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Sprint and Sprint MVNO Prepaid Plans Compared

There over a dozen Sprint MVNOs, many more than with any other operator. Most of them seem to be pretty small and uninteresting with pricey pay as you go, no Bring Your Own Sprint Device (BYOSD) program and only a dreary selection of old refurbished feature phones to choose from.

Rather than trying to cover every Sprint MVNO, which would make this post very long and boring, I've limited it to listing the most interesting and/or best value ones. Except as noted, plan prices include all taxes and fees except state sales tax.

Sprint itself is a huge player in the prepaid market with its Boost and Virgin Mobile brands. I've included their plans in the table below. For more information about Sprint's prepaid brands see Prepaid Phone News' Boost Mobile and Virgin Mobile profile pages.

Chit Chat Mobile (855-440-3464) launched in the fall of 2012. They have BYOSD with the usual caveats (no Palm, BlackBerry, Boost, Virgin or PTT phones). Chit Chat is notable for its $19.99 unlimited plan. However that low price is marred by high fees including a $15 activation fee and about $3 month in additional monthly taxes and fees on the $19.99 plan. Plans do not include data but data addons are available. WiMAX is available with any data addon. LTE is available only with $35 data addon.

EcoMobile (855-825-8855) is another relative newcomer, going live in Oct. 2012. They have BYOSD with the usual limitations. EcoMobile is able to activate Sprint WiMax and LTE phones. LTE works on EcoMobile's $60/month plan, WiMAX did at one tome but reportedly doesn't anymore. EcoMobile has a wide range of plans including a pay as you go plan with good rates, 5¢ voice minutes, 2¢ texts and 10¢/MB data. Unlimited voice messaging and 2.5GB of 3G data is $50/month. EcoMobile's $60/month plan includes 5GB of 4G LTE. For more about EcoMobile see, Ecomobile Revamps Monthly Plans - No More Unlimited Data

Expo Mobile (800-818-1597) is the newest Sprint MVNO, launching in Sept. 2013. Expo is notable for including 1000 minutes of free international calling to over 50 countries on plans priced at $40 month and up. All monthly plans, which start at $19, include unlimited international texts, Expo has 24/7 phone support, no added taxes or fees and BYOSD with working LTE and WiMAX.

FreedomPop's FreedomPhone (no phone support) is a fremium phone service. The free plan includes 500MB of 3G or WiMAX data, 200 voice minutes and 500 texts. Paid options with more minutes, data and texts are available.

FreedomPhone is actually a data only service. Voice calls use VOIP, which uses the network's data transport rather than the voice channel. A FreedomPop messaging app handles texting. MMS picture messaging is not supported. FreedomPop supports sells refurbished older Sprint WiMAX models like the HTC EVO 4G for $99.99 and also offer BYOP of several Boost phones.

Kajeet (866-452-5338) Launched in 2006, Kajeet specializes in "smart phones for kids". It's really targeted at parents with parental controls and a GPS phone locator. You don't have to have children to use Kajeet, especially now that they are offering BYOSD. If you bring your own phone Kajeet will even give you your first month of service for free. Kajeet can activate Sprint LTE phones and LTE works on Kajeet. Plans are geared toward light voice and data usage and lots of text messaging. Kajeet is one of the few operators that still offers an unlimited text plan which is $14.99/month and also includes 60 voice minutes. Kajeet adds a 10% transaction fee to the price of all airtime.

Real Mobile ( 877-316-0493) launched Sprint based service in 2013, supports BYOSD with 4G LTE and WiMax available on all plans.

Red Pocket Mobile (888-993-3888 - English, Spanish, Chinese and Filipino support) which has been an AT&T MVNO since 2006, added Sprint service in December, 2013. It's BYOSD only with support for bringing your own Sprint phone with the usual restrictions. LTE is available, WiMAX is not.

Republic Wireless (email only support) which launched in late 2011, is notable for unlimited voice, SMS and data, including off-network voice and data roaming, starting at $25/month plus about $7.50/month in taxes and fees. The low price is made possible in part by custom phone firmware which shifts voice, SMS and data traffic to WiFi, if it's available. Initially the technology had some limitations, call quality on WiFi was generally inferior to cellular calls, WiFi calls dropped if you move out of WiFi range and MMS didn't work on WiFi or cellular.

In Nov, 2013 Republic launched a new phone, the $299 (plus $10 shipping) Motorola Moto X with updated firmware which enables MMS, WiFi to cellular handoffs and also improves WiFi call quality. The Moto X requires new plans which run from $5/month for WiFi access only to $40/month for unlimited talk, text and data including LTE. Add about 10-30% to plan prices for taxes and fees. Data is unlimited but speeds are throttled after 5GB/month.

Republic doesn't offer BYOSD and there's no phone support, only email and a user forum.

RingPlus (310-919-0915) launched in August, 2013 as a BYOSD-only operator with a unique free ad-supported plan. Early adopters got 300 minutes and 50 texts per month free "for life" in return for listing to ads instead of the usual ringing tones during the time between when a call is placed and the called party or voicemail answers. The free plan is no longer available to new users.

RingPlus' regular plans, which start at $1.99/month (plus taxes averaging 15%) are a good value Inexpensive promotional plans that include unlimited calling and international call credit are offered frequently. RingPlus supports LTE but not WiMAX.

The table below lists only RingPlus' regular plans, for current promotional plans check the RingPlus site or Prepaid Phone News' Current Refill and Plan Deals tracker.

Sprint Prepaid (866-866-7509) is sold only through Sprint branded stores and telesales. Plan choices are similar to those of Boost and Virgin Mobile. The top plan includes unlimited voice and messaging and 6GB of data for $55/month. There's no BYOSD option and handset choices are limited.

Ting (855-846-4389) Launched Feb 2012. BYOSD is available. Sprint WiMAX and LTE phones can be activated with working WiMAX or LTE. Ting also sells LTE phones with working LTE at prices starting around $300. Ting also offers "iconic" devices like the Samsung Galaxy S4 and Note 3 that can't be BYOSD'ed. No-extra cost voice and SMS roaming is included and there is no extra charge for international texts.

Ting is a no-contract, postpaid operator with an unusual pricing model that's sort of a hybrid between pay as you go and a monthly plans. There's a $6 monthly fee plus separate buckets (Ting calls them tiers) of voice minutes, messages and data. There are five tiers for each type of usage. Minute tiers run from $3 for 100 minutes to $52 for 3000. Data tiers are from $3 for 100 MB to $60 for 3 GB. Prices average around 2¢/minute, 1¢/text and 5¢/MB. Ting is a good value for moderate users. The sweet spot seems to be about 75-1000 minutes, 75-1000 messages and under 500 MB of data which costs between $15 and $41 before taxes and fees which run between $1 and $10/month. For more information including details of the Ting pricing model see the Ting site or Prepaid Phone News' Ting Operator Profile.

Here are tables comparing all the plans offered by the operators mentioned.

