The recent surge in popularity of MVNOs has me curious. Because of my phone contract recently ending, I've been taking the opportunity to try out different MVNOs and weigh their benefits vs. disadvantages—today we'll be taking a look at US Mobile and deciding whether or not it is worth the price.
Before I go into my thoughts, though, it's important for me to explain what an MVNO is in the first place.
MVNO is a term that stands for Mobile Virtual Network Operator. MVNOs are smaller providers that are different from the major, mainstream providers in the sense that they don't own the entire network. Instead of owning the network, MVNOs purchase coverage from the larger companies at a reduced rate, allowing them to then sell it to consumers for cheaper prices.
Because there are so many MVNOs operating in the US right now (about 300) and they can't necessarily compete with the bigger companies, their only competition is the other MVNOs. Though this makes the market more difficult for the companies themselves, it is only a benefit to the consumers who are able to get better deals on cell phone usage than ever before.
Who Are MVNOs For?
The people who will benefit the most from MVNOs are those who are looking to have a service plan that is not a contract. Those who want flexibility with their phone plan will be delighted, as typically MVNOs don't even require you to have recurring charges, with some of them being as open as letting you only pay for what you use. This is useful for those who either don't want to commit to a contract or for those who are not always in the US, meaning that you can pay-as-you-go and not have to worry about paying for service that you don't use.
For me, the attraction to MVNOs is mainly because I typically feel like I am overpaying for things I don't need whenever I'm in a mobile contract. For example, in previous contract-based plans I've had, I never felt like I was actually taking advantage of the unlimited calls or texting. I'm able to use data pretty quickly, making unlimited data plans perfectly suitable for my habits, but the rest of it felt unnecessary.
Because of this, looking into the various MVNOs means that i can potentially find a plan that works for my budget, allowing me to pay only for what I use and not have to worry as much about being overcharged for features I don't want.
What is US Mobile?
US Mobile is an up-and-coming MVNO that has recently gotten its start with some glowing reviews. Because of these reviews, I wanted to test it for a month and see if my thoughts lined up with those who have already tried the service.
So, without further ado, here is my US Mobile Phone Plan Review:
I admit that I'm entering the US Mobile experience quite late, but it seems that it's for a good reason: recently the network announced that it would be adding service to its network through what is “the biggest 4G LTE network”, clearly alluding to Verizon's ownership of this title.
This makes US Mobile a really unique MVNO, as this is a very big step up as far as service is concerned. There aren't many other similar services that use Verizon's network, making US Mobile a great start for anyone who is looking to have great coverage nationwide.
I was able to use my iPhone 6Plus with US Mobile, so I didn't have to worry about buying a phone when starting my test. However, it should be noted that there are phones offered through US Mobile for those who are looking to get a new phone when they switch providers. Like many MVNOs, these aren't the cheapest deals (i.e. some of the smartphones are actually cheaper to get from retailers for some reason), but there are definitely deals within there. Through looking in the shop you'll be able to find a few phones that are well under $100, making it more accessible for those who are looking for something cheap, but still not as affordable as services that will provide a free phone with a purchase of service.
Because of these price points, US Mobile is definitely most suitable for those who have their own devices who are simply trying to switch networks for a cheap price.
As far as cell phone plans go, US Mobile has a variety of options. Because the provider originally used T-Mobile's access and now just added Verizon on top of it, there are two tiers of pricing for each carrier: you can get a GSM LTE Plan (cheaper, with T-Mobile) or a Super LTE Plan (more pricey, with Verizon).
Because I was so interested in the Verizon component of an MVNO, I got the cheapest plan they offered, that being $35 a month for unlimited data, 100 min, and 100 texts.
At the beginning of the month, I could already feel that this was off to a rocky start. Because there are so many cheaper MVNOs out there that would allow me to pay half the price of my US Mobile plan, I felt uneasy about if I was actually saving money or not.
This feeling persisted as I realized that I was limited in data and text messages, the latter of which I didn't even really know still happened.
However, something truly notable about US Mobile and the Verizon coverage is the sheer range of it. For example, There is so much coverage with the network that it puts other MVNOs to shame. I didn't have to worry about losing signal no matter where I went because of how well-connected the Verizon network is.
The unlimited data was also something that I really loved during my month trying US Mobile. It was great to not have to worry at all about fees for using too much data, something that allowed me to stream and listen to music whenever I was on the go.
