- Unlimited Talk & Text + 4GB/mo of 4G LTE or 5G!
- Bring Your Own Phone
- International calling to Mexico and Canada
- Unlimited Talk & Text + 35GB/mo of 4G LTE or 5G!
- Bring Your Own Phone
- International calling to Mexico and Canada
T-Mobile MVNOs can be a great alternative to customers seeking service on T-Mobile’s network that don’t want to pay T-Mobile’s hefty price tags. They are also great for those who want wireless service without having to go through a credit check.
The Ideal T-Mobile MVNO Customer
In a majority of cases, the ideal T-Mobile MVNO customer will be someone who doesn’t need unlimited high-speed data. The reason is that there are very few T-Mobile MVNOs that offer truly unlimited data. So if you need unlimited high-speed data, T-Mobile or one of its two prepaid brands, T-Mobile Prepaid and Metro may be a better fit for you.
Customers that need multiple lines of service may also not be ideal T-Mobile MVNO subscribers. T-Mobile and its two prepaid brands offer rather large discounts to customers that have multiple lines of service on an unlimited plan. Subscribers with multiple lines will often pay half the price that they would with a single line plan. As an example, T-Mobile’s newly launched Magenta Max plan costs $85 for a single line, but the price drops down to $43/line with 4-lines. There are even larger price drops if you have more lines. Many T-Mobile MVNOs have a hard time price matching here.
The ideal T-Mobile MVNO customer will also typically already have their own phone. T-Mobile often offers large discounts on flagship phones that their MVNO partners simply cannot match. So if you require a heavily discounted phone, and are ok with a credit check, a T-Mobile MVNO may not be the right choice for you. But you still may be ok with a T-Mobile owned prepaid brand. T-Mobile’s prepaid brand Metro by T-Mobile does frequently offer free phones to switchers.
T-Mobile does offer its customers “perks” that few other T-Mobile MVNO providers offer at this time. For instance, T-Mobile customers on select plans get a free subscription to Netflix. They also have access to T-Mobile Tuesday’s, which is an app from the carrier where every Tuesday customers get “thanked” for being a T-Mobile customer. Subscribers are granted special offers such as free gift cards to Dunkin Donuts and chances to win prizes. Few T-Mobile MVNOs offer similar programs. One that does is Boost Mobile with its Boost Perks program. And while US Mobile does not have a similar “thanks” program, it’s the only T-Mobile MVNO to offer its subscribers a free Netflix subscription when they have multiple lines on what they call their unlimited plan.
The ideal T-Mobile MVNO customer is also one that wants a plan that doesn’t require a credit check. T-Mobile postpaid plans require a credit check, while MVNO customers do not.
So to sum it all up, the ideal T-Mobile MVNO customer is one that:
- Already has their own phone
- Doesn’t necessarily need an unlimited data plan
- Generally is a single line customer
- Doesn’t want a credit check just to signup for a plan
None of these are hard and fast rules. You can still signup for an unlimited high-speed data plan with a T-Mobile MVNO and have multiple lines of service. You can also purchase a phone from one. It’s just that pickings become a lot slimmer in those situations.
- International calling to over 60 countries included!
- Upgrade or downgrade at anytime with no extra fees. The change is instant, and your remaining balance will roll over for the next 30 days.
- Mobile hotspot is included
- Unlimited data at 2G speeds
- International calling to over 60 countries included!
- Upgrade or downgrade anytime with no extra fees. The change is instant, and your remaining balance will roll over for the next 30 days.
What If You Want An Unlimited T-Mobile MVNO Plan?
If you do want an unlimited high-speed data plan from an MVNO you are mostly limited to Tracfone owned T-Mobile MVNO’s such as Walmart Family Mobile and Simple Mobile. Both providers offer unlimited high-speed data plans with discounts available to those that have multiple lines of service. They also have a selection of phones available for purchase with financing options available.
Walmart Family Mobile offers an unlimited plan for $49.88/month. It includes 30GB of hotspot and video streaming at a resolution of up to 720p. Customers can add additional lines to the plan for just $24.88 per line. Subscribers with two unlimited lines would pay $74.76/month for their plan. Taxes and fees cost extra. In contrast, the cheapest 2-line unlimited plan with T-Mobile postpaid currently costs $90/month. Taxes and fees are also extra there.
Simple Mobile’s unlimited plan is similarly priced to Walmart Family Mobile’s. It cost $50/month. Subscribers with 2-lines pay $75/month with taxes and fees costing extra. Simple Mobile’s plan also includes free roaming while traveling in more than 15 Latin American countries and international calling and texting. Videos stream at a resolution of up to 480p and it comes with 5GB of mobile hotspot.
One thing to be aware of is that some T-Mobile MVNOs call their plans unlimited when in fact they aren’t truly unlimited. For instance, Mint Mobile offers a plan for as low as $30/month that it calls unlimited. But an examination of its fine print shows that the plan only includes 35GB of high-speed data each month before data speeds are slowed down to a barely usable crawl. Similarly, Ultra Mobile advertises a $49 plan as unlimited when in fact the plan only includes up to 50GB of high-speed data each billing cycle before speeds slow to a barely usable crawl. This doesn’t mean that those plans and similar ones are not a good choice to subscribe to. They can be great options to meet your needs. But you just need to be aware of what they mean by “unlimited” before subscribing.
T-Mobile MVNO Customers Have Deprioritized Data Speeds
Many T-Mobile MVNOs offer really great pricing and plans. But there is a catch you should be aware of before you subscribe to one, and that is “data deprioritization.”
