mobile operator profiles. These posts cover all the major US mobile operators and MVNOs that offer prepaid plans.
Overview: Net10 Wireless is a brand of TracFone Wireless which is owned by Mexico based América Móvil, the fourth largest mobile operator in the world.
The TracFone's brands combined have 25 million subscribers which makes the company the largest US prepaid mobile operator. TracFone does not break out subscriber numbers for each of its prepaid brands.
NET10 is a Mobile Virtual Network Operator (MVNO), meaning that it does not have a network of it's own but buys service from other operators which it re-sells.
NET10 phones use the T-Mobile, AT&T, Verizon and Sprint networks. Each NET10 phone has one of the four as its home network which it uses whenever possible.
NET10 GSM (AT&T and T-Mobile) phones on all plans and NET10 Verizon phones on pay as you go plans will roam on other networks for voice and text messaging only.
Net10 Verizon and Sprint phones on monthly plans do not roam at all.
See How to Tell Which Network (AT&T, T-Mobile or Verizon) a TracFone, NET10 or Straight Talk Phone Uses for more about NET10's network options.
LTE data is available on all networks. It's full speed om Sprint, T-Mobile and AT&T but is throttled to 5 Mbps down and 2 Mbps up on Verizon.
Plans and Pricing: NET10 has pay as you go and monthly plans
NET10 Monthly Plans: NET10 has the following monthly plans
|1000 Minutes Plan||$25||non-smartphones||1000 minutes||1 min ea.||1.5 min plus data used||1 minute per minute of browsing|
|Unlimited Talk, Text and Data||$35||non-smartphones, smartphones, BYOD||unlimited||unlimited||unlimited||Unlimited, throttled to 64 Kbps after 500 MB|
|Unlimited Talk, Text and Data||$40||non-smartphones, smartphones, BYOD||unlimited||unlimited||unlimited||Unlimited, throttled to 64 Kbps after 3 GB MB|
|Unlimited Talk, Text and Data||$50||non-smartphones, smartphones, BYOD||unlimited||unlimited||unlimited||Unlimited, throttled to 64 Kbps after 5 GB|
|Unlimited Talk, Text and Data||$60||non-smartphones, smartphones, BYOD||unlimited||unlimited||unlimited||Unlimited, throttled to 64 Kbps after 7 GB|
|Unlimited Talk, Text and Data||$75||non-smartphones, smartphones, BYOD||unlimited||unlimited||unlimited||Unlimited, throttled to 64 Kbps after 10 GB|
As is usually the case, NET10's "Unlimited" data does have limits. NET10's terms of service prohibit "continuously" streaming video or using the phone as a wireless modem for a laptop or other device (tethering).
Auto Refill discount: Customers who enroll in auto-refill on the NET10 site using a credit or debit card get the following discounts on unlimited monthly plans.
$35 plan is $31.50 with auto-pay
$40 plan is $36.00 with auto-pay
Family Plan discounts: Net10 offers the following multi-line discounts:
2 lines on the $40 plan for $75 ($72 with auto-pay)
2 lines on the $50 plan for $90 ($85 with auto-pay)
3 lines on the $50 plan for $130 ($125 with auto-pay)
4 lines on the $50 plan for $170 ($165 with auto-pay)
Beware that canceling your NET10 service or porting your number from NET10 to another operator does not automatically cancel Auto Pay. You must call NET10 to cancel and avoid being charged for service you are no longer using.
Phone Upgrade Unlimited Plans: NET10 also has three plans that let to get a "free" or discounted phone upgrade every 6 to 18 months. They all include unlimited domestic talk and text, unlimited international texts and unlimited data throttled after 3 GB (5 GB for BYOP users) per month. They also include 100 to 300 minutes of calls to unspecified international destinations. The difference between the three plans is how often you can upgrade your phone. There's a $60/month plan that lets you upgrade every 18 months or you can upgrade every 12 months for $70 a month or every 6 months for $80 month.