Sprint and MVNOs Monthly Plans
Plan Monthly Cost BYOSD Voice SMS MMS Data
FreedomPop Free yes, limited 200 500 N/A 500 MB, overage 2.5¢/MB 14
Ring Plus Kate $1.99+ 17 yes 50 overage 4¢/ea 10, overage 4¢/ea 9¢/ea 4¢/MB LTE
Kajeet $4.99 $4.99+ 1 yes 10 (overage 10¢) 10¢ 25¢ $1/MB 2 LTE
Ring Plus Harrison $4.99+ 17 yes 100 overage 3¢/ea 100, overage 3¢/ea 8¢/ea 3¢/MB LTE
Ting $6 and up + 3 fees yes 4 4, 16 Text + data cost 5¢ / MB 4
LTE, WiMAX
RingPlus Hazel $7.99+ 17 yes 300 overage 2¢/min 300 overage 2¢/ea 7¢/ea 100MB,  overage 2¢/MB LTE
FreedomPop $7.99 no 500 unlimited 500 MB, overage 2.5¢/MB 14
RingPlus James $8.99+ 17 yes 50 overage 2¢/min 200 overage 2¢/ea 7¢/ea 300 MB LTE, overage 2¢/MB
RingPlus Bella $9.99+ 17 yes 400 overage 2¢/min 400 overage 2¢/ea 6¢/ea 300 MB LTE, overage 2¢/MB
Chit Chat Basic $9.99+ 5 yes 250 unlimited unlimited $3/mo 13 $5/100MB WiMAX,
$10/250MB WiMAX, $20/600MB WiMAX, $30/3GB WiMAX,
$35/3GB LTE
Republic Wireless $10+ 6 no unlimited unlimited none none
FreedomPop $10.99 no unlimited unlimited none 500 MB, overage 2.5¢/MB 14
Kajeet 14.99 $14.99+ 1 yes 60 unlimited 25¢ $1/MB 2 LTE
RingPlus Andrea $14.99+ 17 yes 600 600 6¢/ea 400 MB LTE, overage 2¢/MB
RingPlus Noelani $17.99+ 17 yes unlimited unlimited 6¢/ea 400 MB LTE, overage 2¢/MB
Expo Mobile $19 yes 500 unlimited 16 none $5/250 MB
Republic Wireless $19+ 6 no unlimited unlimited none unlimited, throttled after 5GB
Chit Chat Unlimited $19.99+ 5 yes unlimited unlimited unlimited $3/mo 13 $5/100MB WiMAX,
$10/250MB WiMAX, $20/600MB WiMAX, $30/3GB WiMAX,
$35/3GB LTE
Kajeet 19.99 $19.99+ 1 yes 150 unlimited unlimited $1/MB 2 LTE
Virgin Mobile payLo Talk 10 $20 no 400 15¢ 25¢ $1.50/MB
Kajeet $24.99 $24.99+ 1 yes 500 unlimited unlimited 500 MB 2 LTE
Expo Mobile $25 yes unlimited unlimited 16 none $5/250 MB
Republic Wireless $25+ 6 no unlimited unlimited unlimited unlimited 3G, throttled after 5GB/mo
Red Pocket $29.99 yes unlimited unlimited unlimited 500 MB slow 15
Virgin Mobile payLo Talk &Text 10 $30 no 1500 1500 25¢ 30 MB
RingPlus Data $29.99+ 17 yes 300 overage 2¢/min unlimited 6¢/ea 2 GB LTE, overage 2¢/MB
EcoMobile Talk & Text $30 yes unlimited unlimited none none
Real Mobile $30 yes unlimited unlimited 16 100 25 MB, including LTE, WiMAX 18
RingPlus Jump $33+ 17 yes unlimited unlimited 6¢/ea 2.5 GB LTE, overage 2¢/MB
Red Pocket $34.99 yes 300 unlimited unlimited unlimited 2 GB HS 15 LTE
Kajeet $34.99 $34.99 + 1 yes 1000 unlimited unlimited 1 GB 2 LTE
Virgin Mobile Beyond Talk $35 no 300 unlimited unlimited unlimited 9
Expo Mobile $35 yes unlimited unlimited unlimited 500 MB LTE
Sprint Prepaid $35 no unlimited unlimited unlimited 1GB LTE
Boost Mobile Data Boost $35 - $55 limited 8 unlimited unlimited unlimited unlimited LTE
Expo Mobile $40 yes unlimited unlimited 16 unlimited unlimited 2G
Virgin Mobile payLo Unlimited Talk & Text 10 $40 no unlimited unlimited unlimited 50 MB
EcoMobile Talk, Text and 3G Data $40 yes unlimited unlimited unlimited 500 MB, no LTE
Republic Wireless $40+ 6 no unlimited unlimited unlimited unlimited, including LTE, throttled after 5GB/mo
Real Mobile $40 yes unlimited unlimited 16 100 1 GB, including LTE, WiMAX 18
Virgin Mobile Beyond Talk $45 no 1200 unlimited unlimited 2.5GB 9 LTE
Sprint Prepaid $45.00 no unlimited unlimited unlimited 3GB LTE
Red Pocket $49.99 yes unlimited unlimited unlimited 2 GB HS 15 LTE
Kajeet $49.99 $49.99 + 1 yes unlimited unlimited unlimited 2 GB 2 LTE
Expo Mobile $50 yes unlimited unlimited unlimited unlimited 3G 12
EcoMobile Talk, Text and 3G Data $50 yes unlimited unlimited unlimited 2.5 GB, no LTE
Virgin Mobile Beyond Talk $55 no unlimited unlimited unlimited unlimited 9 LTE
Sprint Prepaid $55 no unlimited unlimited unlimited 6GB  LTE
Real Mobile $55 yes unlimited unlimited 16 100 2 GB, including LTE, WiMAX 18
Red Pocket $59.99 yes unlimited unlimited unlimited 3 GB HS 15 LTE
Expo Mobile $60 yes unlimited unlimited 16 unlimited unlimited 4G LTE and WiMAX 12
EcoMobile Talk, Text and 4G Data $60 yes unlimited unlimited unlimited 5GB including LTE
1 Kajeet: 10% transaction fee on airtime and plan purchases
2 Kajeet: Additional data available: 50 MB/$4.99/mo, 500 MB/$14.99/mo, 1 GB/$24.99/mo
3 Ting: Taxes and fees run from $1 - $10 month
4 Ting: average prices based on using half the middle tier of minutes, texts and data
5 Chit Chat $15 activation fee, taxes and fees add approximately 15% to monthly plan costs
6 Republic: $19 plan only available with the discontinued Defy XT phone. Other plans only available with Moto X and Moto G phones. Republic adds about 10-30% in taxes and fees on all plans.
8 Boost: BYOSD is limited to 25 non-smartphones and three very old Android models (HTC Hero, Samsung Moment and Intercept). See the Boost Mobile Profile page for a list.
9 Boost/Virgin: data is throttled to 128 Kbps or less for the rest of the plan month after the high speed allotment (1GB on the $35 Boost Plan, 5GB on the Boost $45 plan, 10GB on the Boost $55 plan,  2.5GB on all other plans) is used up.
12 Expo unlimited 3G and 4G is throttled to 256 Kbps after 2.5 GB
13 Chit Chat: MMS is included with the $30 and $35 data add-ons, otherwise it requires both the $3 MMS plan and a data plan.
14 FreedomPop; $19.99 BYOP activation fee. For an extra $9.99/month you can upgrade any of the plans to 1 GB of data per month with 1¢/MB overage data. Visual Voicemail is available as a $2.49/month add-on.
15 Red Pocket throttled (slow) data speed is 64-128 Kbps
16 International texts included
17 RingPlus taxes and fees average 20% and are charged in states like California and New Hampshire that don't normally tax prepaid airtime.
18 Real Mobile: additional data 500 MB for $10

Sprint and MVNOs Pay As You Go Plans
Operator / Plan Minimum Monthly Cost Minutes Texts MMS Data
Red Pocket PayGo $5 10¢ 10¢ 10¢ none
EcoMobile Pay As You Go $10 10¢ 10¢/MB
Expo Mobile Pay As You Go 1 $10 10¢ 10¢/MB
Real Mobile Pay As You Go 1 $20 N/A 50¢/MB
1 Expo Mobile and Real Mobile unused balances do not roll over, others do.

