Tello Cell Phone Plans

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* MoneySavingPro compares plans, deals, and devices across all major US cell phone carriers. The prices listed are meant to be estimates based off the information we gather and we do our best to keep everything as accurate as possible but there may some discrepancies on the actual price you pay. We provide this free service to make it easier for you to switch and save on the best value deal based on your individual usage.

Tello Cell Phone Plans

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While Tello is a wireless provider focusing on delivering a simple way to provide cell phone service, it still needs to compete against the dozens of other cell phone services available.

It's unfortunate, but competition makes an MVNO stand out. While this can be a good thing, the competition can create confusion among us consumers, especially when the web pages contain scattered information regarding the monthly plans.

Fortunately, we've done the work for you and compiled the details, merging them into a document that is easy-to-read. Inside this guide, you'll find the facts on the available Tello cell phone plans, which can include unlimited text messages, the overall shopping experience of Tello, the almost free cell phones - well a couple of them anyway - the customer service, and more. You'll find that Tello, despite being a newer carrier, makes a great effort in securing its own customer base.

Finally, we'll direct you to our cell phone comparison tool, so you can make the final decision as to whether or not Tello is right for you.

Compare Tello Plans

When you choose any of the Tello cell phone plans, you have the option of selecting either a prepaid plan or a pay as you go option. On the prepaid end, you can build your own plan. This is a great service in that you tailor a plan based on your usage so you don't overpay for items you won't use. To demonstrate, if you text like a friend, you can select the unlimited text messages option as part of your plan for $3 monthly, which is an amazing deal.

If you prefer to take a more traditional route for any of these new plans, Tello has options for you. Each of its plans contains access to calling, texting, and data with 4G LTE speeds. On the data front, the total data amount usage per plan is 5GB. If you exceed your plan's total data allowance, Tello slows the connection speed to 64 kbps. While the unlimited access is generous on the surface, Tello's data offerings fall short of what other mobile carriers offer.

For instance, you won't have fully unlimited data usage with Tello. You might want to go for an unlimited data usage plan instead if you use a lot of data every month.

The good features of its new plans are the versatility you receive. Each plan is good for 30 days. Should you decide you want to change plans you are free to do so. In addition, you have the option to cancel your service whenever you want without fear of receiving an early termination fee since they don't exist with Tello.

Along with these benefits, you also receive free tethering. With this, you can transform your mobile device into a hotspot where you can connect your laptop, Smart TV, tablet and other devices easily. And if you have relatives or friends living in Canada or Mexico, you can use your talk-time minutes to call them without worrying about international roaming rates. Unfortunately, there are no international roaming rates to speak of anyway, as Tello does not offer roaming services.

With Tello, you'll face no early termination fees with any of these plans. So if you want to move on to another carrier, you won't have to deal with any form of early termination fees.

Pay As You Go

On the other end of the spectrum is the pay as you go plans. These plans give you the freedom to pay for the items you use. How this works is you start by adding money to your account, and when you use a service such as making a call or sending a text, the fee for each feature deducts from your account. Here's a breakdown of what Tello charges per activity:

  • Calls within the United States = 3 cents per minute
  • US texts = 1 cent per message
  • Data within the US = 2 cents per MB used

The pay as you go option is ideal if your intention is to use your phone sparingly. However, if you plan to use your phone regularly it's a much better deal to go with the monthly plans, as they start as low as $9 a month.

Service Coverage

Tello runs on Sprint's nationwide network, meaning you'll have access to 4G LTE data, which equals 4G LTE speeds. Check out our guide to find out who has the best cell phone coverage.

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What Cell Phones Can I Get With Tello?

Tello possesses a wide assortment of phone available for you to buy on its website. If you want to go old school and have a flip phone, you can buy one, since they are about as close to free cell phones as you can get.

Alternatively, Tello carries some of the latest models like the Apple iPhone 7. The carrier also sells some refurbished phones which are pre-owned models that have undergone testing and are in good enough quality to sell. These "good enough quality" phones come with a discounted price, but obviously, there are risks associated with using them.

You also have the option to bring your own phone if the device is unlocked and is on the CDMA network. You can bring unlocked GSM phones to the service, but the unlocked GSM phone must have CDMA capabilities (for instance, the iPhone 6). To determine if your phone is eligible you need to check the device's IMEI, MEID or ESN code.

Read More: To find the best deal on a smartphone, use our cell phone comparison tool.

How to Activate Your Device

Tello makes service activation simple and free. If you ordered a phone through its website you need to go to My Tello and follow the prompts. Tello states it can take up to 30 minutes for service to activate on your device. Another option is to call its customer service line, as Tello's staff can assist you with service activation.