The way the upgrade works is that you get a $200 ($80 plan) or $300 ($60 and $70 plans) on phones purchased from Simple Mobile's phone sales partner Quality One Wireless. Prices on that site are on the high side: Nokia Lumia 635 $179, iPhone 5 (refurbished) $289, Samsung Galaxy S III $299, iPhone 6 16 GB $750.
Phone Upgrade Unlimited Plans
|Price||Voice Minutes||Domestic SMS Text Messages||Domestic MMS Picture Messages||Int'l Min (canada and Mexico only)||Upgrade In / AMT||Data|
|$60 (30 day plan)||Unlimited||Unlimited||Unlimited||100||18 mo / $300||Unlimited, Throttled after 5 GB 1|
|$70 (30 day plan)||Unlimited||Unlimited||Unlimited||200||12 mo / $300||Unlimited, Throttled after 5 GB 1|
|$80 (30 day plan)||Unlimited||Unlimited||Unlimited||300||6 mo / $200||Unlimited, Throttled after 5 GB 1|
NET10 Pay As you Go: NET10 gets its name from the original 10¢ per minute pricing of the pay as you plan, which for many years was the only plan available from NET10. Current pay as you go pricing varies from six to ten cents per minute depending on the amount you top up with and whether you buy a one time refill or enroll in an online only Easy Minutes auto-refill plan. The following airtime options are available.
|Cost||Days of Service||Minutes||Price Per Month||Price Per Minute|
Prices of messaging and data are based on voice minutes.
Text messages are charged at a rate of 0.5/minutes per text.
Data is charged at the rate of one minute of data use equals half a voice minute.
Picture messages cost one minute plus the cost of the data transfer which is typically another minute or two.
On NET10 pay as you go plans unused minutes roll over as long as the plan is refilled before its service end date.
International Rates: NET10 international calling and messaging features vary by plan.
NET10 has a $65/month Unlimited International, Talk, Text and Data plan includes unlimited talk and text, 5 GB of high speed data and unlimited calls to up to landlines in 34 countries (list of covered countries) and to cell phones in Canada, China, India and Mexico. Unlimited international calling is limited to up to 15 unique international phone numbers per month. NET10 does not support international direct dialing (+1 - country code - city code - phone number). Instead you have to dial an 11 digit access code, wait for a prompt and then enter the number your are calling,
On the pay as you go and $25/1000 minutes plans, NET10 offers calls to 100 countries for 5 cents per minute extra. Free online registration is required to use this plan. International direct dialing is not supported, you need to dial a two character (*1) access code and wait for a prompt before dialing the international number.
Strangely it's not possible to send international text messages with most NET10 phones and SIMs even on the International Plan! The exception is with NET10's Android phones on the Sprint network which can send international texts at no extra charge.
Coverage: NET10 coverage varies depending on which network the phone uses. See Coverage Maps For All Prepaid Carriers for links to coverage maps for the mobile operators that NET10 uses.
Devices: NET10 offers feature phones on the AT&T, Verizon and T-Mobile networks and Android phones on the Sprint, Verizon and AT&T networks. To determine which network a NET10 phone uses see, How to Tell Which Network (AT&T, T-Mobile or Verizon) a TracFone, NET10 or Straight Talk Phone Uses.
NET10 smartphones only work with unlimited plans, they can not be used on the pay as you go or 1000 Minute plans which are restricted to non-smartphones, aka feature phones.
NET10's branded feature phones (aka dumb phones) can be used on any NET10 plan.
SIMs and BYOP: NET10 also sells SIMs that you can use in any compatible GSM phone. Verizon phones except iPhones and BlackBerrys as well as most Sprint phones can also be activated. SIMs for the T-Mobile and AT&T networks and Verizon and Sprint BYOP activation codes are available from the NET10 site.
BYOP phones only work with the Unlimited plans, they can not be used on the 750 minute or pay as you go plans.
The GSM NET10 feature phones use SIM cards. However these SIMs are locked to the phone they were sold with and can not be used in any other phones including other NET10 phones. All NET10 phones are virtually impossible to unlock and can not be used on any other service.
