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Tello review in 2024: Is it any good?

Explore my in-depth review of Tello, including network coverage, customer experience, plan details, pricing, and comparisons. Is Tello is the right carrier for you?

MoneySavingPro rating
  • Value for money
  • Coverage
  • Customer experience
  • Transparency
  • Range of choice
See at Tello
  • T-Mobile 5G & 4G LTE wireless coverage
  • Free international calling to 60+ countries
  • Free mobile hotspot included
  • Excellent score on Trustpilot
  • eSIM compatible
  • No international roaming
  • No multi-line discounts
Our editorial process

MoneySavingPro independently researches the products & services to bring you our recommendations. We may earn money when you click our links - disclosure policy.

At a glance

  • Value for money: Tello's affordable build-your-own plans, ease of activation, reliable coverage, and high-rated customer service make it a excellent value.
  • Coverage: Excellent coverage on the T-Mobile network.
  • Customer experience: Most customers agree that Tello offers great service at a great price. Overall customer service is friendly, helpful, knowledge, and available.
  • Transparency: The price you see is what you pay with Tello. There are no hidden fees or surprise charges.
  • Range of choice: There are over 30 combinations to make a 100% custom-tailored plan that suits the needs of any customer.

Deep dive: An in-depth Tello review

Are you seeking a mobile service provider that offers flexibility, affordability, and great customer service? Look no further than Tello Mobile.

In this review, I'll explore Tello Mobile's features, pricing, coverage, customer service, and more, helping you determine if it's worth switching.

What is Tello Mobile?

Tello is a Mobile Virtual Network Operator or MVNO. This alternative carrier uses the same T-Mobile network you're accustomed to for up to 90% less. That's a cost-saving that is difficult to ignore.

They offer great value, flexible plans, and stand-out customer service.

Tello customers have the freedom to choose the plan that best fits their needs, whether it's unlimited across the board or specific amounts of data, talk, and text.

How does Tello Mobile work?

Tello leases space on the T-Mobile's 5G & 4G LTE networks.

Tello prepaid plans are some of the best on the T-Mobile network, which means you pay for service upfront, eliminating any surprise charges or additional fees.

What makes Tello different?

Of all the dozens of MVNOs I've reviewed over the years, Tello stands out for its 100% custom plans.

The website and app have sliders for data, talk, and text. You can mix and match in each area and know the price you'll pay without any hidden charges.

Both platforms are clear, simple, and easy to use.

Plans & pricing

What are the best Tello plans?

Tello 1GB plan

Image of cell phone with Tello
  • T-Mobile coverage
  • Unlimited talk and text
  • Instant eSIM activation
$792 in annual savings

Tello 2GB plan

Image of cell phone with Tello
  • T-Mobile coverage
  • Unlimited talk and text
  • Instant eSIM activation
$780 in annual savings

Tello 5GB plan

Image of cell phone with Tello
  • T-Mobile coverage
  • Unlimited talk and text
  • Instant eSIM activation
$732 in annual savings

Tello 10GB plan

Image of cell phone with Tello
  • T-Mobile coverage
  • Unlimited talk and text
  • Instant eSIM activation
$672 in annual savings

Tello unlimited data plan

Image of cell phone with Tello
  • T-Mobile coverage
  • Unlimited talk and text
  • Instant eSIM activation
$600 in annual savings

How does Tello compare to T-Mobile?

T-Mobile vs Tello comparison

Keep your T-Mobile phone, number & coverage: Save $600 per year

Carrier Network Coverage 4G/5G Data Price Annual Cost
T-Mobile T-Mobile 4G & 5G Unlimited $75/mo $900/yr
Tello T-Mobile 4G & 5G Unlimited $25/mo $300/yr
Savings $50/mo $600/yr

In addition to the unlimited minutes of talk and text included above, you can also choose differing amounts of talk minutes. They have 100 min, 300 min, and 500 min options (all include free text).

You may also decide a data-only plan with no talk or text may be the perfect fit.

Adding additional GB of data or minutes to your plan at any time is easy. It lets you adjust your plan according to your usage. This feature is especially useful for customers with changing cellular data needs from month to month.

Tello's plans are budget-friendly, with prices starting at just $5 per month. Tello's transparent pricing structure has no hidden fees or extra charges. What you see is what you get, allowing customers to plan their monthly budget without surprise expenses.

