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Virgin Mobile Buyer’s Guide

Most US consumers are familiar with the top-tier wireless service providers in Verizon, AT&T, T-Mobile, and Sprint. They’re the so-called “Big Four” and they collectively cover some 450 million subscribers in the US.

If you thought that’s about everyone, you’d be wrong. In fact, for every one of the big operators listed above there are a couple of other service providers in the space. These Mobile Virtual Network Operators (MVNOs) include the likes of Metro, Boost Mobile, and Cricket Wireless.

Let’s take a closer look at another one, Virgin Mobile, and learn about it the brand, its rates, and features.

About Virgin Mobile

Virgin Mobile operates in the United States as a Sprint subsidiary and utilizes the tier-one carrier’s CDMA/LTE networks. With thousands of retail partner locations around the country, it’s easy to find top-up cards and handsets. And, while it transitioned into an iPhone-only carrier in 2017, it has quietly returned to offering Android phones.

What are Virgin Mobile’s rate plans?

Virgin’s rate plans, like nearly app MVNO offerings, are no-contract, meaning there’s no long-term agreement or cancellation fees.

  • $35/month: Unlimited talk, text and 5GB of high-speed data
  • $45/month: Unlimited talk, text and 10GB of high-speed data
  • $60/month: Unlimited talk, text and high-speed data

For the small segment of heavy data users, Virgin Mobile will de-prioritize the speed once 35GB of usage occurs within a billing cycle.

There are no overage charges for hitting the data allowance; speeds are throttled to 2G for the remainder of the billing period.

What other options are available?

Virgin Mobile customers can add mobile hotspot to their plan if they’d like to share the data connection. Options break down like so:

  • $3 per day – 500MB
  • $5 per month – 1GB
  • $10 per month – 2GB

Phone insurance cost $7 per month and protects against damage, theft, or loss. Subscribers who wish to make international calls can do so for as low as $5 per month.

What sort of phone selection does Virgin Mobile offer?

Looking at the current Android phones offered through Virgin Mobile, we see plenty of familiar names, including LG, Samsung, Motorola, and Coolpad.

There aren’t many devices to choose from, but the mixture seems to cover all price points. On the high end we find the Samsung Galaxy S10e at $750.

Can I use my own phone with Virgin Mobile?

Sorry, Android users. Currently, Virgin Mobile only supports iPhones under its “Bring Your Own Device” program. You can check to see if your iPhone is compatible at the Virgin Mobile website.

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Tello Buyer’s Guide (October 2020)

Just about anyone you’d ask is familiar with the top-tier wireless service providers in Verizon, AT&T, and T-Mobile. What about lesser known, or newer brands?Let’s take a look at a relatively younger carrier, Tello. This guide will serve to help you understand what the MVNO offers and how it competes in the mobile arena.Where can I buy an unlocked phone?Buying an unlocked phone? Consider these questionsTips for buying a used phoneTell me about TelloTello is a newer player in the mobile field and finds itself in the increasingly crowded segment of low-cost, no-frills alternatives. Its service uses Sprint’s network for coverage but it operates with its own plans and features.What are Tello rate plans like?Tello rate plans are no-contract, meaning you can go month-to-month with no long-term agreement, cancellation, or activation fees. As many carriers in this space do, Tello throttles speeds once hitting the data allowance as opposed to charging overage fees.Customers can mix and match rate plans based on personal needs. A lot of users have access to Wi-Fi connections, or don’t make many calls in a month. To that end, it’s possible to dial things up or down to suit tastes; subscribers can change their plan as often as needed.Ready-made PlansThere are four ready-made plans that do a great job of meeting the demands of most users. They cost as low as $10 per month and include unlimited text and calling.$10/month: Unlimited Talk and Text with 1GB of high-speed data$14/month: Unlimited Talk and Text with 2GB of high-speed data$19/month: Unlimited Talk and Text with 4GB of high-speed data$39/month: Unlimited Talk and Text with Unlimited high-speed dataAre there any other Tello features?Tello offers a handful of other options to its customers, including mobile hotspot and international calls. You can use any amount of your data plan to tether other devices. Calls to Mexico, Canada, and China are the same as if you called in the United States.What about international calls and texts?In addition to the aforementioned countries, Tello subscribers can make calls to other India, Cuba, and a host of other countries. Each has its own rate and can be used in a mix-and-match fashion. All one need do is purchase a Pay As You Go credit ahead of time.The credit can also be used for SMS or data, depending on which plan you’re signed up with at the time.Does Tello have a referral program?Yes, they’re called Tello Dollars and the referral program rewards you for signing up friends and family members. Share your referral link, and once your friend places their first successful order, you get $10 Tello Dollars. Your friend also gets $10 Tello Dollars.You can refer as many friends as you like and the money can be used for things like rate plans, phones, and PAYG credits.What kind of phones does Tello offer?Taking a look at the current lineup of phones offered through Tello we find familiar names like LG, Samsung, and Motorola. All told, there are more than two dozen phones to choose from but it’s a real tossup as to what’s available.Buying an unlocked phone? Consider these questionsWhich carrier has the best value at $50 a month?Which major prepaid carrier has the best $40 rate plan?As is the case with prepaid providers or MVNO brands, selection is a mixed bag and leans more toward affordability and not performance.READ: Best phones available at TelloIt’s worth noting that the phones you order from Tello will come in plain generic packaging and may only include the charger and battery. There will be no manual, earbuds, or other accessories.Are there any phone deals with Tello?Indeed, there are plenty of phones with discounts, some ranging as high as $50 off. About half of the current roster is comprised of refurbished phones, which also means lower prices.Can I use my own phone with Tello?Yes, you can use any Sprint-compatible phone just so long as there’s no unpaid balance on another network. You’ll need to ensure it’s unlocked for use outside of Sprint if it was previously used with another carrier.Tello only accepts unlocked CDMA devices or unlocked multi-network phones that incorporate both CDMA and GSM technologies.Head to Tello’s website to check whether your specific model is supported.