About Sprint Data
More than any other operator, Sprint's data speeds vary widely depending on market. In many areas Sprint data works well, but in others Sprint's 3G network is overloaded to the point that it's barely usable. Sprint is in the middle of a massive network upgrade project called Network Vision that's intended to greatly increase data capacity and speeds.

BYOSD Blacklist
Sprint doesn't allow its MVNOs to activate the Sprint versions of so-called "iconic devices", which seems to mean any smartphone released in the last 12 months. See Banned Phones - Tracking The Sprint MVNO Blacklist for a list of currently blacklisted phones.

The blacklist only applies to customers activating their own Sprint phones on any Sprint MVNO. Brand new phones sold directly by MVNOs are not subject to the blacklist. This has allowed Ting, and Kajeet to offer current high end phones like the Note 3.

The Nexus 5 sold by Sprint and retail partners like BestBuy is blacklisted but MVNOs are allowed to activate the Nexus 5 if purchased from the Google Play Store.

BlackBerrys, Palm OS and WebOS phones and Sprint push to talk phones are also blacklisted regardless of age.

The Coverage Question
Sprint, like T-Mobile, has a much smaller network than AT&T or Verizon. Service is available in cities and most medium sized and some small towns and along major interstates. Boost, Virgin Mobile and most Sprint MVNOs do not offer roaming. the few that do are:

Republic: Extensive voice and 2G data roaming, similar to Sprint postpaid
Ting: Voice and SMS only roaming

Here are a couple of maps comparing Boost Mobile Prepaid's coverage, which doesn't include roaming with that of Sprints's, which does. Ting (voice only), Republic coverage is similar to the Sprint Postpaid map. The other MVNOs, Sprint Prepaid and Virgin Mobile have coverage identical to Boost's. Click the links below the maps to view full sized interactive version that let you zoom in to see block level coverage.

Boost Mobile Prepaid

Sprint Postpaid including roaming

The myth of "Unlimited Data" Many of the Sprint MVNOs advertise unlimited data on their top plans. It's unlikely that any of them offer truly unlimited data. Expect to be able to use between 2 and 4 GB of data per month. Use any more and you will likely find your data blocked or throttled. Please leave a comment if you have been throttled, capped or kicked off any Sprint MVNO's unlimited plan so that I can document the limits in this post. Also. if you have personally used more than 3 GB/month without any restrictions on a Sprint MVNO unlimited plan I'd be interested in hearing about that too.

Recommendations: Virgin and Boost Mobile are leaders in the unlimited monthly plan space. They have some of the most affordable monthly unlimited plans in the business, better than average customer support and a large selection of affordable, subsided smartphones in every price range except the high end where their only current flagship is the iPhone 5S. It's hard for MVNOs to compete against Sprint itself in the unlimited arena. If you need gigabytes of data or truly unlimited voice and texting and are OK with Sprint native coverage, Boost or Virgin Mobile are hard to beat.

The best of the MVNOs do compete effectively against Boost and Virgin for some types of usage:
Pay as you go: Boost and Virgin Mobile no longer offer pay as you go plans to new customers. Red Pocket and EcoMobile do and have much lower per minute and per message rates than Boost and Virgin Mobile ever did and also have affordable pay per use data. Republic, RingPlus, FreedomPop and Ting aren't don't offer traditional pay as you go plans but they are competitive at the low priced end of the market where pay as you go is dominant.
Roaming: Ting (voice only),and Republic (voice and data) have it, the other MVNOs. Boost, Sprint Prepaid and Virgin Mobile don't.
BYOSD: Boost's bring your own Sprint device program is a joke. If you have a Sprint smartphone that you want to use on prepaid, an MVNO is your only option. Good choices for BYOSD are Red Pocket, EcoMobile, Expo Mobile, Chit Chat, RingPlus or Ting.

Updated: Sep 15, 2014 Sprint Prepaid plan changes.


175 comments:

Comment Page :
  1. Nice article.
    EcoMobile PayGo minutes should say 5c, not 10c on Table.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You are right, thanks for the correction.

      Delete
  2. How do Verizon MVNO's (like Page Plus) Coverage Maps differ from Verizon coverage maps?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Pageplus coverage is the same as Verizon prepaid. You have to pay 29c/minute roaming charge in quite a few areas, so check it before you sign up.
      Roaming is addressed in a Verizon MVNO comparison on this blog.

      Delete
    2. They are generally identical. Verizon prepaid and most Verizon MVNOs include text messaging at no extra charge while roaming but charge an extra per minute fee of between 30¢ and 99¢ for voice roaming.

      Exceptions:
      Verizon based Tracfone and NET10 pay as you go have no extra charge voice and text roaming but generally no data roaming.
      Verizon based Straight Talk and NET10 monthly plans have no roaming at all.

      Delete
  3. I am very satisfied with Ting BYOD, coverage and customer service, but check the state taxes before you sign up if you are price-sensitive.
    Some states like MD have very high phone taxes now: flat $3.50 + $1 per line, plus federal taxes.
    Ting bases your taxes on your credit card billing address.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I don't where you get your info from. But I live in Baltimore City and nowhere on my bill I see a $3.50 charge nor any other past statements I have.

      Delete
    2. This info came from my Ting bill. Montgomery County charges more than Baltimore City, apparently.

      Delete
  4. After some research, I dumped my T-Mobile post-paid family plan and moved to Ting last month. My family's wireless bill went from $150 for 4 lines to a ridiculously low ~$65. In porting numbers, etc I have spoken to Ting's customer service around 5 times, and each time they answered right away, and spoke perfect English. I am very satisfied with the service.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You are not comparing apples and apples. For $100 a month you can get 4 lines unlimited talk/text on Spot Mobile(T-Mobile MVNO, the $65 a month for 4 lines you are talking about on Ting is for VERY limited use. Also on Spot you can activate any T-Mobile locked or any unlocked GSM or HSPA+ phone, no questions asked.

      Delete
    2. True, it's not a direct comparison, but that's part of my point: by looking closely at what I actually use, I was able to tailor my plan so that now I only pay for what I use. I didn't need unlimited talk when I only used around 200 mins/month, etc. I suspect many other people could do the same, not just on Ting but on other pre-paids. :)

      Delete
    3. Ting trivia:
      Customer Service is in Canada, where people still speak proper English.
      Just don't try to speak French unless you understand Quebecois ;-)

      Delete
    4. I agree that Ting can be an excellent plan for families, especially those who can keep their usage below 1000min-6000sms-1gb data. $80 plus tax for a family of four is a good deal. Add $17 for 2000 min, and/or $18 for 2gb. Vzw roaming is included; I think roaming is an important safety feature for families.