Data (APN) Settings for NET10 SIMs for BYOP phones:
Data setup is tricky because NET10 has a nasty habit of changing their Access Point settings for AT&T based SIMs without notifying users.
Net10 has a How To Update Data Settings Web page at www.net10.com/byop_apn/index.jsp. You enter your phone number or SIM ID for settings and instructions to get account and phone specific instructions
How to Buy: NET10 phones and airtime are available at NET10.com and at major retailers including Target, Best Buy Walmart and Costco. Basic models can be purchased at supermarkets, convenience stores and chain drugstores.
SIMs and CDMA activation codes are available online at www.net10byop.com and from Amazon and eBay.
How to Activate: NET10 phones can be activated at net10.com by clicking the Activate link at the top of the screen and following the instructions. You can also activate by calling 1-877-836-2368 from any phone except the one you are trying to activate.
After activating non-LTE Verizon based phones online or by calling, NET10 will tell you to dial *22890 on the mobile phone to complete the activation. If that doesn't work try dialing *228 and choosing option 1 when prompted.
I've seen multiple reports of users having problems when porting existing numbers from another carrier using the website. Some have even lost their numbers. If you are porting it's best to call NET10, preferably using the "Executive Resolutions Dept." number at 1-305-715-6500 or 1-800-876-5753, Monday – Friday from 8:00 AM to 7:00 PM Eastern time.
Payment Options: PIN cards or codes are available at convenience stores, supermarkets, chain drugstores and big box retailers like Target and at NET10.com. PINs can be purchased at a discount from callingmart.com and other online retailers.
With NET10 feature phones you can top up with a PIN using the Prepaid menu on the phone.
You can refill using a credit or debit card by calling 1-877-836-2368, or on the NET10 site which also offers an auto-refill service. You can also buy top-up cards or PIN codes wherever NET10 phones are sold and at many convenience stores, gas stations and 3rd party online sites.
Taxes and Fees: Unlike most prepaid operators which include all taxes except state sales tax in the plan price, NET10 adds additional taxes to the price of refills These taxes vary by state and average between 76¢ and $1.72. You can avoid these taxes by by buying PINs online from sites like callingmart.com or at local retail stores.
Account Management: If you register at NET10.com you can top up and check your used and remaining minutes etc. online. On unlimited plans you can check data usage by texting USAGE to 611611.
Free information services calls
911 - Emergency services
Phone support: 1-877-TEN-CENT (1-877-836-2368) is the official NET10 support number. Automated service for adding top-ups is available at this number 24/7. You can reach a customer support representative at this number from 8 AM to 10:45 PM Eastern Time 7 days a week. Calls are handled by off shore call centers. Wait times are usually short and the representatives courteous. However, they often appear to be following a script and seem unfamiliar with the details of NET10 devices and services.
The general support number for SIM Customers: is (855) 333-CELL (2355).
An alternative is NET10's "Executive Resolutions Dept.", a possibly Miami based call center at 1-305-715-6500 or 1-800-876-5753. It's available Monday – Friday from 8:00 AM to 7:00 PM EST. At other times calls to that number are handled by the off shore call centers. The Executive Resolutions representatives are more knowledgeable and better equipped to resolve complex issues. I recommend always calling 1-800-876-5753 for things like no service and billing issues, porting your number from another carrier and switching phones while keeping your service.
Social Media: Users have reported that they were able to get problems fixed by using the chat or support ticket buttons on NET10's Facebook page. NET10 is also active on Google+.
Phone Sales and General Information Web Site: NET10.com
NET10 Pros: Phones and Airtime cards are widely available. Inexpensive unlimited plans with data, good coverage with most phones, bringing your own device is supported.
NET10 Cons: poorly trained customer support, cumbersome international dialing, no international messaging on most phones, lack of detailed coverage maps, "taxes and fees" charged on online top-ups. Pay as you go rates are no longer very competitive.
Updated 5/13/2016: $40 plan high speed data increased from 1.5 to 3 GB.