Home - , , , - Long Time AT&T MVNO Jolt Mobile Revamps Lineup With Plans on T-Mobile

Long Time AT&T MVNO Jolt Mobile Revamps Lineup With Plans on T-Mobile

Jolt Mobile, which has operated as an AT&T MVNO since at least 2010, has quietly switched all of its lower priced plans to use the T-Mobile network for newly activated accounts. The first sign of the change was when the Jolt Mobile website started displaying separate coverage maps for unlimited monthly plans and PayGo plans. The PayGo map clearly shows T-Mobile native coverage and the unlimited monthly one displays AT&T coverage. Jolt customer support has confirmed that the company's Unlimited Monthly plans are still on AT&T but the PayGo plans and  a new line of non-unlimited "Flex" monthly plans use T-Mobile.

The PayGo plans have changed in other ways besides the network provider switch. The old AT&T based PayGo plans charged 10¢ per minute or text and 6.6¢ per MB for data. A $10 top up was good for 90 days and a $20 refill lasted 120 days.

Jolt's  new T-Mobile based plans keep the 10¢/minute rate, but texts are now cheaper at 5¢/each while data is a more expensive 10¢/MB. Top-ups are more expensive too; $25 good for 60 days, $50 for 180 days and $100 good for a year. That makes the minimum monthly cost higher as well; $8.66/month using the $50 or $100 refill compared with $3.33/month with the old $10 top up. As before, Jolt deducts a $1/month service charge plus a 99¢ e911 fee from your PayGo balance every month.

Jolt's new PayGo plans don't seem very competitive against fellow T-Mobile MVNOs PTel and Lycamobile which have lower voice and text rates and a lower monthly minimum as well. Jolt's new monthly "Flex" plans, which also use the T-Mobile network, look a little better. There are three Flex plans:

  • $5/month for 50 minutes (10¢/min) or 100 SMS or MMS (5¢/ea) or 50 MB (10¢/MB).
  • $10/month for 250 minutes (4¢/min) or 500 SMS or MMS (2¢/ea) or 200 MB (5¢/MB). 
  • $20/month for 500 minutes (4¢/min) or 1000 SMS or MMS (2¢/ea) or 400 MB (5¢/MB), 
Jolt adds a 3.5% + $ 0.25 processing fee to all online credit or debit card airtime purchases on all plans. As far as I know, unused funds in the Flex Plans do not roll over. I got conflicting answers from CS so I'm assuming the worst.

Jolt SIMs are free and auto pay is available and recommended as the only other way to add funds is by calling CS with a credit or debit card. Fortunately, 24/7 phone support is available.

If you call or text internationally Jolt offers no extra charge international texting as well as international direct dialing. International rates are pretty good too. Calls to mobiles cost 0.5¢ to Canada, 1¢ to China, 4.1¢ to Mexico, 13.1¢ to the Philippines and 8.1¢ to the UK. On PayGo these rates are in addition to the domestic charge of 10¢/minute.

Jolt's monthly unlimited plans (shown in the table below) have changed as well. They are still AT&T based but now include unlimited international texts. Jolt no longer offers their $40 and $55 international plans which included unlimited calls to 50 countries.
Plan (Monthly Price) 1 Voice Global Text MMS (Picture Messages) International Call Credit Data
$30 Unlimited Unlimited Limited only by available data
500 MB 2
$40 Unlimited Unlimited Limited only by available data $1 1 GB 2
$50 Unlimited Unlimited Limited only by available data $1 2 GB 2
$60 Unlimited Unlimited Limited only by available data $1 3 GB 2
1 Plus a 3.5% + $ 0.25 processing fee
2 Data is cut off after half the included amount is used (500 MB plans are cut off after 250 MB, 1 GB plans after 500 MB and the 3 GB plan stops at  1.5 GB) The user has to call customer support to have the rest of the data released.

Jolt's unlimited plans are powered by Airvoice and are subject to Airvoice's onerous split data policy which cuts data off after half has been used. It takes a call to customer support to get the bytes flowing again. At least Jolt, unlike Airvoice, offers 24/7 support.

Except for the Flex plans, it's hard to recommend any of Jolt's current offerings, the PayGo plans are uncompetitive and the monthly unlimited plans are the same as Airvoice's except  that Airvoice doesn't add a processing fee to airtime purchases and includes unlimited international calls to some destinations its $40, $50 and $60 plans instead of a $1 call credit.

Related:
T-Mobile and T-Mobile MVNO Prepaid Plans Compared
AT&T and AT&T MVNO Prepaid Plans Compared

37 comments:

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  1. When it comes to Pay-As-You-Go, H2O (AT&T) and Lycamobile (T-Mobile) seems to still be the way to go when it comes to value.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Lyca's PayGo plan doesn't have data anymore.

      PTel seems to offer the best T-Mobile based PayGo plan.

      Delete
    2. "H2O (AT&T) ...seems to still be the way to go when it comes to value."

      Cricket Wireless offers a significantly larger amount of data for the price than h2o... on the AT&T network as well. However, h20 has a better international call situation.

      Depends on which you want more..

      Delete
    3. The OP is comparing PayGo plans, whch Cricket doesn't offer.

      Delete
    4. Cricket claims to offer PayGo:
      https://www.cricketwireless.com/o/support/plans-and-features/cricket-paygo/cricket-paygo.html

      Is this some legacy stuff leftover in their site or something?