      The Ting Dashboard offers a lot of control for keeping the price within budget, and detailed information for monitoring all usage.

      Another good family no-contract option, Walmart Family Mobile with AT&T roaming and Unlim-Unlim-1gb per month, costs $145 plus tax. An extra 1gb costs $40, and they charge $100 to activate 4 lines.

      Managing usage with Ting could easily be worth ~$65-70/month in this comparison, plus the additional tax on this amount.

      Delete
  5. Liberty wireless went from having the cheapest plan in the MVNO world ($20 unlimited talk/text) to the most expensive, $20 for 500 minutes OR 500 texts, not both.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. True, I don't know how long they will be in business with those rates.

      Delete
  6. I understand what the article meant by "voice only" roaming with Ting, but just want to add that sms texting works in roaming areas too.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I should have been more clear. On any network, SMS should work everywhere voice does. MMS (picture messaging) requires data so it won't work while roaming on Ting.

      Delete
  7. I say that if it doesn't have byosd at least, its' not worth the time. So it narrows it down to Kajeet, Ting, Eco, Prepayd and Chit Chat. For families that talk/text heavily, Chit Chat would be the best. For those who want BYOSD with LTE phones, the only choice is Chit Chat. For best paygo rates, its Eco. For best unlimited plans, it's Prepayd. For best opening deal (free month!), it's Kajeet. As much as it has limitations, I hope byosd becomes nearly if not completely universal for all of the Sprint mvnos. At least with 3G evdo. They can always add Wimax/LTE later , which I hope more of the ones who don't have it will...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Chit Chat fees, in addition to Federal, State and Local Taxes:

      •Infrastructure Technology Fee – a carrier-imposed fee to offset the cost of maintaining the technical infrastructure powering Chit Chat Telecom services. Varies, $2.00 to $3.00 depending on the rate plan.

      One-time and Non-recurring Fees 
(charged per occurrence):

      • Activation Fee - applies to all newly activated Chit Chat Mobile handsets, charged per device upon activation  >>$15.00 per device.
      • Shipping Fee - applies to all purchased devices from Chit Chat Mobile, charged per device upon order >>$10.00 per device
      • Returned Items Fee - applies to all returned and dishonored payments by your financial institution, including chargebacks on credit cards and non-sufficient funds on checks and electronic transfer. >>$35.00 per incident
      • MDN Change Fee – applies to changing a phone number on an active account. >>$15.00 per device.
      • ESN Change Fee – applies to customer upgrading or their device on an active account. >>$15.00 per device.
      • Restocking Fee - applies to all returns of working devices. Equivalent to >>25% of the device purchase price

      When you add up all the Chit Chat fees that you are likely to pay, Kajeet probably costs less for heavy texters.

      Delete
  8. Walt Mossberg of the Wall Street Journal just reviewed Republic Wireless. You can see his video review on allthingsd.com In his review, he also points out Republic plans on releasing 4G phone(s) later this year. $19 a month is hard to beat once Republic gets their technology to a level similar to today's cell service. Walt stated the call quality on wifi was adequate but the hand-off to Sprint's network needs to be improved.

    ReplyDelete
  9. i think you missed a big player .. voyager mobile .

    for 17 dollars unlimited talk.. if u need text it is just 19 doolars

    http://www.voyagermobile.com/

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I know, I didn't include Voyager because they seem to be a clone, or maybe a reseller of Chit Chat. Very similar plans, same high taxes and fees but no BYOSD. Peeps Mobile is another Chit Chat clone/reseller that I chose not to include to keep the post length down.

      Delete
    2. Yeswap, you are right!! on Voyager they slap a $10-12 a month tax and "fees" on the $17 unlimited talk plan. Its kind like the brand new Jaguar that is advertised for $15995 plus the "extras" out the door price.... $60K.

      Delete
  10. Besides the very high monthly fees, Ch-Ch misleads people by showing the postpaid coverage map.

    They insist it is the right map, but they do not provide roaming, which is most of the coverage shown on the map.

    ReplyDelete
  11. Prepayd and Chit Chat both offer LTE Sprint phones byosd now but not all models on Prepayd. They are usable with 3g data only though. LTE support for data should be coming eventually.

    ReplyDelete
  12. Voyager will be offering free international roaming and unlimited international calls from the US to both international landlines and cellphones which is fantastic. No one right now offers unlimited calls from the US to international cell-lines. Only to landlines at a flat monthly fee. To travel internationally and roam for free is great also. Check their website for more details.
    As to Sprint MVNO's, alot of them tack on the regulatory fees and taxes. Why, I do not know when the other 3 big ones do not.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Unlimited international calling and roaming sounds good, I hope it actually happens.

      Delete
    2. I'll believe it when I see it.

      Delete
  13. I activated a former Boost Sanyo Incognito (Ptel orphan) on Kajeet today. Ting could not activate this phone. BYOD online transfer was very easy, and happened right away. The phone auto-programmed, restarted, and everything worked, including data. Note: Although the first month plan costs are free, you pay up front for options like data. Add 10% to the prices to compute your credit card charge. I discovered that Kajeet includes free web access to weather, google maps, dictionary, thesaurus and kajeet entertainment.
    Kajeet's website is very well organized and packed with useful info. The online account offers extensive controls, a lot more than Ting includes in Dashboard.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You could activate an Anderoid smartphone with the optional 500mb and no cost tethering, and pay just $11 for the first month.

      Delete
    2. Kajeet also offers 1000 night and weekend minutes/month for $9.99.

      Heavy texters who also want a good amount of smartphone data could pay as low as $15 + $10 for 500mb, + 10% refill fee, or $27.50/month.
      Not bad if you don't talk much. 60 minutes included, 10c/extra min.

      Delete
    3. I tried a BYOD ESN change on my Kajeet account, using their web app. I was able to bring in an ex-Boost Sanyo Mirro, another phone Ptel orphan that Ting could not activate due to its Boost label in the Sprint MVNO database.
      This time, Kajeet did not provide the MSL unlock code. They sent an auto-email apologizing, and said it would be along soon. Since I have the code, I reset the phone, and the over the air programming worked fine on my first try.

      The Kajeet BYOD web app gets an 'A' from me. Kajeet looks like a good home for ex-Boost Ptel phones. With their $19.99 500-100 TnT plan, I will pay even less per minute (<4c) and text (<1c) than I was with Ptel. And I can add 500mb of data for only $9.99; great for my smartphone. 2c/mb is excellent for prepaid, and less than Ting.

      Kajeet is not just for kids anymore!

      Delete
  14. Thought I'd let you guys know that Ting routinely sponsors the Joe Rogan Podcast. On his Feb. 20th edition he tells you how to get a pretty good discount if your interested in Ting. Just listen to the first couple minutes of the podcast and you'll find out!

    ReplyDelete
  15. Kajeet offers two additional monthly plans that are not included on the table above:

    1. 500 minutes and 100 texts: $19.99 per month
    2. 1000 minutes and 100 texts: $29.99 per month

    These are listed under 'Additional Service Options' in the lower left corner of the Plans page.

