Home - , , , , - New T-Mobile Reseller Smartel Offers $35/Month Unlimited Talk, Messaging and 10 GB Deal

New T-Mobile Reseller Smartel Offers $35/Month Unlimited Talk, Messaging and 10 GB Deal

Smartel is a new prepaid reseller that just launched and is generating some buzz with very aggressive introductory pricing. Smartel currently offers service on T-Mobile and Verizon (your choice, not both on the same phone obviously). Smartel doesn't mention either carrier's name, identifying them only by color, Red for Verizon and Pink for T-Mobile. Service on AT&T (Blue) and Sprint (Yellow) is "coming soon".

Smartel's "pink" (T-Mobile) pricing is what impressed me.
  • Silver $25/month unlimited talk, text and data with the first 1 GB at full speed.
  • Gold $45/month unlimited talk, text and data with the first 10 GB at full speed.
  • Platinum $55/month unlimited talk, text and data,
Throttled speed on the Silver and Gold plans is described as EDGE speed. EDGE is a 2G data standard which on T-mobile typically delivers speeds of 50 to 150 Kbps. Plan prices include all taxes.

Smartel is running a promotion now through Sept 20 on the "Gold" plan for $30 per month for the first two months and $35 thereafter.

The Gold plan also appears to include T-Mobile's Data Stash feature, which is a initial bonus of 10 GB of data good to 12/31/5. After the 10 GB bonus is used up the unused portion of the plan's regular 10 GB/month data allotment rolls over for 12 months.

Smartel's "Red" (Verizon) plans are are similar to those of Page Plus and Selectel and thus nothing special:
  • Bronze $28.75/month 1200 minutes, 3000 texts and 500 MB
  • Silver $37.75/month unlimited talk and messaging, 1 GB data
  • Gold $45.75/month unlimited talk and messaging, 2 GB data
  • Platinum $52.75/month unlimited talk and messaging, 3 GB data
  • Diamond $65.75/month unlimited talk and messaging, 5 GB data
There are active threads about Smartel on both HowardForums and FatWallet that suggest that Smartel is a one or two person operation and on the T-Mobile side at least is splitting up and reselling individual lines of multi-line Business plans. I doubt that this is allowed by T-Mobile's reseller agreements. Three other T-Mobile resellers that had a similar business model of selling single lines of T-Mobile business plans; Harbor Mobile35orLess and MobalFreedom, all abruptly stopped accepting new customers, probably at T-Mobile's behest. The good news is that customers of all three were allowed to keep their active accounts.

Smartel's T-Mobile plans have most of the perks of T-Mobile postpaid plans including Data Stash, There's conflicting information about hotspot availability. Smartel told one user that hotspot is only permitted on the Platinum plan. A user on the Gold plan says Hotspot worked with his Amazon Fire phone but the Smartel SIM did not work in a T-Mobile hotspot. Support also told one user hotspot was umlimited and another that it was limited to 10 GB on the Gold plan and 5 GB on the Platinum plan. Full T-Mobile LTE speeds do seem to be available. Speed test results of 32 to 57 Mbps down, 17 to 27 Mbps were reported by one user.

Besides the uncertainty about the legitimacy of selling single lines of business accounts to individuals there are some other trade-offs with using Smartel. The biggest one is that it is an unknown new company with email-only support and payment by credit or debit card only. Users report up to a  24 hour turn around on support emails. One user reported that his out-going caller ID when using Smartel is "GO TECHNOLOGY M" rather than blank or something generic like "Mobile User" like it is with other operators.

Like other T-Mobile business resellers, Smartel does not accept port-ins from T-Mobile postpaid or prepaid. Ports from other operators, including T-Mobile MVNOs should be OK. There's a $10 charge for a SIM and activation and a $10 fee if a payment is declined by your credit or debit card provider.

As always with new providers, I recommend not porting in a treasured number and using a credit card, which has better buyer protection than a debit card.