T-Mobile has quality of service (QoS) policies in place to help ensure the stability of its network for its users. Without such policies in place, network performance and stability could suffer to the point that all customers experience either extremely slow data speeds or worse yet, the network becomes unusable. One thing that T-Mobile does to help avoid this scenario is to deprioritize the data used by its MVNO partners and their customers. The way the policy generally works is simple, during times of heavy network congestion, MVNO customers may experience slower data speeds than T-Mobile postpaid customers do. Once the congestion gets relieved, data speeds jump back up to normal. And to prevent certain data hogging customers from overwhelming the network, unlimited data plan MVNO customers may have their data speeds further reduced during times of network congestion once they consume more than a specified amount of data in a month. The specified amount of data is sometimes referred to as “priority” or “premium” data. Even some T-Mobile postpaid plans have premium data thresholds. For instance, T-Mobile’s Essentials plan includes 50GB of high-speed data before data speeds may be reduced during times of network congestion.
You shouldn’t let these data prioritization policies scare you away from trying out a T-Mobile MVNO. An overwhelming majority of customers will not notice the difference in their day to day data usage between being deprioritized and not being deprioritized. Some will only be able to tell the difference by running speed tests. Those in extremely congested areas may notice differences at certain times of the day when it takes longer for webpages or videos to load. But the fact that there are tens of millions of happy MVNO customers in the USA should be evidence that data deprioritization doesn’t have a real-world noticeable or bothersome impact on MOST customers.
Since T-Mobile MVNOs use T-Mobile’s network for coverage, T-Mobile MVNO customers have access to all of T-Mobile’s towers nationwide. However, coverage with T-Mobile MVNOs is not identical to what your coverage might be with a T-Mobile postpaid wireless plan. The reason is because of roaming.
T-Mobile’s postpaid customers have access to domestic roaming. That means in areas where T-Mobile does not have its own network towers, T-Mobile subscribers use towers from other providers for talk, text, and data. T-Mobile MVNOs typically don’t have access to T-Mobile’s domestic roaming partners. So if you are subscribed to a T-Mobile MVNO and travel through one of these areas you won’t have coverage. In all other areas though, you’ll have the same access to T-Mobile’s 5G and 4G LTE network towers that regular T-Mobile customers do. You can actually use the coverage map below to see what coverage on a T-Mobile MVNO will look like.
T-Mobile MVNO coverage map.
T-Mobile MVNO BYOD Options
If you already have your own phone, chances are pretty high that you can use it with a T-Mobile MVNO. Newer phones from Verizon and AT&T will usually work just fine with T-Mobile MVNO’s as long as they are unlocked. If you are with Verizon or AT&T and looking to switch to a T-Mobile MVNO you’ll have to first verify with Verizon or AT&T that your phone is unlocked before making the switch. Verizon phones are typically automatically unlocked after 60 days of use on the Verizon network. AT&T phones may require service on the network for 6-months or longer before they can be unlocked for use with a T-Mobile MVNO.
In order to use your phone with a T-Mobile MVNO, it must support VoLTE on T-Mobile’s network. It should also support LTE bands 2, 4, 5, 12 and for even better coverage bands 66, and 71. For optimal 5G network coverage, the phone should support the 5G bands n71 (600MHz), n260 (28GHz), n261 (39GHz), and n41 (2500MHz). Bands n71 and n41 are more widely available than bands n260 and n261. T-Mobile’s n71 band is more to provide coverage both indoors and outdoors than fast data speeds. At this time it’s the primary band that T-Mobile’s nationwide network consists of. T-Mobile’s band n41 is a compromise between speed and coverage. It’s available in over 400 citiesnationwide and should offer customers faster speeds than LTE. Bands n260 and n261 provide blazing fast speeds much faster than LTE, but unfortunately are only available in a limited number of locations nationwide. You can read more about T-Mobile’s network spectrum by downloading a data sheet.
T-Mobile MVNO’s That Sell Phones
Two T-Mobile MVNOs that offer a wide selection of phones include Boost Mobile and Simple Mobile. Both Simple Mobile and Boost Mobile sell phones to meet a variety of budgets. There are high-end phones available for purchase through each provider such as the iPhone 12 and Samsung Galaxy S20 series of devices and lower-end budget models available from Motorola, LG, TCL, and more. Boost Mobile actually finds itself in rare company as an MVNO as it frequently offers free phones to switchers.
There are other T-Mobile MVNOs that sell devices as well, including but not limited to Google Fi, Tello Mobile, Mint Mobile, Republic Wireless, and Walmart Family Mobile.
T-Mobile MVNO List
Now that you have a better understanding of what a T-Mobile MVNO can and cannot offer you, here is a list of all the major T-Mobile MVNOs that may be of interest to you. Further down below is a list compromised of what I think is the best phone plan from each provider.
- Allvoi Wireless
- Beast Mobile
- Best Cellular
- Boom! Mobile
- Boost Infinite
- Boost Mobile
- Boss Wireless
- Consumer Cellular
- EarthLink Mobile
- Gen Mobile
- Good2GO Mobile
- Google Fi
- GoSmart Mobile
- Hello Mobile
- i3 Mobile
- Karma Mobility
- Kroger Wireless
- Mango Mobile
- Metro By T-Mobile
- Mint Mobile
- Nebula Wireless
- Optimum Mobile
- Patriot Mobile
- Project Genesis
- Reach Mobile
- Red Pocket Mobile
- SpeedTalk Mobile
- Ting Mobile
- Ultra Mobile
- UNREAL Mobile
- US Mobile
If you already have a T-Mobile compatible network unlocked GSM phone or out of contract paid off T-Mobile phone you can use it with any of the providers below.
List Of The Best T-Mobile MVNO Phone Plans
Not sure which is right for you? Looking for pay as you go plans? Check out MVNOs that offer T-Mobile pay as you go plans. Need an even cheaper plan? Check out this list of cheap phone plans.
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