    ReplyDelete
  16. Roaming on "Total Call Mobile+ Plans?"
    The Total Call coverage map has a footnote that indicates that off-network roaming is only available on these plans, but I do not see any of their plans described as Mobile+.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I don't those plans exist anymore if they ever did.

      Delete
  17. Hi Yeswap,
    which sprint prepaid plans offer bring your own device?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The BYOSD column in the table above tells you that. BYOSD = Bring your own Sprint device.

      Delete
  18. Boost Mobile's Pay as you go MMS is 25 cents per message. Not 20 cents.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You're right, I've corrected the post. Thanks.

      Delete
    2. Same change is needed for Boost on Best Prepaid Voice and Text Plans.

      Delete
    3. I don't see anywhere that quotes an MMS rate for Boost pay as you go in that post, only SMS at 20¢ which is correct.

      Delete
  19. Hi
    I'm thinking of buying an unlocked motorola A956 Droid 2.
    Would this work on Verizons straight talk.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. No, Straight Taalk BYOD is for GSM (T-Mobile and AT&T) only.

      Delete
  20. You may want to do a post on MVNO Votel Mobile. Their Unlimited plans at $33.33 and $43.33 Android look very good, and they have a good selection of relatively inexpensive phones.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Votel's plan prices are better than pre-shrinkage Boost and the other other Sprint MVNOs that offer unlimited data. But there's no BYOSD and I have to wonder how "unlimited their unlimited Android plan really is?

      Delete
    2. True.
      Savings vs. Boost over first 18 months: $120 Android, $210 non-Android.
      Savings vs. Boost on full shrinkage: -$40/year Android, $20/year non-Android.
      Boost Android BYOSD is very limited (I would not be satisfied by those phones now, let alone for 2 years.)
      You would be much better off, money-wise, to buy a new non-Android phone from Votel than to BYOSD one to Boost.

      Delete
    3. It looks like Votel has the lowest prices for Unlim TnT and data. You can find a $35 or $40/month price for Unlim TnT and data for Android devices with Tmobile GoSmart or MVNOs, but some or all data is throttled. No mention of data speeds, throttling or caps on their site that I can find.
      They say their prices include taxes and fees.

      Delete
  21. chit chat is not truely unlimited my phone has been hotlined numerous times for the 19.99 plan which is advertised as unlimited talk and text. When I call they tell me there is a fair use policy but still will not give me the number of minutes I can use on my phone.

    ReplyDelete
  22. Has anyone tried EcoMobile and PrepaYd wireless' unlimited plans?. Any recommendations which is the better carrier and why. Also, how do these stack up against Ting wireless.

    ReplyDelete
  23. I just ported from Ting to Eco Mobile. I learned: 1. Check the ESN with Eco before you port. They cannot check it once you submit the port form; 2. Don't count on Eco to call you back if the port is stuck; stay on top of it yourself and call your old company if the port does not go through in a few hours. Eco is fully automated in requesting ports; your old company may process manually; 3. Ting makes it hard to port out. First, my account number was a 10-digit number that I had not seen before, and did not show in my online account. Second, my account password was the Master Subscriber Lock code for the phone I was using on Ting. I don't think I saw that code, because the phone programmed itself over the air and I never had to use it. Each of these issues stopped the port and required a call to Ting. This took 3 days because Ting CS are not available on weekends. Also, you had better know the last 4 digits of the credit card that pays the Ting account, or they won't want to help you with the port out.
    Service on Eco has been fine so far. The port delay had one benefit: Eco announced a $5 airtime credit for new pay-go activations after I submitted the port request, but they gave it to me anyway when I asked.

    ReplyDelete
  24. New Sprint-based network operator lets you customize you plan exactly the way you want. Like Ting, they charge $4.99/device activated on your plan.

    http://www.fiercewireless.com/story/sprint-mvno-zact-offers-customized-data-plans-no-overage-charges/2013-05-13?utm_medium=nl&utm_source=internal

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Looks interesting and does seem like a Ting clone. The article says they are launching next month.

      Pricy phones, no BYOD and a $15 activation fee and other unspecified "taxes, fees and surcharges" are some obvious negatives

      Delete
    2. I just signed up with Zact... one of the very few who offer free data roaming (Ting still does not). The activation fee has dropped to 10, and there is a 4 mo free promotion through Best Buy Mobile.

      Delete
    3. According to the Zact website, the 4 mo. free promo plan via Best Buy Mobile, 300-500-500, costs $25/month plus $5.09 in fees plus $4.99 line charge for $35.09/month after the first 4 months. And you buy a phone from them.

      Delete
    4. The "Free" Zact plan through Best Buy costs the $4.99 per month line charge "plus applicable gov. taxes and fees." Probably the $5.09 mentioned above, for a total of $10.08/month. Not really free.

      Delete
  25. The Kajeet website says they are getting LTE service soon.
    http://www.kajeet.com/4u/LTE.html

    ReplyDelete
  26. So far after reading this excellent article and all the comments what I have concluded is ChitChat Mobile $19.99 + 5.00 (100MB)data plan is the best among all the offered Sprint MVNOs plans. Any one want to second me?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. How much does ChitChat charge you for monthly taxes? I suspect now you are their customer they will not waive the $15 fee if you need to change phones or your phone number.

      Delete
  27. I called the ChitChat Mobile CS and she waived the $15 fees without any problems. Good English speaking CS

    ReplyDelete
  28. Sprint bought 420,000 US cellular customers in the Midwest and is offering them low prices to switch phones and no ETFs on their current phones. I'll bet many of them could use this article to save even more money with a Sprint MVNO. And they can keep their US Cellular coverage (on Sprint) anyway.

    http://www.phonearena.com/news/Sprint-buys-spectrum-and-customers-from-U.S.-Cellular_id43165

    ReplyDelete
  29. Very interesting article. I want Pay as you go, very light use. It looks like for $3.33 a month, I only get 16 minutes on Boost. I can get 23 minutes on AT&T Airvoice or 28 minutes on Verizon Pageplus for the same $3.33, after I subtract their monthly fees. I guess some people have to use the Sprint network, or want to use a Boost byod phone, but it seems like most people like me would use one of the big two networks unless Tmobile had adequate coverage. It seems strange that Sprint with all their mvnos would charge the most.

    ReplyDelete
  30. Kajeet may have started LTE service for some devices, per their plans web page. When you click more info, it says coming soon, like it did before. Maybe they did not update that page yet.
    http://www.kajeet.com/kajeetStore/serviceplans.do

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Kajeet is activating Sprint LTE devices owned by customers:
      http://www.fiercewireless.com/press-releases/kajeet-launches-national-filtered-4g-lte-service?utm_medium=nl&utm_source=internal

      Delete
  31. We have a CREDO phone, which will be out of contract in a few months and I am now researching for the cheapest/best (hoping this is not mutually exclusive ...) Sprint MVNO. This will be a talk/text only phone with no need for data at all. Also very mild use not more than 100 minutes / month.
    Your recommendations appreciated.

    Also - can I activate a CREDO phone on a[ny] Sprint MVNO?
    Thanks and Best Regards,
    alex

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ting, $9/month plus gov taxes, up to 100 min. $3/month more for up to 100 sms.
      Eco, $10/month with 5c minutes, 2c texts.
      Kajeet, $5.50/month with 10 minutes. Extra minutes or texts 10c.
      Your phone must be in the Sprint PLBL database and not be active with another service. No bad ESN phones.

