Tello is a Mobile Virtual Network Operator (MVNO) - a wireless carrier that rents space on the four major cellular networks and sells it at a discount) based in Atlanta, GA. Tello has operated on the Sprint network since it's launch in 2015.
Even though it's not the oldest MVNO out there Tello has put in great effort to earn a reputation for offering some of the cheapest cell phone plans available, not to mention the most flexible. When you choose Tello you build your own plan around your budget and your wireless needs.
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This carrier is also worth a look if you're shopping for a plan with versatile international options. Not all MVNOs offer international service, but Tello does - plus they let you mix pay-as-you-go international calling with your regular cell phone plan.
Read on for a more detailed Tello review that will help you decide if this MVNO is right for you.
Key Considerations When Choosing Tello
Because MVNOs vary quite a bit in terms of features, services, and rates, looking at a few factors will help you figure out how well Tello cell phone plans fit your needs:
- Does the Sprint network cover your area?
- Are you a light to moderate data user?
- Do you want to avoid international roaming rates?
- Do you have a compatible phone or are you going to pay outright for a Tello device?
- Are you okay with not being able to visit a storefront, rather getting all of your services and support online?
Tello Pricing: Is It Competitive?
|Carrier||Network Coverage||Data Limit||Monthly Price||Annual Price|
|Sprint||Sprint 4G LTE||Unlimited*||$60||$720|
|Tello||Sprint 4G LTE||4GB||$29||$348|
|*Avg Sprint user on unlimited plan uses 5GB data|
Carrier Network Coverage Data Limit Monthly Price Annual PriceSprint Sprint 4G LTE Unlimited* $60 $720 Tello Sprint 4G LTE 4GB $29 $348 Saving by switching to MVNO $31 $372 * Avg Sprint user on unlimited plan uses 5GB data per month
If you're shopping MVNOs, obviously cost is a main concern in your decision. Tello is very competitive in terms of price, with one caveat. If you're a very high data user you may be better off with one of the other alternative carriers, as Tello's data plans top out at 10 GB.
Remember that just because the price is cheap, that doesn't mean you're sacrificing call quality. If you've determined that Sprint offers the best cell phone coverage for you, you'll get the same great 4G LTE data and connection that you do through the "name brand" carrier.
If you're a heavier data user - up over the 5 GB or 10 GB mark - you can find a better deal with some of the other MVNOs in our cell phone plan comparison tool.
When you go with Tello you get the same 4G LTE speeds and call quality you're used to. So if you're already with the Sprint network then switching to Tello should be a no-brainer - same network, lower cost.
If you're new to the Sprint network, of course, you'll want to be sure that there's cell phone service in your area. Quickly and easily check it out with our Tello coverage map.
While there are some gaps and weak spots in rural areas Sprint has overall strong coverage, especially if you're located near a metropolitan area. The network is also adding capacity and strengthening its existing infrastructure (BGR).
Tello Phone Options
You have two choices with this carrier: bring your own phone or buy one from the website. There isn't a huge selection, about 20 devices ranging from a flip phone to iPhone X. There's no option to finance so you'll pay out of pocket if you choose this option.
If you decide to bring your current phone with you or buy a refurbished Tello-compatible device using our cell phone comparison tool. Sprint is a CDMA network so be sure you have a CDMA phone before you choose this option.
How do you know if your phone is CDMA or GSM? Simple, ask yourself which network you're currently on:
- CDMA - Sprint & Verizon
- GSM - T-Mobile & AT&T
Tello gives you service on the nationwide Sprint network for half the price. You'll also get tethering, plus you can use your plan minutes for calls to Canada, China, and Mexico. That's a lot for a little!
Save even more money by purchasing a refurbished Tello phone to go with your new low-cost plan.
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