, other services on decent networks aren’t much more… Visible is only $40 , INCLUDING taxes, and will actually give you a good, usable signal.

Zapy
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Zapy

I’m just wondering how much they are going to inflate the bill with taxes, government fees, and altice charges. All of which are not part of the price for life deal. They could add on $5 a month billing fee or anything else they want. ALSO — Are they throttling speeds when there is congestion or is this equal to an AT&T premium plan where speeds are full blast over everyone else ?

Gotta think about these things. Unlimited data is only good if it is truly usable at all times.

Emilia Manda
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Emilia Manda

Do you think it’s a good idea to transfer from att to altice mobile? I want to do it but I’m afraid the service will not be as good

jlggfn
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jlggfn

It’s primarily the Sprint Network, and even if the deal gose through with T-Mobile, coverage will still be a problem.

GUESS
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GUESS

nope

Ted Samuel
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Ted Samuel

Joe, you said, “I’m not aware of a better deal out there for the price, at least for a single line customer.” What 2-line plans do you see that are equivalent or better? I’ve seen some 4±line plans that might be.