      Delete
    2. Thanks for the fast reply!
      > phone must be in the Sprint PLBL database
      As CREDO uses Sprint - does that mean CREDO phones are in the Sprint PLBL database?
      The phone would certainly not be active with CREDO anymore.
      Thanks!

      Delete
    3. Credo phones are probably in the PLBL database although some Sprint MVNOs, including Straight Talk and NET10, do have their own databases. Theoretically moving phones between Sprint MVNOs that use the PLBL database should be easy. But I've seen reports of users being denied because the MVNO they are leaving didn't properly release the ESN.

      PrepaYd and especially Ting are supposed to be good at resolving issues when moving phones to them.

      Delete
    4. Eco and Kajeet figured out how to activate Ptel phones ID as Boost in the PLBL DB before Ting did. Ptel was releasing the phones but Ting could not activate them last year. They are really sharp, though and have probably figured it out by now.

      Delete
  32. Sprint MVNO Expo Mobile has some very interesting plans:
    http://expomobile.com/plans.aspx
    $25/month Unlim. TnT with data for $5-250mb.
    $19/month Unlim. SMS with 250 min, and data for $5-250mb.
    $40/month Unlim. TnT and 2G data.

    ReplyDelete
  33. Any advice out there on non-smartphones for a Sprint BYOD? Might go with Kajeet or Ecomobile for my son? Am having a hard time finding phone reviews for "dumb" phones. He will do limited talking, mostly text. Wanted a QWERTY and a decent phone if possible.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. LG Rumor Reflex is probably the best Sprint QWERTY dumbphone. The Samsung Restore is good too. They are both sliders.

      The Sanyo Juno is the only Sprint QWERTY candybar. It's very basic (no music player or SD card slot, 1 MP camera without video recording) but gets the job done and should the cheapest.

      Delete
    2. Both Kajeet and Eco are excellent. I put my nephew on Eco because he does not use more than $10/month minimum, and they charge data in tiny increments so he does not have to keep data turned off. The key is how much your son will text. The Kajeet $15 unlimited text, 60 minute plan is ideal for teens who text a lot. If you want a free, perfect condition, QWERTY Sanyo Incognito, reply here, and I will send Dennis my email address to pass on to you (if he is willing). Just pay me $5.25 for my shipping cost via Paypal. Phone has protection on both screens, and will work on Kajeet and Eco. It's active on the free RingPlus plan now; I will have to take it off to delete my credit card.

      Delete
  34. hmm I did try to comment several days ago but it didn't go through my gmail I guess. If you still have it let me know. Thanks!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I still have it. Should I ask Dennis to give you my email address? I assume he has yours, since you registered your name.

      Delete
    2. Yes! I don't know why my replies didn't go through. Glad I checked back on this site. I registered my name - not sure how that works - does he see mine through the posts since his blog?? (Am not that technical!)

      Delete
    3. I asked Dennis if he could please forward my email address to you. We'll see whether that is possible.

      Delete
    4. I sent daleyduds a Google+ Hangouts chat message containing your email. I don't have his email address just his Google+ name

      Delete
  35. Dennis: Kajeet plans have been updated to provide many more voice minutes and much more data. You may want to update the table. For example, the $24.99 plan gives 500 minutes vs 300, and 500mb vs 100mb. The $29.99 plan provides 1000 minutes and 1gb now, which is an excellent value.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oops: The $34.99 plan is the one that has 1000m/1GB. The $29.99 plan is deleted.

      Delete
    2. Thanks I've update the Kajeet plans in the table.

      Delete
  36. The Sprint As You Go description and Note 12 should be updated now that the $70 plan is $60 and there is a $45 Smartphone plan added (table is correct).

    ReplyDelete
  37. Ting just began selling tri-band LTE phones that support Sprint Spark. Ting is the first MVNO to support the new 2500 MHz band.

    ReplyDelete
  38. Thanks Dennis. Good info as usual.
    Probably the best resource anywhere on BYOSD right now.
    Would like to see 5 star or 1-5 number beside each MVNO for customer service, ease or porting, etc. as that is the biggest drawback to this 'you get what you pay for' service providers.
    Happy holidays.

    ReplyDelete
  39. Where did you get that mms for RingPlus are $0.07 per message? Also all their regular plans, Harrison, Hazel, and Bella list their plan price: "$x.xx/month + taxes" on their website. Your table excludes "taxes." Any idea what that is in Los Angeles? Plans look very attractive but you listed them not including this.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. MMS: MMS Enabled on All Plans for 7¢/per - RingPlus Forun

      Taxes are currently waived on RingPlus. It's unkownn how much they will be if and when they start charging then.

      Delete
  40. BTW, the Harrison plan looks better than the Kajeet $4.99 plan considering RingPlus doesn't currently charge tax and they throw in 100 min and 10 sms (you didnt include that on your table, I think that's a new change). I always thought Ting should do something similar for those that pay that $6 access fee, but I always though 50 min / 50 text made more sense for the "starter" plan

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You are right, the $5.99 RingPlus Harrison plan now includes 100 minutes and 10 texts. It didn't used to and I hadn't noticed the change until you pointed it out.

      Delete
  41. If you list Ting you should list Zact as well and Zact is actually pre-paid where Ting is not? No BYOSD, but their micro tiers beat out Ting's steep jumps between tiers.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. This post would be impossibly long if it included every Sprint MVNO. Zact is covered elsewhere on the site. I may add them to this post if there's enough interest but their lack of BYOSD and high fees and "taxes" limit their appeal.

      Delete
  42. AYG, FP, RW, Boost and Virgin are not BYOSD? I am not trying to sing the praises of Zact and I won't move the wife to them because they are not BYOSDm, except the SG Victory @ $179 is tempting, but many charge the same taxes and their line fee is $1 less than Ting. A $10 activation fee is hardly high or out of line with some of the other MVNOs listed and they offer Data roaming as well as voice, top up w/30 day roll over and their micro tiers can save you that $10 in one month over ting if you're tossed into the next tier, especially data.
    Just sayin'

    ReplyDelete
  43. For people who often travel to Canada, Ting is a great deal - they charge only a 15 cents per minute surcharge for voice calls when roaming in Canada. And no surcharge for texts when roaming in Canada. This seems to be a lot cheaper than any other carrier's surcharge when traveling outside the US. And most MVNO plans do not roam internationally at all.

    I suspect that this might have something to do with Ting being a Canadian company.

    ReplyDelete
  44. TextNow plans look interesting, and they have Sprint Android BYOD in addition to refurb Samsung SII and SIII. $120-!99 looks reasonable, especially with a one year warranty.
    https://www.textnow.com/wireless

    ReplyDelete
  45. This is some bull..... I had service with Prepayd Wireless and paid $60 for everything unlimited plus 4G service. I enjoyed the price and service. Yesterday Sprint terminated their service with them without notice. So if you paid your bill you are S.O.L. Sprint is forcing Prepayd Wireless customers to sign a contract with them.... I HATE SPRINT.... GOING BACK TO CRICKET.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I don't see how Sprint can force anyone to sign a contract. Did you contact Sprint? What did they say? Where you able to keep your phone number>

      Delete
    2. I wasn't aware of this till I chatted with Prepayd because I couldn't top off my phone or even contact them by phone then I got notice the day after to port my number to another carrier. Not Sprint.

