Switching Wireless carrier to a MVNO

I use Verizon has my current carrier but I see there are some MVNOs that also use the Verizon towers. Obviously, customer service will be different if I switch. Would appreciate it if anyone could give me more information on the benefits or loss of benefits to switching to one of the MVNOs

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I would be interested in the same information. I have AT&T and would love a cheaper AT&T based MVNO, like Mint mobile for example. I can’t imagine the customer service could be any worse!! :slight_smile: But, I do worry about quality of service. I have 4 smart phones for the family and we rely on them fairly heavily, consuming about 20 - 25GB per month of data combined.

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My needs are a lot lower than yours. We have 2 phones and use only about 2 GB per month.

The benefits are pretty simple - I don’t feel cheated on Google Fi. When I was with Verizon, paying off a phone didn’t decrease my phone bill - that bill stayed as inflated as ever. Now, financing my phone with Google adds about $15 to my bill each month, but when I pay the phone off, that’s reflected in the future bills. I pay for just the data I use & no more. With Verizon, if I had used just 1MB too much data, they would have charged me $15 extra. With Google Fi, the charge is $1. On Verizon, I had a call quality issue where calls at my home were garbled, so in addressing it with support, the CSR tried a few unhelpful things and said he’d call me back. But he never called me back. On Google Fi, I’ve always been impressed by the customer service.

With AT&T the bill does decrease when the phone is paid off. but I still think FI or something similar would be cheaper for the service. I mostly have concerns about the network since we use our phones so much. I know it uses the same towers - there are only really 4 cellular networks in the US - but those guys can and will throttle the MVNO subscribers during peak usage times. Has anyone experienced that?

I am glad to hear that you are happy with FI but that does not answer anything about my question

I haven’t noticed speeds that are that different from when I was on Verizon. I guess I must be throttled, but when I’m using LTE, I’m just using Google Maps or Messages or other light usage stuff. Not playing games or anything else heavy - that stuff I just do on Wi-Fi. So I haven’t noticed the throttling.

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It appears it did: You asked for benefits and @MacPhyle said 1.) bill goes down when phone paid off, 2.) more fair pricing for going over preset data cap and 3.) always impressed by customer service.

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Thanks for the feedback. I have two teenagers that play games and watch videos everywhere they go. Maybe I will move one of them to Fi and see how it goes. I can always move them back if there are problems.

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If you’re using 25gb a month regularly, I think Fi might get expensive. How much do you pay per line currently? You said ATT right?

That is what I was worried about too, with the way they structure data. I have a 4 line AT&T plan that gives me 30GB “unlimited” (throttled after that, I know right?) data to share, the cost for just the service is around $180 for all 4 lines. I did some shopping a few months ago and didn’t find much cheaper but these things are changing all the time. I would be looking for some of the same additional or loss of benefits the OP was asking about.

You have to figure in how much data use on Wi-Fi though, because that doesn’t count. You not charged for that on Fi.

For sure - but I know we do use 20 - 25GB of actual cellular data monthly.

So up to $25 per month of data.

Let me know if you decide to try Fi and I’ll get you a promo code.

I would also look at Visible, which is a whole owned subsidiary of Verizon (much like how Cricket is owned by AT&T), but run like an MVNO, and much lower pricing than its Big Red parent.


a MVNO can make deals with multiple network providers to be more agnostic and will likely route traffic based on costs as to the network providers sometimes they make internetwork deals and route traffic based more on stability. but thats all behind the scenes and you should get the contract speed.

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Is any of that data usage from using your phone as a WiFi hotspot? Based on perusing the fine print on different plans, it looks like there may be several ways to get cheaper coverage but it comes down to how you use it. Also, if each user on your plan uses vastly different amounts of data, that can also change which plans might work better. Unlimited has gotten so complicated :laughing:.

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But based on my initial findings, TWiT’s sponsor Mint could save you quite a bit of hotspot isn’t important and each user uses 12 gb or less.

Fi’s unlimited would cost the same as your current plan, but the 22gb data cap appears to be per line.

Verizon has a $35 per line with lots of squirrelly fine print. Might be worth looking into but left my head spinning.

T-mobile has a $40 per line plan that provides unlimited per line with possible throttling at 50gb. The nice thing is they include taxes and fees in their pricing. They also have a $30 unlimited LTE plan but you might experience “slower speeds than other customers” a la Verizon’s $35 plan.

Fi’s unlimited seems to have the best mobile hotspot offering. Mint’s is limited to your data cap. T-mobile offers 3gb LTE then throttles to unlimited 3G. Verizon doesn’t offer any unless you upgrade to the more pricy plan.

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Just FYI: Mint is a MNVO for TMobile. They’re the MNVO I would recommend, but obviously you need to have good coverage with TMobile.