Although Verizon is the second largest US mobile operator there are relatively few Verizon MVNOs. I don't know why that's the case. Perhaps Verizon has higher requirements for MVNOs or less attractive wholesale rates. Although they are few in number, several of the Verizon MVNOs do offer some very good deals. Here are brief descriptions of Verizon prepaid and all the notable Verizon MVNOs.
Verizon Wireless has over 117 million subscribers including 5.4 million prepaid customers. Verizon's own prepaid plans are priced somewhat higher than comparable plans from Verizon MVNOs. In return for paying more, customers get 24/7 phone support, access to support at Verizon stores and the availability of attractively priced shrink wrapped prepaid phones at big box stores. Off network roaming is available at 20¢/minute. Tethering is not allowed on any of Verizon's prepaid phone plans.
Page Plus Cellular was founded in 1993 making it one of the oldest MVNOs. Page Plus sells non-smartphones and Android phones and allows BYOD (bring your own device) for most CDMA phones except Verizon prepaid phones and iPhones. In spite of the official ban on iPhones, numerous users have reported being able to activate and use iPhones on Page Plus. Like the other operators listed here, Page Plus provides no support for BYOD devices, the user is responsible for BYOD device programming. Page Plus allows tethering on all plans. Off network roaming is available at extra cost.
Page Plus was acquired by America Movil's TracFone in January, 2014.
Selectel Wireless launched in May, 2013. Selectel's monthly plans are similar to comparably priced plans from PagePlus. Selectel $10 Flex card can be used to pay for overage on any of the monthly plans or Selectel's $75 yearly plan. The Flex Card has attractive rares (5¢/voice minute, 5¢/SMS, 5¢/MB of data) and is unusual in that the funds on it never expire. Selectel includes no extra charge voice and SMS off-network roaming.
Straight Talk, NET10 and TracFone are US brands of Mexico based América Móvil, the fourth largest mobile operator in the world and the largest US MVNO with over 22 million users. There is a separate portfolio of devices for each América Móvil brand and phones can only be activated on the brand they were sold for. BYOP is available for non-LTE Verizon phones except iPhones and BlackBerrys. NET10 and Straight Talk also sell their own branded feature phones and smartphones including the iPhone. The smartphones can only be activated on unlimited monthly plans. TracFone offers both feature phones and Android phones which use on the Verizon network.
Off network roaming is included at no extra cost on the TracFone and NET10 pay as you go feature phone plans but is not available on Net10 or Straight Talk monthly plans or with smartphones or BYOP devices on TracFone. América Móvil does not allow tethering on any plan.
H2O CDMA is part of Locus Telecommunications which was founded in 1993 and has been in the prepaid wireless business since 2000. Locus was acquired by KDDI Corporation, Japan's second largest mobile operator in 2010. Today Locus seems focused on its AT&T MVNO operations under the H2O Wireless brand. H2O CDMA's pay as you go only plans haven't been updated in many years and are no longer competitively priced. BYOD is supported and activation of any CDMA device except Verizon prepaid phones appears to be possible. Off network roaming is available for 99¢/minute. Tethering is allowed but with data charged at $1.56/MB I don't recommend it.
BYO Wireless is the newest Verizon MVNO, launching in December, 2013. BYO offers service on the Verizon native network (no roaming). As its name suggest, BYO Wireless is aimed at the Bring Your Own Phone (BYOP) user. Like other Verizon MVNOs, BYO can activate clean ESN, non-LTE, non-prepaid Verizon phones. Payment is by credit or debit card only with optional autopay. Online account management is available showing plan expiration data and minutes, texts and data remaining.
Here's a table comparing Verizon's own prepaid monthly plans with those of the Verizon MVNOs that offer monthly or yearly plans .