      Delete
  46. Expo Mobile has no way to check accounts online. You must remember your due date or wait 2 days before due date to get a reminder by text from them.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Good evening, we would like to let you know that we send a text message 3 days before the account expires. We are also refining the "Account Log-In" feature on our website to make this process more simplified. - Expo Mobile Staff

      Delete
  47. Has Eco Mobile's website expired and been taken over? Am getting security warnings and new page says My website will be up soon. Tried 2 browsers.

    ReplyDelete
  48. For Eco Mobile, https no longer works. You have to use http:// to get the site. At least for me.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That seems to be what happened. I've changed the link in the post to http://www.ecomobile.com/ which works.

      Delete
  49. Does anyone know if the Boost Moto G can be used on other Sprint MVNOs? I know it can be used on Verizon MVNOs. Thanks

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Boost Mobile phones can't be used on Sprint MVNOs.

      Delete
  50. Man am I sorry I went with Expo Mobile! If you happen to forget the date you started with them, you might as well place your phone somewhere else. They DO NOT have a way to check your account without calling and it's the same way to top off. I just happened to call on the last day my account would expire. So I decided to port my number to EcoMobile because, you do have online accounts to check. I signed up to EcoMobile to have my number ported and 18 hours later, still no port. I called and the foreigner (which all of them there are) said it would take even longer. I am so glad to move to EcoMobile so I can SEE my account and hear an ENGLISH speaking American. Sorry for the rant. By the way, I moved 4 phones to EcoMobile.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Good evening, we would like to let you know that we send a text message 3 days before the account expires. We are also refining the "Account Log-In" feature on our website to make this process more simplified. - Expo Mobile Staff

      Delete
  51. Ring Plus says the price plus 17 in your chart. What is the plus 17 about?? Is that taxes? I hope not!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, RingPlus add about 20% in taxes and fees to all plans.

      Delete
  52. How can EcoMobile data plan be called 'unlimited'. When it is capped out at 500mb.
    My daughter is over 8gb data with 5 days left on plan. I don't think they will work for me.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Unlimited is pure marketing puffery when it comes MVNO's. True MVNO unlimited doesn't exist.

      Only Ecomobile's $40 plan is capped at 500 MB. That plan is "intended for non-smartphones". It's difficult to exceed 500 MB in a month on a dumb phone.

      The higher priced plans have a higher limit although Eco isn't saying what that limit is. I suspect it's a soft cap at 2.5 GB.

      What operator an plan is your daughter on that allows over 8 GB in a month?

      Delete
  53. Simple. You read the fine print: "** $40 plan is >>designed for basic devices.<< Smartphone devices on the $40 plan have a 500 MB cap." I.E., this plan IS unlimited for basic devices.

    ReplyDelete
  54. There is a new Sprint MVNO iDeal Mobile
    Also can a Sprint phone be used on a Verizon MVNO

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Most Sprint phones can be flashed to PagePlus, Selectel or BYO.
      RedPocket CDMA and TracFone, NET10 and StraightTalk don't allow flashed Sprint phones on their Verizon CDMA programs

      Delete
  55. Does Net10 work with Sprint phones (BYOSD)

    ReplyDelete
  56. Sprint MVNO Voyager mobile now has Unlimited Talk Text & 4G LTE data for $45/mo

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I wonder how much hi-speed data you really get? Voyager also has high taxes and fees, $10-$12 on the $17 plan so probably at least $20 on the $45.

      Delete
    2. They will cut off internet service at 2.5gb until next billing cycle. $45 + Taxes = $54.

      Delete
  57. Anyone know if iDeal mobile is any good

    ReplyDelete
  58. With Ting do minutes, texts and data rollover

    ReplyDelete
  59. Can you take a phone from one Sprint MVNO (Not Boost or Virgin) and activate it on another Sprint MVNO

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. In general yes but it doesn't always work.

      The phone must be completely deactivated from the first MVNO's service before it can be activated on the new MVNO. The easiest way to do that is to swap another phone on to the old MVNO account. You can also ask the old MVNO to release the phone.

      Delete
    2. What if the phone was never activated on the MVNO the phone is branded with.
      Do I need to activate it on that phones MVNO first or can I skip it and activate it on another MVNO

      Delete
    3. As long as the ESN is clean (not reported stolen or lost) you should be able to activate a never activated MVNO phone on a different MVNO.

      Delete
    4. You said it doesn't always work
      Any other reason why it would not work

      Delete
    5. Sprint MVNO activation is flaky. Some MVNOs are better than others at trouble shooting and fixing failing activations.
      Ting and Expo have a reputation for few activation issues
      NET10, Straight Talk, FreedomPop and RedPocket seem to have more problems

      Also some MVNO's phones can't be activated on other Sprint MVNOs. Straight Talk and NET10 phones definitely can't. Phones for Boost and Virgin, which aren't MVNOs, don't work.
      I haven't seen any reports of whether Kroger iWireless, PrepaYd, FreedomPop or TextNow phones work or not.
      I have heard of people successfully activating Ting and PlatinumTel phones on other MVNOs.

      Delete
    6. Thanks for the help
      Does PTel work with CDMA phones now

      Delete
    7. No, they shut down the CDMA business last year. PTel is T-Mobile GSM only now.

      Delete
  60. Is any other carrier going to add Tri-band LTE like Sprint Spark

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. They already do. It you use the Nexus 5 from the Play Store on any of the Sprint MVNOs that offer LTE (Ting, RingPlus. Kajeet, ChitChat, Real Mobile, Expo and Ecomobie) you will get Spark wherever it's available.

      Delete
    2. Sorry
      I meant to ask if other networks like Verizon, AT&T or T-Mobile will be getting Tri-band LTE

      Delete
    3. No, only Sprint uses triband. AT&T and Verizon have dual-band LTE in some areas now and T-Mobile will later this year.

      Delete
    4. Is dual-band as fast as tri-band

      Delete
    5. It can be. The total bandwidth determines maximum speed not the number of bands. T-Mobile currently is fastest in most markets. Before tri-band, Sprint had the least bandwidth and the worst speeds. Tri-band gives Sprint as much bandwidth as its competitors. Where Sprint has tri-band they are as fast as or faster than T-Mobile.

      Delete
    6. With T-Mobile and Sprint tri-band as the fastest
      Who is the slowest

      Delete
    7. Speed varies greatly depending on location, conditions and network load.
      Results vary depending on who is testing and how, All recent tests I've seen say Sprint single-band is slowest. Second slowest is a tossup. At any given location Verizon, AT&T and T-Mobile could all be either first or last.

      Delete
  61. Does anyone know why Sprint would block there own Boost and Virgin branded phones from activation on Sprint MVNOs
    This just limits the value of there phones so many choose not to buy them
    And this cuts into the number of new customers who start service with Boost and Virgin which don't allow BYOP so buying there blocked phones is the only way to start service with them

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Boost and Virgin Mobile phone prices are subsidized and Sprint would rather have you on one or their brands than a MVNO. That part makes sense. Verizon doesn't allow their prepaid phones on MVNOs either for the same reason.