      Delete
    5. By the way, can anyone explain the Cricket roaming situation? their page about it is confusing...

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    6. Cricket PayGo is on CDMA only, which is no longer available to new customers.
      Cricket CDMA roams on Sprint, Cricket GSM is AT&T native coverage only with no roaming.

      Delete
    7. Which carriers can AT&T postpaid subscribers roam on?

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    8. At&t postpaid mvno like consumer cellular can roam on Tmo and regional gsm networks that having roaming agreements with At&t.

      Delete
    9. OK, but which carriers are those?

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    10. AT&T doesn't provide a list of its roaming partners. You can see where roaming exists on AT&T's coverage map.

      Delete
  2. Dennis, pls make correction. The Flex plan is OR only, not AND.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I agree. PureTalk gives you 80 minutes or 240 texts for your $5/month. And 400mb for an extra $9.95. Un-throttled on AT&T.

      Delete
  3. Do the Flex plans have rollover?

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    Replies
    1. AFAIK they do not. I'd love to be wrong on this though.

      Delete
  4. Dennis.
    Do the Flex plans include x minutes plus x texts plus x MB

    or do they only include

    x minutes or x texts or x MB

    ReplyDelete
  5. So, if I'm on a Jolt monthly plan and want to switch to one of the Flex plans, will I need a new SIM?

    ReplyDelete
  6. If I understand these new Flex plans correctly, on the $5 plan 1MB costs 1 minute while on the $10 and $20 plans 1MB costs 1.25 minutes and texts cost 1/2 minute on all three Flex plans.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. so what with the spliting hairs in coming up with minute equivalents. still a good deal if you use that much minutes/texts/data OR LESS -- and you only want to spend $20 or less.

      Delete
    2. At first it looked like the Flex plans included separate buckets of minutes, texts and data. That isn't the case and since data costs minutes at different rates depending on which Flex plan is selected. It seemed important to point out what you're paying for with these plans. I'm glad you think these plans are a good deal (they're not) but to most people they're just confusing and there are better, simpler plans available elsewhere.

      Delete
    3. It looks to me like the flex plans work like Air Voice's $10 plan, where you get a credit for the price of the plan and can use it up at the given rates with whatever combination of minutes/texts/data you want. The Flex Plan page says "If you have used up your balance prior to the anniversary date, you will need to contact us in order to replenish your account with your preselected rate Flex plan." So I take that to mean that no overage options are available, and running out of credit means you have to re-up early.
      If it has rollover, then it is essentially just pay-go with lower rates in exchange for a higher minimum monthly payment.

      Delete
    4. The Flex plans do have overage rates, read the article. The Airvoice $10 plan is an easy to understand PayGo plan with rollover. I don't think Jolt's Flex plans have rollover, that's probably way they list minutes, texts or MB instead of a cash balance that expires every month even if you renew your plan. Jolt should just offer a PayGo plan with better rates. These Flex plans seem like an easy way to make money by confusing people and ripping them off.

      Delete
    5. Don't believe everything you read :) I believe Anonymous 9:41 AM is right and I was wrong. There are no overage rates, you have to start a new month if you use up $5, $10 or $20 credit in less than 30 days. I've removed the reference to overage rates from the post.

      Delete
    6. I did read the article, but I also looked at Jolt's website, and they make no mention of overages, while they do make the statement I quoted above that implies that there aren't any. If you do the math, $10 divided by $.04 per minute is 250 minutes, $10 divided by $.05 per megabyte is 200 megabytes, etc. I think my explanation matches the information on the website better than the information in the article, especially since the page describing the pay-go plans (on Jolt's website) uses the exact same format for the table. As for the lack of rollover, my understanding is that right now no-one but Jolt knows, so we are assuming no rollover to be on the safe side. On the other hand, if there is rollover, then the $10 and $20 flex plans are quite comparable to the Air Voice $10 plan.

      Delete
    7. Wow! If overages aren't allowed than these Flex plans are even worse than I thought.
      I think if the Flex plans had rollover Jolt would mention it on their website. Without rollover Jolt's Flex plans will end up costing more for T-Mobile coverage than Airvoice's AT&T based $10 plan.

      The $5 Flex plan has the same rates as Jolt's PayGo plan, what's the point of offering both?

      Delete
    8. Jolt's Flex plans have more similarities with BYO plans than they do with Airvoice's $10 PayGo plan.

      Delete
  7. Seems better plans are already available with other carriers.

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    Replies
    1. A rather damning summary. And, as it turns out. really rock solid.

      Delete
  8. Does this mean Jolt's PayGo and Flex plans won't work on locked AT&T phones?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Correct, for new customers Flex and PayGo will only work on unlocked phones and T-Mobile phones locked or unlocked.

      Delete
  9. Do T-Mobile based plans have LTE?

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  10. I hope Airvoice does not follow. T-Mobile usually means T-Mobile native network footprint which is Abysmal for coverage. Nothing wrong with the plans already in effect on AT&T

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I agree. May switch to their $10 plan before it's too late.

      Delete
  11. Do Jolt's T-Mobile based plans include LTE?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. LTE is not available on T-Mobile or AT&T based Jolt.

      Delete
  12. Jolt Mobile new unlimited plan updates, also PayGo rates updated.

    ReplyDelete
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