If you're activating an iPhone, you will need to reset your subscriber settings by doing the following (taken from the Tello official site):

  • Make sure Roaming is Off (go to Settings -> Cellular -> Cellular Data Options -> Roaming Off)
  • Connect to any Wi-Fi network
  • Enter ##25327# on the dial pad
  • Press Call
  • A "Reset Subscriber Settings" message will appear – press OK (this is not available for the iPhone 4 or 4S)

Then, you need to set up a profile and PRL update:

  • Connect to any Wi-Fi network
  • Press the phone app
  • Dial ##873283#
  • Press Call
  • When a "Starting Service Update" appears, press OK
  • A "Service Update Complete" message will appear after about a minute. After that, press OK.

SIM Card

Some devices require a CDMA SIM card to use 4G LTE data. To see if your phone needs a SIM card and a SIM card number, you can visit the "Bring your own phone" page and enter your device's information. In the event that you need one, you can order one on Tello's website. Do not expect free SIM cards. In fact, the SIM cards a bit on the pricier side, though Tello should consider the distribution of free SIM cards and SIM card numbers.

In the event that you need one, you can order one on Tello's website. Do not expect free SIM cards. In fact, the SIM cards a bit on the pricier side, though Tello should consider the distribution of free SIM cards and SIM card numbers.

Deals, Promotions & Discounts

Tello does offer amazing deals and discounts on select models of its phones, creating a more enjoyable shopping experience. To find these offerings you can visit its website and select the shop tab. Tello is also running a special promotion for former RingPlus customers where if you switch your service to it you'll receive a substantial discount off the price of your first month of service. However, you will need coupon codes for the discount. In this case, the coupon code is RINGPLUS50. However, you should be on the lookout for other coupon codes to save with Tello.

However, you will need coupon codes for the discount. In this case, the coupon code is RINGPLUS50. However, you should be on the lookout for other coupon codes to save with Tello.

Customer Service

On its website, Tello states its customer service team will answer your call in under five seconds, making it one of the most attentive customer service teams among the MVNOs.

That's some great effort for a carrier to set. Judging from customer reviews, most express satisfaction with Tello's services. If you need to contact customer service, you can do so via the phone number, email, and through the mail.

How to Change Your APN Settings

If you're bringing a used unlocked phone to Tello, you'll most likely need to change your APN settings. View the APN Settings for Tello here.


With varied plan options including the choice to pay for services as you go, attentive customer service, and good service reliability through Sprint's improving network, Tello is becoming one of the more reputable prepaid cell providers to have service through. However, you will not have access to unlimited data plans.

To see how Tello compares to other carriers, use our tool to compare cheap cell phone plans.

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Tello Plans FAQs

QDo I have to wait until the end of my plan to change it?


No, you can change your plan whenever you want. Any unused portion of your old plan including talk-time minutes, texting or data rolls over to your new plan. However, if you decide to eliminate a service like calling, the balance won't roll over since you won't be using that option.

QCan I transfer my number to Tello?


Yes, you can. If you bought your phone from Tello, simply call its customer service line to complete the port in process. To do this, you need to have information handy such as the phone number you want to transfer service with, the provider, the account number with the provider, the PIN number or password, the address on the bill, and the first and last name of the primary account holder.

QDoes Tello offer family plans?


At this time Tello doesn't offer family plans.

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Tello Mobile Reviews

Average Customer Rating

10 User Reviews

User Rating Distribution

5 Stars6
4 Stars2
3 Stars1
2 Stars1
1 Star0
RecommendedReasonably PricedNone

Paying for what I need and good data coverage? I can't say any bad things about this company.

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RecommendedReasonably PricedNone

Tello is easily the best low-priced phone service I've used in a long time. Not only is the cellular coverage decent but customer service is very friendly.

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RecommendedCheap PricesSlow Data Speeds

Tello is cheap, but their data speeds can be a little slow.

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RecommendedAffordable PricesNone

Excellent coverage with low monthly phone bills. It's perfect for me

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Not RecommendedAffordableMediocre Customer Support

Tello's customer support isn't the best. I got booted from chat support.

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RecommendedAffordable PricesNo Data Rollover

Tello is a fantastic alternative to the companies like T-Mobile. Their plans are very affordable. I just wish they offer data rollover.

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RecommendedUnbeatable PricesSpotty Coverage

The prices are unbeatable, but the coverage is sometimes a little spotty.

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RecommendedAmazing PricesNone

Tello focuses on customers rather than its profits. I can't recommend it enough!

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RecommendedUnbeatable PricesNone

I LOVE LOVE LOVE Tello! Its plans are convenitn and super cheap! I was paying $60 a month. Now I'm only paying $25 for a similar plan!

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RecommendedCustomer ServiceNone

Great customer service and it's cheap!

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Our ranking system is independent of compensation and reflects our understanding of the industry and the company based on a variety of factors. The companies that receive the highest rating will always be the providers that we believe offer the best value to the consumer.

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