      I agree that not having BYOP hurts Boost and Virgin. Sprint does a lot of dumb things and no BYOP is one of them

      Delete
    2. I've seen the same phone models that Boost and Virgin sell elsewhere at lower prices without the Boost or Virgin branding and without being blocked

      Delete
    3. That happens, mostly with discontinued phones that are being closed out on deal sites. But in general, current unlocked, unbranded phones are much more expensive than equivalent prepaid phones from any of the big four US operators.

      Delete
    4. Who has cheaper prepaid phones Boost, Virgin, AT&T, T-Mobile or someone else?

      Delete
  62. Which MVNOs that allow BYOSD have the best international calling plans

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Among Sprint MVNOs I think RingPlus and Expo have the best deals for international calling.

      Delete
  63. Does FreedomPop's activation fee cost $10 or $19.99 and is there any way to avoid it?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's $19.99 and it only applies to BYOP. There's no fee for activating devices bought from FreedomPop.

      Delete
    2. Thanks
      BTW note 14 says $10 activation fee

      Delete
  64. Not to nitpick, but I think the table would be easier to use if the actual cost of the plans for Kajeet were listed since all of their plans really costs exactly 10% more than their quoted price. In general, it appears the tables are sorted by ascending cost, but don't take account of taxes and fees. That obviously wouldn't be possible in all cases, but it might be arranged closer to the ascending order. OK, I admit it; that was nitpicking.

    ReplyDelete
  65. When activating a Sprint LTE phone (without a removable LTE SIM card) on a Sprint MVNO should I enter the ICC ID on the activation page or skip it?

    ReplyDelete
  66. Credo Mobile has an interesting promo or two. Sprint MVNO since 2006. Buy an iPhone or other smartphone with no money down, no-interest payments over 24 months. You can upgrade the phone every year. Get unlimited LTE and 3G data for $20 off per month, or $10 net. Get free, unlimited SMS for 2 years. Order a voice plan starting at $30 for 200 daytime minutes, plus night and weekend minutes. You get a new iPhone 5S for $67/month plus tax with unlimited data and sms, and the minimum voice plan. Sounds like a good deal for many data hogs who want a new phone. And they will pay up to $350 of your contract ETF.

    ReplyDelete
  67. You're missing iDeal Mobile
    Unlimited talk and text with 300MB LTE data and they have roaming.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Unlimited talk and text with 300MB LTE data for $30/mo

      Delete
  68. ChitChat Mobile has removed the unlimited 4G LTE option on phones. Max available data is now 3 GB. My plan was changed mid-cycle, without notification.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. So the $30 and $35 add-ons are now 3GB instead of unlimited? I wonder if they were ever really unlimited? Did you ever use more than 3GB without getting throttled or capped?

      Delete
    2. When I had the service back in April, I used over 15 GB, no throttling at all. I'll try to push past 3 GB this month to see what happens.

      Delete
    3. Oh, and, yes, the $30 and $35 add-ons now list 3 GB.

      Delete
  69. ChitChat Mobile has removed unlimited LTE and now offers only 3 GB max.

    ReplyDelete
  70. Little is mentioned about FreedomPop. You pay nothing to get 200 mins, 500 texts and 500MB in data. Also, FreedomPop has Unlimited Everything for only $20 (no fees or taxes) that gives unlimited texts, unlimited talk and unlimited data (after 1GB it is reduced to 3G). FreedomPop has the Samsung Galaxy S3 for $200 and the Samsung S4 for $350. You can use these Android phones as WIFI Hotspot for free too. Furthermore, the iPhone5 is offered for $400, but it can't be used for wifi hotspot (unless you jailbreak it).

    I cancelled my Sprint service, and brought my own phone to FreedomPop. I paid $20 for activation. Now I only pay $6.50 a month ($2.50 for voicemail, and $4 for Data Rollover). I have the free voice plan and data plan which I pay nothing.

    ReplyDelete
  71. Is there any way to find a phone's MSL code?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. MSL codes are in either the regular Sprint or their PLBL (Virgin-Sprint-MVNO use) databases. The operator can give it to you when you activate a phone. If they do not offer it to you, tell them the phone did not program over the air, and write down the code they give you to unlock the programming menu during manual programming.

      Delete
    2. If the phone is a Sprint or Boost one, when you activate it online it gives you programing instructions with the MSL. I believe it's possible to activate without adding any money to the account. If you activate a Sprint phone on RingPlus, FreedomPop, Ting and probably other Sprint MVNOs they will give you the MSL.

      If you can't get the MSL from the operator, it's usually possible to retrieve it from the phone. There are free apps in the Play Store that can read the MSL on some, mostly Samsung, phones.

      If you go to the Forum.XDA-Developers.com or Androidforums.com sub-forum for your phone model and serch for MSL (or SPC, which is the same thing) you can often find instructions for reading the MSL.

      Delete
    3. It's a Virgin Mobile phone. Will they give out the MSL like Boost or Sprint?

      Delete
    4. Not if you just ask them for it, but if you are a Virgin Mobile customer you can activate the phone or swap it on to your line online to see the MSL. Or as the other Anonymous said, tell them OTA activation failed and you need manual programing instructions.

      Delete
    5. Do you know if Verizon MVNOs will give you the MSL when you activate service?

      Delete
    6. I don't think Verizon uses MSL for their phones. With my Vzw phones, I needed to have a phone menu unlock code for manual programming, but I don't think it was unique to my personal Vzw handset. OTA programming worked on all my Vzw phones, and the only time I really needed the model unlock code was to turn off EVDO to save some battery power on feature phones.

      Delete
    7. A Verizon MVNO wouldn't have the MSLs for Sprint phones. All Verizon postpaid phones have an MSL of 000000.

      Delete
    8. Thanks for all your help everyone.

      Delete
  72. Are Virgin Mobile's $20 Walmart plans allowed on Virgin phones that aren't from Walmart?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The Walmart plans only work with Kyocera Kona or Samsung Montage phones purchased from Walmart.

      Delete
  73. 1. If you use Vonage at home, you should know that their call forwarding and the network availability call forwarding features do not work with RingPlus service. Your callers will get a message: "I am so sorry but your phone number is not recognized. If this continues, please call customer support." This is not a Vonage message, according to their CS. It must be a RingPlus message. Vonage CS tested this for me using several lines and got the same results. 2. Dropping RingPlus has another big advantage. No more calls from bill collectors and salesmen, or numerous spam texts. I tried 4 different numbers (yes, you pay to change), and could not shake these. Sprint must have given them a good deal on certain recycled numbers!

    ReplyDelete
  74. RingPlus added more plans, upped the overage rate on Kate and Harrison, changed some prices and tossed in wifi calling minutes for all plans except Kate . In light of all that, this article should probably be renamed as "Sprint and Sprint MVNO Prepaid Plans Compared (to RingPlus)".

    ReplyDelete
  75. The table says Sprint's $35 plan only includes 500 minutes. Is that right?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. No, that plan has unlimited voice minutes. Thanks for pointing out the error, I've corrected the table.

      Delete
  76. I suggest that you delete data from the RedPocket Pay-Go plan. I and several others can't get it to work, and RedPocket no longer advertises that it is included.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I've edited the Red Pocket Pay As You Go Plan's table entry to indicate that there's no data available. If anybody has working data with that plan please let me know and I'll change it back.

      Delete
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