This one of a series of Prepaid Phone News' profiles covering the major US mobile operators and MVNOs.
Overview: Selectel Wireless (877-218-5744) is a former PagePlus master dealer that launched as a Verizon Mobile Virtual Network Operator (MVNO) in May, 2013. The privately held company doesn't disclose subscriber numbers which I estimate to be around 10,000.
Selectel's parent company is a landline phone company and electric power utility operating in parts of Connecticut, Illinois, New Jersey, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, New York, Massachusetts, Washington and New Jersey.
Technology: CDMA on the 850 and 1900 Mhz bands with 1xRTT and EV-DO data support. Verizon's 4G LTE network is available to Selectel subscribers on specific plans.
|Plan||Duration||LTE Available, LTE Devices Allowed?||Voice||Messaging||Data|
|$15||30 Days||No||300 Minutes||300 Texts||15 MB|
|$17 Home Connect 3||30 Days||No||1000 Minutes||none||none|
|$20||30 Days||Yes||500 Minutes||500 SMS||2.5 MB 1|
|$30||30 Days||Yes||1500 Minutes||Unlimited||1 GB|
|$40||30 Days||Yes||Unlimited||Unlimited||2 GB|
|$55||30 Days||Yes||Unlimited||Unlimited||5 GB|
|$70||30 Days||Yes||Unlimited||Unlimited||7 GB|
|$75 Yearly Plan||365 Days||No||2000 Minutes||2000 Texts||None|
|$100 Yearly Plan||365 Days||Yes||2000 Minutes||2000 Texts||2.5 MB 1|
|$10 Flex Card 2||Never Expires||Yes 2||5¢/min||5¢/ea||5¢/MB|
2 The $10 Flex Card can be used to add additional data, minutes or texts to any plan except the $20 or $100 plans at the rate of 5¢ per minute, message or MB of data. It's not a standalone plan and must be used together with a monthly or yearly plan. The Flex Card balance never expires.
3 The Home Connect plan is intended for fixed wireless home phone devices but also works with non-LTE mobile phones. A Flex card can be used to add texts, data or extra minutes.
Taxes and Fees: Selectel doesn't charge any taxes or fees on airtime purchases. However, airtime is subject to sales tax and/or an e911 fee in many states, although you can often avoid paying it for purchasing airtime from an out of state online retailer.
International Rates: International calling requires the purchase of an International Calling Card PIN which is available in $5 and $10 denominations. International credit expires 30 days after it's purchased. Selectel doesn't support international direct dialing. To make an international call you need to dial an access number (540-322-2466) wait for a prompt and then dial your international number. International text messaging is not supported.
Devices: Selectel and Selectel authorized dealers sell officially supported Selectel feature phones and Android phones. Selectel service will also work with any clean-ESN, Verizon phone except for ones sold for use on Verizon prepaid.
You can use a BlackBerry, however BlackBerry Internet Server (BIS) is not available so BlackBerry Mail and Messenger will not work. The BlackBerry browser and MMS will not work out of the box either but can be enabled on BlackBerry running OS 5 and earlier by loading custom service books which requires a PC and the ability to follow complex instructions.
How to Activate: A Selectel SIM card is required for LTE phones. 3G phones don't use or require Selectel SIMs. Activate by calling 877-218-5744. You can port in a number from another carrier during activation. Selectel charges a $15 activation fee for phones from Selectel. Bring Your Own Phone (BYOP) activation is $30. Some online Selectel dealers currently offer free activation including Bat Mobile Wireless and Freedom Wireless.
After Selectel or a dealer has activated your line, yoy nust perform the following steps to complete the activation:
- Non-LTE phones - Dial *22890 and press the Talk, Send or Call button. Do not hang up until you hear the message "Your phone has been programmed successfully". If the activation fails try again dialing *22800, *22801 or *22802 or by dialing *228 and choosing option 1.
- All phones - turn the phone off and back on. Make a successful outgoing call.
You can top up a Selectel account with a PIN or credit card online at selectelwireless.com/wireless-plan-renewal-2/ or by calling 877-218-5744
Automatic Refills: Automatic refills are available from Selectel and online dealer Bat Mobile Wireless.
If you setup an account on the Selectel website, you can view your cash balance, expiration date and a log of your last few calls online.
If you text to BAL to firstname.lastname@example.org from your Selectel phone you will get a reply listing the number of minutes, texts and MB of data you have used, along with your plan expiration data and Flex Card balance.
To forward all calls to another number: Press *72, the 10-digit number to which you wish to forward your calls and SEND. For example: *721234567890 SEND, forwards your calls to the phone number 123-456-7890. You will hear a confirmation message or tone. Unless you are on an unlimited plan, you will be charged for forwarded calls.
To cancel call forwarding: Press *73 SEND. You will hear a confirmation message or tone.
To forward unanswered calls only (conditional call forwarding): Press *71 followed by the number you want calls forwarded to and SEND (*71-123-456-7890 SEND) and wait for a confirmation tone or message. Unless you are on an unlimited plan, you will be charged for forwarded calls.
To cancel conditional call forwarding: Press *71 SEND and wait for a confirmation tone or message.
Call waiting: Call waiting is enabled by default. It lets you place one call on hold while you take another call. When you are on a call and have another incoming call, you will hear a short tone. You'll have approximately 30 seconds to answer before the second caller hears a standard message or is forwarded to voicemail. Unless you are on an unlimited plan, you will be charged for both calls.
To answer Call Waiting: To put the first call on hold, press "SEND." You'll automatically be connected with the second call. To return to the first call, press "SEND" again. To switch between the two calls, press "SEND."
3-Way Calling: lets you create a conference call between yourself and two other people. You will be charged for both calls if you are not on an unlimited plan.
- While on the first call, dial the 10-digit number of the second person and press "SEND." The first person is automatically put on hold while the call is made.
- When the 2nd person answers, press "SEND" to create the conference call.
- If the second person doesn't answer, press "SEND" twice to return to the first caller
- To end both calls, press END
711 - Telecommunications Relay Service (TRS) for the hearing and speech impaired
911 - Emergency services
The preferred roaming list (PRL) controls which towers your phone can use. If you have no service in areas where you think you should, updating your PRL may help:
Dial *228, then press 2, or dial *22891 to update the PRL.
Phone support: 877-218-5744. Support is US based.
Online Chat support: Chat support is available on the Selectel Website.
Sales and General Information Web Site: www.selectelwireless.com/
Selectel Pros: Verizon coverage with no extra cost voice and text roaming, BYOD. Wide range of competitively priced monthly plans. Support for call waiting, call forwarding and 3-way calling. US based customer support.
Selectel Cons: Activation fees. No pay as you go, limited account management options
Updated 2/8/16, Selectel customers can now check their balances and expiration date by SMS.