Cheap cell phone plans are a controversial topic. People passionately defend the value of budget cellular providers like Mint Mobile. But like with everything, sometimes you get what you pay for. The Off Brand Guy is here is provide a balanced opinion on the topic of MVNOs. In the article we take a look at the advantages and disadvantages of cheap cell phone plans.
What Are MVNOs? And Why Are They So Cheap?
Mobile Virtual Network Operators (MVNOs) are companies that provide wireless communication services to customers without owning the underlying infrastructure. Instead, MVNOs purchase wholesale access to the network of a larger, traditional wireless carrier, such as AT&T or Verizon, and resell it to their own customers.
These companies offer more affordable plans than the big four carriers and target specific customer groups. One of the main benefits of MVNOs is that they can offer more affordable plans than the big four carriers. Additionally, MVNOs can also offer more flexibility in terms of plans and billing, allowing customers to pay for exactly what they need and use.
What Are The Largest MVNO’s?
- Boost Mobile
- Metro by T-mobile
- Virgin Mobile
- Cricket Wireless
- Mint Mobile
Pros And Cons Of Cheap Cell Phone Plans
One benefit of cheap cell phone plans is that they only include the basic features that most people use, such as call and text. This means that customers are not paying for unnecessary features that they will not use, which can save money in the long run. The Off Brand Guy appreciates this aspect. Additionally, cheap cell phone plans often come with no-contract options, which means that customers are not locked into a long-term commitment. This allows for more flexibility and the ability to switch plans or providers if necessary.
However, one potential drawback of MVNOs is that they may not offer the same coverage as the big four carriers. Additionally, MVNOs may not be able to offer the latest and greatest devices. Also, many cheap cell phone plans do not include unlimited data, which can lead to overage charges if customers use more data than their plan allows.
Lastly, companies like Mint Mobile really push their refer a friend program. This is true of many of the MVNOs. To be honest, this always give me pyramid scheme vibes. It seems like a tactic really focused on manipulating low income consumers.
Are Low Cost Cell Phone Plans Worth The Savings?
Mint Mobile Review: What You Should Know Before Signing Up
- Mint Mobile operates on the T-Mobile network, which means that the coverage and network quality will be similar to T-Mobile.
- Mint Mobile offers a range of plans, with prices starting as low as $15 per month.
- Mint Mobile requires customers to pay for service in advance, with plans available for 3, 6, or 12 months. This can be a great option for customers who want to save money by paying for service upfront.
- Mint Mobile offers a 7-day money-back guarantee, so you can try the service and see if it meets your needs before committing to a longer-term plan.
- Mint Mobile has a bring your own device policy, which means that you can use your own compatible phone with their service. This can be a great option for customers who already have a phone they like. This is a short term benefit. We are know how quickly phones stop working.
Does Mint Mobile Have Unlimited Data?
People get worked up when talking about data. Frankly, I use a lot of it. I get that in theory you can always connect to Wi-Fi. But I travel a lot and I need a plan that doesn’t punish me for not being on Wi-Fi.
Mint Mobile does have a plan that they refer to as their “Unlimited Data Plan“. Currently, this only costs $30. But there is a huge catch! After 35GB they start to throttle your data. That means speeds get painfully slow. I am not sure this really counts as unlimited.
Do MVNOs Get Deprioritized?
I have to admit the price is right with companies like Mint Mobile. If you are trying to save a few bucks on your phone bill this way be the way to go. But according to Reddit, the deprioritization is real. This means when the networks of the major carries are congested, the MVNO customers are the first to suffer. According to one study, MVNO speeds are 23% worse than direct customers of the major network.