I have also read that the T-Mobile plans offered by US Mobile aren't bad in their own right. T-Mobile still has a handful of coverage that lets you travel across the US without it dropping, something that can be very helpful for those who are constantly on-the-go. The difference between T-Mobile and Verizon, though, is the quality of the service. While T-Mobile does have good coverage, Verizon has the nation's largest 4G LTE network, which is more useful if you're expecting to use data. Thankfully, US Mobile gives you the option to choose, something that makes their service quite flexible.
For those who would prefer to have a completely customizable plan set out, US Mobile does that too—you're able to also use their “plan builder” to completely customize your service, something that few other MVNOs do in as much detail.
I think my greatest hang-up about the service, though, is the price. While you're certainly paying for quality service and unlimited data, it is not the type of MVNO you'll want to use if you're trying to save money. Because a majority of MVNOs I've looked at so far have prices well below half of the cheapest US Mobile plan, it does not seem sustainable as a way to save money.
However, something that it is incredibly useful for is for customers who are looking to leave the country for long periods of time or not use their phones—through this, it would make sense to use US Mobile because of its status of not having contracts and therefore no commitment. If you want to pay for one month and then not pay again for another 3 months, that's perfectly possible within the service. This amount of flexibility is something that you don't get with major providers because of the necessity on their part to lock you in a contract, something that is less-than-ideal for many.
During my month using US Mobile, I was very happy with the service I received. It was reliable, bountiful, and gave me access to a large range of coverage over a variety of different locations.
My main concern with US Mobile, though, is that the service just isn't affordable enough for me to say that you should take it up immediately. Because a majority of people looking for MVNOs are often looking for a deal, it wouldn't make sense to say that US Mobile is the answer to their concerns.
Relatively, the price isn't necessarily expensive considering what you get with it. You get very high-quality coverage with unlimited data and enough texts/minutes that you wouldn't necessarily use anyway, so asking for over $30 a month makes sense.
However, where US Mobile succeeds greatly is its flexibility. For someone who isn't as tied to a budget but still wants to receive quality cell phone service, US Mobile can help them be able to stop and start their plan whenever they want and have no change in pricing.
So, for people who are looking for a high-quality cell phone plan that they can stop and start whenever they'd like, US Mobile is exactly what you're looking for. For those who are looking for something more affordable that will keep their bill more balanced, then perhaps it's best to look into other MVNOs that have more financial flexibility.
Unfortunately, I consider myself of the latter group of people, so—while I greatly enjoyed my month using US Mobile—the price tag wasn't enough to justify continuing to use the service for me, especially considering that I typically don't use a good portion of my features for any given phone bill.
That being said, though, US Mobile does let you have a trial if you want. Their website is currently offering a one month trial letting you use 100 minutes, 100 texts, or 100MB of data—whichever runs out first. I recommend you try it for yourself and see if it's a good fit for you!
US Mobile Basics
This section answers the basic questions you have about US Mobile services and products. Use it to understand US Mobile better before you move on to other questions.
Is US Mobile Good?
It is for many people. There’s no contract, you can bring your own device, and you only pay for what you use. Best of all, you can get a free trial with a full refund if you’re not satisfied. However AT&T deals have been very alluring lately so check them out too.
Does US Mobile Have Stores?
Not at this time. You’ll need to order a US Mobile starter kit from their website. This will set you up with everything you need to get started.
Does US Mobile Get Signal?
Yes – US Mobile runs on T-Mobile’s network. That means you’ll get nationwide talk, text, and data reliably anywhere you go in the US.
Is US Mobile a Good Deal?
It is for many people. Lots of people love the idea of building their own plan to meet their needs and not having a contract. Also, the free trial period will let you find out for yourself.
Does US Mobile Work?
It sure does. US Mobile uses the T-Mobile nationwide network. That means you’ll have consistent access to talk, text, and data anywhere you go with T-Mobile coverage.
Is US Mobile a Good Cellphone Plan?
Many people think so. The ability to craft your own plan, pay-as-you-go, and cancel any time makes US Mobile an appealing option for many cell phone customers.
Does US Mobile Allow Tethering?
Most times. All custom plans allow network tethering. However, some of the unlimited plans do not. The plans that do support tethering will state such clearly.
Where to Buy US Mobile Plan?
The best place to get a US Mobile plan is on their website. You can use your own unlocked phone with a SIM or order a starter kit from US Mobile.
US Mobile Network
Lots of people have questions about the networks that US Mobile phones use. We’ll answer those questions in this section.
What Carrier Does US Mobile Use?
US Mobile operates on the T-Mobile network. That means US Mobile customers will get access to the data, calls, and texts across the country.
What Towers Does US Mobile Use?