Tello prices and plans are competitive with other MVNOs like Mint Mobile and US Mobile. However, Tello is half the price of alternate carriers like Cricket Wireless.

Is Tello a good value?

Their custom plans make it one of the most versatile plans in the industry, making it attractive to individuals with any budget. All plans include taxes and service fees, so no unexpected charges exist.

High ratings for customer satisfaction with plans, service, and customer support enhance its value.

Additionally, comparing these plans to other major carriers like T-Mobile can provide a better perspective on the value Tello brings to the table.

Compare Tello vs other carriers

Tello How do Tello plans compare?
Tello logo See at Tello Boost Mobile logo See at Boost Mobile
*$15 Off 1st Mth
US Mobile logo Mint Mobile logo See at Mint Mobile
*$45 for 3 Months
T-Mobile 4G & 5GAT&T & T-Mobile 4G & 5GVerizon & T-Mobile 4G & 5GT-Mobile 4G & 5G
Unlimited dataUnlimited dataUnlimited dataUnlimited data
4.6 on Trustpilot
1.3 on Trustpilot
4.7 on Trustpilot
2.9 on Trustpilot

Network coverage

Does Tello have good network coverage?

Tello operates on the T-Mobile network, which spans the US.

The Tello coverage map allows you to check service availability in specific locations, giving you peace of mind that you will have coverage where you need it most.

Does Tello have 5G coverage?

You can utilize America's fastest 5G network at no additional charge.

According to a 2023 Opensignal 5G Experience Report, T-Mobile's network ranks top in the United States for overall 5G user experience. Again, access depends on your coverage area and a compatible device.

What are data speeds on Tello like?

The data speeds offered by Tello phone plans are well-suitable for everyday use, ensuring smooth browsing, video streaming, and app usage.

So you will be covered whether you use a lot or a little data.

You may experience slower data speeds during network congestion, but that's true of any carrier.

I ran my own speed test using the Ookla app for my son's phone line, and the result averaged just above 80 Mbps for download speeds.

What international calling features does Tello have?

You can use your talk minutes to make international calls to over 60 countries across the globe. If the country isn't included in that list, you can make Wi-Fi calls using the MyTello app.

Does Tello have hotspot data for internet use?

For customers who require internet access on the go, Tello lets users access their phone data for hotspot tethering.

This feature is perfect for customers who travel frequently or need internet access in locations without Wi-Fi.

And there is no added cost to your monthly bill and no data cap on hotspot speeds.

SIM activation

Is it easy to switch to Tello?

Activating Tello SIM cards is a straightforward process that can be completed online in moments by using the Tello app or website.

First, decide what plan best suits your needs and if you want a new number or to port your existing number.

You can order a SIM card starter kit or activate it instantly using eSIM.

Then, just follow the step-by-step instructions.

Does Tello support eSIM?

Yes, Tello supports eSIM, so you can instantly activate your line from the comfort of your own home. There is no need for a physical SIM card.

Most newer smartphones are eSIM compatible.

You can learn more about this technology with our eSIM guide.

Customer reviews & ratings

What are Tello's customer service reviews like?

Tello Mobile offers a positive customer service experience overall. The team is ready to assist with concerns and find quick, reliable resolutions.

Real customers describe them as efficient and helpful, which has been my experience so far.

Customers feel like they get the support they need without feeling pressured.

Tello customer reviews roundup

How do I contact Tello customer service?

You have three options to contact the customer support team, which are found here:

You can call, email, or chat. They also have a strong social media presence.

  1. Call: When you click on the blue "Phone," it gives the phone number 866-377-0294.
  2. Email: Selecting"Email me" will guide you to a contact form to narrow down your question.
  3. Chat: When you click "Start chat," nothing seems to happen, at least for me.

However, the chat feature is readily available on all the pages in the bottom right-hand corner. Just tap the orange icon, and it will prompt you.

Personally, I found chat to be the most helpful, but they are known for great customer care across the board.

What are most customers saying about Tello?

The general consensus seems to be that Tello offers a great service at a great price, which I agree with from my experience.

But that's not to say there are no complaints; everyone's user experience is unique and subjective.

Customers greatly appreciate this pricing transparency, as it allows them to have full control over their phone bills.

In addition, Tello offers a referral program where customers can earn account credit by referring friends and family. It's yet another way for customers to save a few dollars, making Tello an even more cost-effective option.

