Tello is a wireless provider working on Sprint's nationwide network that focuses on providing simple cell phone service. With Tello, you'll enjoy prepaid plans meaning- no contracts, activation fees, or early termination fees. Best of all, their plans are designed to save you money.
You can view the Tello Coverage Map to ensure they cover your area.
In This Guide
Tello vs. The Competition
You might be wondering how Tello can operate on Sprint's network and have plans starting at just $5. Well, that's because it's one of many Mobile Virtual Network Operator's (MVNOs) that operates on that network.
MVNOs are smaller carriers that lease service and tower storage from the "big four"- AT&T, Verizon, T-Mobile, and Sprint- in bulk and sell it to consumers at a lower monthly cost. They have lower overheads and spend much less on marketing so they're able to offer you amazing deals on the same network. They also don't have a lot of stores to operate, which saves them money. In fact, you can sign up for MVNOs completely online without ever setting foot in a store.
So how does Tello compare? Fortunately, we've done the work for you. 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 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.
Build Your Own Plan
You can build your own plan with Tello. 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. For instance, most of the big four plan's offer unlimited data. But do you really need an unlimited amount of data? Use our handy data usage calculator to see if this perk is a necessity.
On the flip side, if you text like a fiend you can rest assured that you'll enjoy unlimited text messages with every plan- included with your choice of monthly minutes.
So go ahead, choose your data, choose how many minutes you need per month and start saving today!
Tello Ready-Made Plans
If you prefer to take a more traditional route for any of these new plans, Tello has options for you. Check out their website for their most up to date ready-made deals. These are plans already configured that start as low as $10/month.
Perks of Choosing Tello
Tello offers these benefits with every plan:
- 4G LTE speeds
- Free tethering: share your data with all your devices
- Free calls to the US, Canada, Mexico, and China
- Each plan is good for 30 days.
- Monthly billing and freedom to cancel or reconfigure at any time.
- No fees of any kind
Read: Tello Customer Reviews
What Cell Phones Can I Get With Tello?
There is a wide range of Tello phones available. 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. Check out our Tello phones offered here at MoneySavingPro.com for the best prices.
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.
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.
Compare: Find a cheap Tello SIM Card
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.
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
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.