T-Mobile towers support the US Mobile network. As a result, you can count on reliable coverage anywhere that T-Mobile services.
What US Mobile Phones Use GSM?
GSM depends on the network, not the phone. All US Mobile phones use GSM, as they run on the T-Mobile network, which uses GSM.
Is US Mobile GSM?
Yes, US Mobile is GSM, as it runs off of the T-Mobile network. T-Mobile, along with AT&T, are the only major US operators that use GSM instead of CDMA.
Is US Mobile a Good Network?
Yes – US Mobile uses the T-Mobile Network. T-Mobile network coverage has tripled since 2014 and offers excellent 4G LTE coverage across the nation. Some people do prefer the Sprint network right now though so you may want to check out Sprint phone deals too.
What Network Is US Mobile Super LTE?
US Mobile Super LTE uses the T-Mobile LTE Network. T-Mobile runs the second-largest LTE network in the country, so you’re probably going to get good coverage no matter where you live.
What Network Is US Mobile Wireless On?
US Mobile Wireless is on the T-Mobile LTE network. They offer nationwide coverage across nearly the entire US.
Does US Mobile Use the T-Mobile Network?
Yes, US Mobile uses the T-Mobile network. That means you can rely on a solid signal almost anywhere in the country, as T-Mobile has excellent coverage.
What Is US Mobile 4G LTE Band?
US Mobile uses the T-Mobile Network. They use the 4G LTE Bands 2, 4, 12, 66, and 71. US Mobile may or may not have access to all of the T-Mobile bands.
US Mobile Phones
As with any phone carrier, people want to know what phones they can use with US Mobile. We’ll answer those questions here.
Where Can You Get US Mobile Phones?
You can get US Mobile phones from the company’s website. You can also get your own phone from somewhere else after checking that it’s compatible with US Mobile’s network.
Can I Use US Mobile With Straight Talk Wireless Phone?
Maybe. You can use 99% of commercially available phones with the US Mobile network. However, the phone must be unlocked before you can use it with US Mobile.
Will LG Phoenix 2 Work With US Mobile?
The LG Phoenix 2 will work with US Mobile, but it only works on 2G and 3G networks. The device does not support 4G LTE bands.
Will Nokia 3310 g3 Work with US Mobile?
No, the device is not compatible with US Mobile’s network. It doesn’t support 2G, 3G or 4G LTE Bands, so you’ll have to use a different phone if you want US Mobile.
Can I Use My Softbank iPhone6 with US Mobile Carrier?
As long as the phone is unlocked you can use it. It’s compatible with 2G 3G and 4G LTE bands that US Mobile uses.
Can US Mobile Work on Verizon Locked Phones?
No, you’ll have to unlock the phone or use a different phone if you want to use it with US Mobile. US Mobile doesn’t work with locked phones.
Will Pantech p8010 Flex Work With US Mobile?
Most likely – the Pantech p8010 works on 2G, 3G, and 4G bands used by US Mobile. You should check with US Mobile to be sure though.
Will Nokia 3310 Work on US Mobile?
No, the Nokia 3310 doesn’t work on the 2G, 3G, or 4G LTE bands that US Mobile uses. You’ll need to order a new phone in order to use US Mobile.
Will My Phone Work with US Mobile?
Probably, US Mobile supports 99% of phones on the market today. However, you can check your phone’s compatibility by using this network compatibility checker. If you end up getting a new phone remember you can sell old cell phones to at least get a little money back.
Other US Mobile Questions
This section covers the other US Mobile questions that don’t fit into our other categories. It’s a good place to look if you can’t find the answer to your question elsewhere.
Does Paytm Take US Mobile Numbers?
Probably, however you’ll need to check with Paytm to be sure. It also depends on what type of phone you have.
What Do US Mobile Numbers Look Like?
US Mobile numbers have the standard 10-digit configuration of all US phone numbers. The first 3 digits are the area code, followed by the 7-digit phone number.
Does US Mobile Offer WiFi?
Yes, US Mobile offers access to 30 million hotspots as well as in-flight WiFi around the world and runs on more than 3,500 planes worldwide. You can also purchase a seperate portable hotspot device from a number of companies which can offer even more flexibility.
What Is a Carrier Change Requests for US Mobile Phones?
A carrier change request is the process of switching your service to a new cell phone carrier while keeping your same phone number.
Do US Mobile Phones Work in Europe?
Most likely, US Mobile uses the T-Mobile Network, which is a GSM network. GSM is the same network standard used in Europe. However, you’ll need to ensure your phone supports the GSM band used in the country you’re visiting.