How to save money on your wireless cell phone service – use an MVNO

If you’re paying too much for wireless cell phone service, consider switching to using a MVNO instead. A wireless MVNO (mobile virtual network operator) is a company that does not own its own cellular network but instead leases network capacity from a major carrier. This allows MVNOs to offer lower prices than the major carriers, as they do not have to invest in building and maintaining their own networks.

AT&T, Dish Wireless, T-Mobile and Verizon are the 4 local wireless carriers that build and maintain the cell tower network and infrastructure, but dozens of MVNOs resell service on those networks for often a cheaper price.

Some of the more popular MVNOs, and the network(s) that they use

  • Consumer Cellular – AT&T or T-Mobile
  • Spectrum – Verizon
  • Mint Mobile – T-Mobile
  • Visible – Verizon
  • Cricket – AT&T
  • Metro – T-Mobile
  • Red Pocket – AT&T, T-Mobile, Verizon
  • TracFone – Verizon
  • Boost Mobile – AT&T, Dish Wireless
  • Google Fi – T-Mobile

Pros to switching to an MVNO

  • Lower cost than the major carriers
  • Payments for service are at the beginning of each monthly term – no long-term contracts that are tied into purchasing a phone at a large discount
  • You can usually use an existing modern phone, as long as it’s no more than a few years old.

Cons to switching to an MVNO

  • Lower priority data in areas and times of network congestion
  • Generally lower or no phone subsidies (no free phones, you pay for the entire cost of the phone in advance)
  • International roaming is not included or an add-on expense
  • Customer service is limited to phone or chat only – there are no local stores to visit for help *

* This is where we can help.

If you need help deciding on which MVNO to choose, setting up or troubleshooting your wireless service or device, porting your phone number out from your existing wireless carrier, or transferring data to a new smartphone, contact Computer Techs for in-home service.