At long last, everyone seems to be talking about Mobile Virtual Network Operators (MVNOs), who are now forcing down prices and putting real pressure on the big four carriers.
These MVNOS offer you great 4G LTE network coverage because they use the towers of one or more of the big four carriers. Since they do not shell out lots of money for overheads or marketing, they are able to offer much cheaper plans.
Need another advantage? MVNOs also offer a customizable data plan to suit everyone's needs, not just one-size-fits-all unlimited plans.
In this guide, you'll learn about AT&T MVNOs, which could help you to save over half on your cell phone bill while enjoying AT&T's nationwide coverage.
Using the AT&T Network
AT&T MVNOs work by leasing 4G LTE coverage from AT&T, so you'll have AT&T coverage without paying AT&T fees.
In terms of overall performance, AT&T ranks second, behind Verizon, among the major network carriers, according to RootMetrics report for the second half of 2017. AT&T is given an overall score of 92.8 compared to Verizon's 95 and runs the number one carrier a close second in all categories - reliability, speed, data, call, and text.
A different perspective is provided by OpenSignal, whose report for the fourth quarter of 2017, places AT&T in third place behind T-Mobile and Verizon for 4G download speed and 4G availability, but top performer for 4G latency, its measure of responsiveness throughout the network.
Below, you'll find a list of available AT&T MVNOs. With this list, you'll be able to find some of the most valuable plans possible, allowing you to find a plan that is tailored to your needs while saving hundreds of dollars each year.
- AirVoice Wireless
- Black Wireless
- Boom Mobile
- Consumer Cellular
- Cricket Wireless
- EasyGO Wireless
- good2GO Mobile
- H2O Wireless
- Jolt Mobile
- Net10 Wireless
- Pix Wireless
- Puretalk USA
- Red Pocket Mobile
- Straight Talk
AT&T and GSM Technology
Will my phone work on an AT&T MVNO?
If you have purchased a phone directly from AT&T, then you can guarantee that the phone will also work with an AT&T MVNO.
For all other phones, you need to complete a simple phone compatibility check. Go to the new carrier's website, then click on "check compatibility," which may fall under a "BYOP tab." From there, you input your IMEI number (found in your phone's settings; for instance, on Android Marshmallow, you'll be able to find the IMEI number by going to "Settings" > "About Phone").
If your phone is compatible, then all you'll need is a SIM card from the new carrier and you'll be on your way.
Technologically speaking, you will need to ensure that your phone is compatible with the following frequencies:
- 3G: 850Mhz (Band 5), 1900Mhz (Band 2)
- LTE: 700 Mhz (Band 12), 1700/2100Mhz (Band 4), 1900Mhz (Band 2)
Since T-Mobile also uses GSM technology, their phones may work, but you should check first, as above. Please keep in mind that most Verizon Wireless or Sprint phones are unlikely to work with the AT&T network.
It's worth knowing that many of the recent versions of the Samsung Galaxy and the Apple iPhones will work on multiple networks, but be sure to check with the new carrier to confirm your phone's compatibility.
You may be wondering what advantages there are to bringing in your own phone to AT&T MVNO. Well:
1. Some carriers will bar access to the service unless you bring your own phone.
2. You'll have a hand in efforts to preserve the environment.
3. Money that would otherwise be spent on a new phone (whether through financing or upfront) will be saved.
If you do not have a phone to bring with you to the new carrier, then you can always purchase a used phone. A refurbished phone in excellent condition can be purchased at up to 50 percent off the MSRP of the same phone when in new condition. If you want to save time - and even more money - on a used cell phone, you should use our used cell phone comparison tool.
Best AT&T MVNOs
We've found the following two wireless carriers to be best MVNOs in terms of value:
ROK Mobile is unique in the fact that you can also purchase insurance plans alongside phone plans. In fact, some phone plans come with insurance plans, as well as a slew of additional benefits. All plans include unlimited talk and texting, free international calling, and roadside assistance, but some plans include life insurance, ID theft insurance, accidental death insurance, pharmacy savings, family telemedicine, and more.
Okay, so Red Pocket doesn't offer unlimited 4G LTE data, but it is perfect for those who are light, medium, and heavy data users. All plans are highly affordable and depending on the phone you bring, you may be eligible for additional data. Plans range from 500 minutes, 500 texts, and 500MB of data to unlimited talk and text, as well as over 10GB of data.
Every cell phone plan available includes the following features: unlimited texts, free unlimited international calling to 70+ countries, the ability to keep your current phone number, English or Spanish customer service access, a 30-day risk-free guarantee, and no credit checks, activation fees, or overage fees.
Other Networks' MVNOs
There are plenty of AT&T MVNOs out there: Red Pocket and ROK Mobile are just two excellent carriers who offer you AT&T coverage at much lower prices.
You should be able to save hundreds of dollars while enjoying additional benefits and features that are tailored to your needs. All you have to do then is to decide how to spend those savings!