|Plan||Monthly Cost||Activation Fee||Voice||SMS||MMS||Data|
|BYO $5||$5+ 6||none||100||100||none||none|
|BYO $10||$10+ 6||none||250||250||none||100 MB/$5|
|Page Plus The $12||$12||none - $10||250, overage 5¢||250 (SMS or MMS), overage 5¢||250 (MMS or SMS), overgae 5¢||10 MB, overage 10¢/MB|
|Selectel Value Plan||$15||none - $30 5||300 2||300 2||300 1, 2||15 MB 2|
|BYO $15||$15+ 6||none||350||unlimited||uses data||50 MB|
|BYO $20||$20+ 6||none||500||unlimited||uses data||250 MB|
|NET10 750 Minute Plan 3||$25||none||750 "minutes" (also used for texts and data)||1 ninute each||3.5 minutes each (average)||1 minute per minute of browsing|
|Page Plus Talk n Text 1200||$29.95||none - $10||1200,overage 5¢||3000 (SMS or MMS), overage 5¢||3000 (MMS or SMS), overgae 5¢||500 MB, overage 5¢/MB|
|Selectel Talk & Text||$30||none - $30 5||1300, overage 5¢ 2||3000, overage 5¢ 2||3000, overage 5¢ 1, 2||300 MB, overage 5¢ / MB 2|
|Straight Talk All You Need 3||$30||none||1000||1000 (SMS or MMS)||1000 (SMS or MMS)||30 MB|
|BYO $30||$30+ 6||none||1000||unlimited||cost of data||400 MB|
|Verizon Allset||$35 3||none||500||unlimited||unlimited||500 MB 4|
|Page Plus Talk n TXT Unlimited||$39.95||none - $10||unlimited||unlimited||unlimited||500 MB, overage 5¢/MB|
|Selectel Unlimited Plan||$40.00||none - $30 5||unlimited||unlimited ||unlimited||200 MB, overage 5¢ / MB 2|
|BYO $40||$40+ 6||none||unlimited||unlimited||cost of data||500 MB|
|Straight Talk Unlimited||$45.00||$14.99||unlimited||unlimited||unlimited||Unlimited, throttled to 128 Kbps after 2.5 GB|
|Verizon Allset||$45.00||none||unlimited||unlimited||unlimited||500 MB 4|
|NET10 Unlimited||$50.00||$9.99||unlimited||unlimited||unlimited||Unlimited, throttled to 128 Kbps after 2.5 GB|
|Selectel Data User Plan||$55.00||none - $30||unlimited||unlimited ||unlimited||2 GB, overage 5¢ / MB 2|
|Page Plus The 55||$55.00||none - $10||unlimited||unlimited||unlimited||2.5 GB, overage 5¢/MB|
|Page Plus $69.95 Plan||$69.95||none - $10||unlimited||unlimited||unlimited||5 GB, overage 5¢/MB|
|Selectel Yearly Plan||$75.00 / Year |
($6.25 / Month)
|none - $30 5||2000 (167 / month)||1500 (125 / month) ||none 2||none 2|
2 Selectel overage - 5¢ per minute, message or MB of available using a $10 Smart Card
3 Non-smartphones only
all online airtime purchases.
4 Add on "Bridge" data packages available: $5 500 MB/30 days, $10 1GB/90 days, $20 3GB/90 days
5 Selectel charges $15 too activate its own phones and $30 to activate customer's BYOD phones. Some Selectel dealers offer free activations.
6 BYO charges taxes and fees averaging 7%. Add-on packages available: $5 - 100 minutes, texts or MB, $10 - 250 minutes or 2000 texts or 250 MB, $15 - 400 minutes or 4000 texts or 400 MB
Most of the Verizon MVNOs offer pay as you go plans. The table below compares them with Verizon's own pay as you go plans.
|Plan||Minimum Monthly Cost||Voice||SMS||MMS||Data|
|Page Plus Standard Plan 1||$2.50||4¢ - 10 ¢||5¢||5¢ + cost of data||10¢/MB|
|TracFone 2||$6.67||4.4¢ - 33¢||1.5¢ - 11¢||11¢ - 88¢||2.2¢ - 16.5¢ per minute of browsing|
|TracFone 3||$6.67||4.4¢ - 11¢||4.4¢ - 11¢||8.8¢ - 22¢||4.4¢ - 11¢ / MB|
|Verizon Pay As You Go 2||$10||25¢||20¢ 4||25¢ 4||unlimited 99¢ on days used|
|Verizon 99¢/Day 2,5||$10||10¢/min, unlimited M2M||10¢ 4||25¢ 4||unlimited 99¢ on days used|
|Verizon 1.99¢/Day 2,5||$10||unlimited||2¢ 4||25¢ 4||unlimited 99¢ on days used|
|H2O CDMA||$10||4¢-12¢||10¢||35¢ + cost of data||.0015/KB ($1.56/MB)|
|NET10 2||$15||10¢||5¢||33¢ (average)||10¢ per minute of browsing|
2 Non-Smartphones only
3 Android phones and BYOP only
4 Or use a messaging pack: $10/month - 250 texts or MMS + unlimited texting to from Verizon customers, $20.month - unlimited texts and MMS
5 The daily fee on these plans is charged and deducted from your account only on days you make or receive calls, and is valid until 11:59 p.m. (incoming and outgoing texts do not trigger the daily charge). Checking voice mail from the prepaid phone will trigger the charge.
Last updated April. 9, 2014 - PagePlus PAYGO data and MMS price cuts.