Customers highly appreciate Tello's customer service team for its friendly, helpful, knowledgeable, and supportive approach.

The customer service reps are committed to ensuring user satisfaction by going above and beyond to resolve issues effectively. With a focus on responsiveness, professionalism, and timely support, Tello consistently delivers assistance that customers value.

What are some common issues with Tello?

While Tello Mobile provides reliable phone service, customers may experience some common issues.

Data speeds and call quality may vary depending on location. Though Tello aims to provide reliable service, some customers have reported slower speeds and dropped calls. There seem to be some coverage gaps in specific regions.

Factors like location, network congestion, and device compatibility can affect coverage and call quality.

Customer service response times may vary based on the volume of inquiries.

Also, although you can call 60+ countries free, there are several countries where you have to pay as you go. You buy credits for call minutes to countries not on the free list.

There is no international roaming, so you cannot use your phone minutes outside the US. If this is the case, then you can use Wi-Fi calling or the MyTello App to make phone calls while on Wi-Fi.

My viewpoint: Is Tello any good?

Short answer: With prices starting at $5/month for service on the T-Mobile network, Tello should be on your shortlist. I've done the research to save you time and money in picking the best plan option for your individual needs. However, no one carrier or plan fits all.

Is Tello worth it?

With hundreds of plan combinations available, I think you'd be hard-pressed not to find a plan that fits your needs and budget.

That, coupled with the excellent customer service ratings and great coverage, makes it worth serious consideration.

Would I use Tello?

Short answer: I currently have a Tello phone plan. I signed up my son a while back. I love the customizable plan options, ease of activation and plan changes, reliable coverage, and high-rated customer service. And I currently pay just $7/month for his plan - hard to beat!

Tello features

Phone selection

What phones are available at Tello Mobile?

If you're looking for a new device to go with your cheaper cell phone plan, you'll find deals on a range of devices through Tello.

They have iPhones, Samsung Galaxy, and Motorola cell phones for you to choose from.

Compare Tello cell phone deals to ensure you get the very best price.

Can I bring my own phone?

Yes, you can bring your own phone to Tello by making switching quick and hassle-free.

Tello's service is compatible with many unlocked phones. Use our compatibility checker to see if your phone is eligible.

The SIM card activation process makes activating your plan instantly and keeping your phone number easy, without any additional complications or delays.

Tello FAQs

Recap: Is Tello the best cell phone plan service for you?

The choice is yours.

With its 100% custom plans, flexibility, affordability, and stellar customer service, Tello's cell phone service seems like a solid choice for most people.

Here are a few things to keep in mind while you make a decision:

  • Custom plans: Choose how much data, talk, and text you want. Change plans as your needs change.
  • No contract: Cancel when you want.
  • Transparent prices: Mixed-and-match plans start at $5 per month, and Tello unlimited plans start at $25 per month.
  • Excellent coverage: Get wireless service on T-Mobile's network, including 5G coverage.
  • User-friendly: Track usage, change plans, add lines, buy add-ons, and more online.
  • High-rated customer service: Friendly, helpful, and prompt assistance by phone, email, or chat.

By switching to Tello, you stand to save as much as $600 per line each year on your cell phone plan without sacrificing the features you enjoy right now.

Whether you choose a Tello cell phone plan or another MVNO, you're bound to benefit.

Cut your phone bill by up to $600/yr
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How we reviewed Tello

To select the best carriers and plans, MoneySavingPro's team of experts evaluated over 30 different carriers.

Carriers were rated in five categories, with a star rating from 1-5, with 5 stars being the best. We then calculate the overall star rating using the five categories:

  1. Value for money: We compare carriers based on price, features, benefits, and promotions. It's not just about the lowest price but getting the most bang for your buck.
  2. Coverage: We look at network 5G and 4G LTE coverage across the US. We use coverage maps to determine service availability and data speeds in urban, suburban, and rural locations.
  3. Customer experience: We take into account items such as current user experience, website and app usability, ease of switching, and customer service in terms of availability, channels, and satisfaction ratings.
  4. Transparency: We assess whether carrier pricing is clear and straightforward. We examine the fine print to check for hidden fees, confusing terms or conditions, and misleading offers to ensure upfront, honest prices and advertising.
  5. Range of choice: We evaluate the diversity of plan options to determine if they fit the individual needs of all customers.

Read more about our carrier ratings methodology and our editorial process.

Tello guides

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