Are you considering switching to Verizon for your cell phone service?
You aren't alone in rethinking your carrier, according to Statista over 25 million people planned to switch carriers in 2017. Nearly half of mobile consumers who switch do so because of cost.
What if you could enjoy the excellent nationwide 4G LTE coverage of Verizon's network without paying Verizon's prices?
COMPARE NOW: Verizon phone plans starting at $10 per month
In this guide, I'll tell you about one of the best-kept secrets in the cellular industry - Mobile Virtual Network Operators (MVNOs). You'll learn how using a Verizon MVNO can save you over half on your cell service while keeping the great coverage you love.
I'll also answer some basic questions you'll need answers to before you make the change.
Table of Contents
4 Key Benefits of Switching to a MVNO
A Mobile Virtual Network Operator is, simply put, a company that leases the use of the big networks' towers so that they can resell that service to you.
These MVNOs offer several major advantages over the big four carriers.
- Better prices: Verizon MVNOs have much lower overhead and marketing costs than the big guys, so they can give you better rates.
- Customised plans: The big four carriers all have one main offering - unlimited data. The flaw in this ploy is that most smartphone users barely reach 3GB of data usage per month. This means you may be paying bloated prices for something you don't even use. MVNOs let you decide how much of each feature you need - and pay for.
- No contracts: All low-cost carriers offer prepaid plans. If you're unhappy you can leave anytime you want.
- BYOP: Bringing your own phone will save you between $10 and $30 per month in pricey device payments (which, incidentally, work as a form of contract, keeping you tied to your expensive carrier).
Now that we've covered why you should make the switch to an alternative carrier let's look at the how.
3 Simple Steps to Switching to a Verizon MVNO
Regardless of your current mobile provider, there are some things you'll need to do before switching to a new carrier:
- Choose a carrier. Look at the different Verizon MVNOs listed later in this guide and find one that services your area and offers the features you want. Each carrier has a little something different to offer, so you shouldn't have trouble finding a good fit.
- Choose a plan. The average smartphone user only goes through about 3GB of data per month. Yet you're likely paying the better part of $100 per month for unlimited data you'll never use. MVNOs give you customization options so that you only pay for what you'll use.
- Get your phone unlocked. Most MVNOs save you money by allowing you to bring your own device. You can ask your carrier to unlock your phone as long as it's paid off, isn't lost or stolen, and you're not in the middle of a contract.
Popular Verizon MVNOs
As promised, here is a list of money-saving carriers on the Verizon network:
Twigby runs on both the Verizon and Sprint networks. This alternative mobile provider offers custom plans that allow you to choose from a wide range of minutes and data (you always get unlimited texts).
If you need more than one line you can specify how much of each feature you want for each line. You can also use your device as a mobile hotspot.
Prices range from $9 for minutes only with no data to $40 per month for unlimited talk and text and 4 GB of data. Verizon's unlimited plan costs $75 per month, which means you could save $420 per year by switching to Twigby.
US Mobile uses both CDMA and GSM technologies, which means your current phone is likely to work with this carrier. Another advantage of US Mobile is the customization. They offer seven different options for talk, text, and data.
By choosing US Mobile's 3 GB option for $46 per month you'll save $29 per month over Verizon's unlimited plan, that's over $340 per year.
More Verizon MVNOs:
- CREDO Mobile
- Straight Talk
- Red Pocket Mobile
- GreatCall (one of the best cell phone plans for senior citizens)
Switching from T-Mobile
This means your phone may or may not work with your new provider. Some global phones, LTE devices, and newer iPhone models are compatible with both T-Mobile and the Verizon LTE network.
T-Mobile devices are carrier locked so you'll need to have them unlock your phone so you can use it on another carrier.
Switching from Sprint
If you're asking yourself "Can I bring my Sprint phone to the Verizon network?", you'll be happy to know that the process should be pretty simple as Sprint is also a CDMA carrier. Still, you'll want to verify that you can use your own device by checking your new provider's website.
Several Verizon MVNOs also use the Sprint network so there's a high likelihood you'll be able to keep your current phone when you make the switch.
Switching from AT&T
AT&T operates on GSM rather than CDMA. Some GSM phones designed for the LTE network may work. For example, here's a list of AT&T phones that work on Twigby:
AT&T does carrier lock their devices so you'll need to have them unlock it. This is a simple process as long as you don't have an outstanding contract or device payments and your phone hasn't been reported lost or stolen.
COMPARE NOW: Verizon phone plans starting at $10 per month
Questions to Ask Before Switching to a Verizon MVNO
Before you change over to a Verizon MVNO make sure you understand the answers to the following questions.
How Do You Activate a Verizon MVNO SIM Card?
If you're bringing your own device, you typically order a 4G LTE SIM card from the website. Your new carrier will provide instructions. For more information on SIM cards you can check out "What is a SIM Card?"
Can You Take Your Existing Phone to a Verizon MVNO?
As I outlined earlier, you may be able to bring your phone if it meets the provider's requirements. If not, you can easily save hundreds of dollars by buying an affordable secondhand or refurbished device.
Can I Transfer My Phone Number?
Yes, you can. The important thing to remember is not to cancel your current service until the transfer is complete. If you cancel your current cell phone service before the new provider brings your phone number over, your number will no longer be available.
Do Verizon MVNOs Have Coverage in My Area?
Verizon MVNOs enjoy the same nationwide 4G LTE coverage as Verizon itself. However, if you live in a particularly remote area, check the company's coverage map to be sure you can get service in your location.
How Do You Port a Phone Number?
Your new mobile provider will guide you in porting your current phone number into your new service. This process is typically very simple and fast.
There you have it: now you know what to do if you want to make the switch to an alternative Verizon carrier. There's no longer any reason to pay high rates for data and services that you'll never use.
Verizon MVNOs offer the basics you expect like unlimited talk and text, and even international calling options, plus a data usage package tailored to your needs.
As intimidating as it can feel to change your cell service, an alternative mobile provider is a solid choice that will put hundreds of dollars back in your pocket.