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The telecommunication industry is evolving at an unprecedented rate and is taking measures to address several communities’ connectivity needs. Many operators are slowly moving from the infrastructure deployment and instead are using wireless connections to bring access to remote areas.

This has given rise to the Mobile Virtual Network Operators (MVNO). They are now in the best position to address several communities’ requirements and deliver services to niche market verticals. So, what is an MVNO, and how does it differ from other major mobile carriers? This article will help you understand what an MVNO is and explore the best plans they offer.

What is an MVNO?

MVNO or Mobile Virtual Network Operator is a reseller of a wireless network. It doesn’t have its radio network or access to a licensed frequency spectrum. Furthermore, it doesn’t have its infrastructure and has to rely on other network operators or MNOs like Verizon, AT&T, and T-Mobile to provide wireless communication services.

MVNOs offer better prices to the customers as they purchase these network services at wholesale rates. And while bigger MVNOs can run their operations, smaller ones remain under MNOs.

Pros:

  • Same service for low cost
  • Wide coverage

Cons:

  • Limited plans
  • Data deprioritization

How are MVNOs Different from MNOs?

MVNO Plans

Most MVNOs offer prepaid plans, requiring you to pay before receiving your service. These plans are beneficial for many reasons, as they don’t include overage fees and allow you to stop or pause the phone plan at any moment. They also don’t require a credit check, which makes them an attractive option for people who want a hassle-free process.

Prioritization

While MNOs give the same speed, connection, and other benefits to the MVNOs, they usually prioritize their direct customers. Hence, MVNO customers experience slow service during network congestion.

Perks

Unlike MNOs, MVNOs skimp on perks, but they make up for them with their special deals and reasonable rates, making them an ideal option for people on a budget.

Phones

You can buy the latest phones from MVNOs. However, if you don’t want to buy a new phone, you don’t have to. Most MVNOs allow you to bring your own device (BYOD) as long as it is compatible with their network.

Which MVNOs are the Most Popular?

Although the telecommunication market is saturated with MVNOs, the best ones provide outstanding value with solid overage by leveraging the major carriers’ networks. Here are some of the most popular MVNOs with their networks:

MVNOsNetwork
Spectrum Mobileruns on Verizon
Mint Mobileruns on T-Mobile
Xfinity Mobileruns on Verizon
Google Firuns on T-Mobile
Cricket Wirelessruns on AT&T
Consumer Cellularruns on AT&T

Best MVNO Plans of 2022

Carrier PlanMonthly CostDataNetwork Type
Tello Unlimited$29/monthUnlimited4G LTE, 5G
Nationwide
Mint Mobile Unlimited$30/monthUnlimited4G LTE, 5G
Nationwide
Visible Unlimited$40/monthUnlimited4G LTE, 5G
Nationwide

Tello Unlimited: Best Unlimited Data Plan

Tello Unlimited is the best overall plan. Starting at $29 per month for one line, this plan offers unlimited data over T-Mobile’s extensive network. It allows you to enjoy unlimited talking and texting and free calls to over 60 countries. Although it offers very few perks like other MVNOs, it makes up for them with amazing service. You can even turn your phone into a mobile hotspot for free with Tello Unlimited.

Cost: $29/month for a single line

Pros:

  • Affordable plan
  • No contracts
  • Free calls to 60+ countries

Cons:

  • Limited perks

Mint Mobile Unlimited: Versatile Plan

Mint Mobile Unlimited is one of the best MVNO plans. Using T-Mobile’s network, Mint Mobile offers an affordable unlimited data plan for just $30 per month. The mobile plan includes 35 GB of high-speed and 5 GB of hotspot data. It allows unlimited texting and talking nationwide and free calls to Mexico and Canada.

However, Mint Mobile Unlimited comes with few catches. It throttles your speeds after 35 GB of data usage and binds you to a contract. It gives you three contract options; 3, 6 months, or 12 months. The monthly price increases with contract renewal, and if you want to keep it low, it is best to choose a 12-month contract.

Cost: $30/month for a single line

Pros:

  • Affordable plan
  • Unlimited data

Cons:

  • Enforces contracts
  • Slow speeds after using 35 GB of data

Visible Unlimited: Best Family Plan

Visible Unlimited is the best plan for your family. Since Verizon owns Visible, you get the same benefits. It is the only plan offered by Visible and includes unlimited talking and texting, unlimited hotspot data for one device, and free calls to Mexico and Canada. Visible Unlimited gives you unlimited high-speed data without any strings attached. And although you don’t have to worry about throttled speeds, you have to face deprioritization if the network is busy.

The plan’s cost drops when you add more lines, and you can enjoy a monthly bill as low as $25. Hence, it is the best plan for families.

Cost: $40/month for a single line

Pros:

  • Group payment option
  • High-speed data without any caps
  • Plan’s price includes taxes and fees

Cons:

  • Data deprioritization

Final Words

Cell phones have become an increasingly popular medium of accessing the internet, which has given rise to Mobile Virtual Network Operators (MVNOs). It is essential to understand what an MVNO is as numerous of them are working in the market. Familiarizing yourself with these carriers can help you comprehend whether they are worth your investment or not. To help you single out the most suitable plan, we have included some of the best MVNO plans for 2022.