Update 9/17: It looks like Smartel got busted. The "Pink" icon on the Selectel homepage has been replaced by a green one. Clicking the associated "Click to see plan prices" link takes you to a page with a contact form but no plans or prices. I used the form to ask about Pink/Green plan prices and got an email back saying I needed to reply with name, address, phone number and business Tax ID. I replied and received an email listing the Gold plan as the only plan available. The price and features of the plan are the same as before including the special promotional price of $30 for the first to months and $35/month thereafter if you order by Sept 20.

53 comments:

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  1. I ordered a Smartel SIM on the promo gold plan. As expected my account shows 10gb High Speed Data available and data stash is active. Full LTE speeds. Music Freedom works. I have tethered on this plan but have not figured out a way to determine what the limit is. They did not answer an email about tethering. If you need/want the extra 5gb data this beats the old $30 5gb limited talk plan directly from T-Mobile prepaid.

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    1. OK. I found their response in my spam folder. They actually responded the same day. They say all 10gb LTE is available to tether. Excellent!

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  2. FYI Your slickdeals link is actually a fatwallet link

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  3. Wow sounds really good to be true. I going to sign up for it and take a chance. If its goes under I'll still get to keep my plans like the others. I'm cancel my tmobile 30 dollar plan for this.

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    1. Who says you can keep your plan? !

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    2. Something seems fishy, $35 for 10Gigs is below even wholesale.

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    3. no it is not below wholesale.

      Wholesale is $2 a gigabyte.

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  4. Roaming/partner access for voice/data?

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    1. At least one instance reported. https://community.republicwireless.com/message/393749#393749

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    2. If Smartel is reselling T-Mobile Business plans roaming should be the same as postpaid: 50 MB/month of mostly 2G data roaming (except that there are reportedly no limits and HSPA+ on some regional carriers). T-Mobile doesn't seem to limit the amount of voice roaming but it's much more limited geographically than Sprint or Verizon postpaid roaming which works pretty much everywhere there's a CDMA signal.

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  5. Is it reliable...or will it close tomorrow?

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    1. Who knows? and who really cares? It is here today. Follow the advice for using new services and enjoy while it is here.

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    2. FWIW, MobalFreedom lasted less than a month, 350rLess about five months, Harbor a little over a year

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  6. Replies
    1. Maybe, but don't think global data is included automatically with business plans and, unlike Mexico and Canada voice roaming, Smartel doesn't say it's included.

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  7. The "Red" Bronze plan includes 3000 text messages.

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    Replies
    1. Thanks, I've updated the post to show 3000 texts on the Bronze plan.

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  8. I think this the lowest data plan ever offered in the country by any other Carrier/MVNO ................ telecomvibe[dot]com

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  9. The $30 Gold plan sounds fantastic, if indeed it lasts. I wont port my number to them since I don't know if T-Mobile will let them undercut them by a mile.

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  10. t mobile themselves are doing 10gigsforall promo.. family plan 4 lines req plus fees... so if they're reselling.. it's likely but like dennis says looks a lot like the ducks that got cut off the water before... yet t mobile likely retained their customers... if the mvno didn't get much but put out of business for their efforts in the long term..... but who knows...then again giving out credit card numbers to anonymous new startups......????

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  11. 10 gigs of unthrottled LTE for $35 sounds great for anyone who needs unlimited talk and text.

    It's a shame they don't offer a refund for unused data.

    As it stands, $420/yr is still a bit pricey.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. "As it stands, $420/yr is still a bit pricey."

      Compared to what? It's about the same price as a line on T-Mobile's "10 Gigs for All" plan.

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  12. Is the biggest risk losing your phone number, getting your credit card information stolen, etc.? Or is it possible for Smartel to skim or intercept my personal information (e.g., account passwords, etc.) when I use mobile data?

    If the biggest risk is losing my number, that's no problem since I use Google Voice. If the biggest risk is getting my credit card information stolen, that's no problem since I can use a virtual card number. If the biggest risk is paying for and not getting one month's worth of service, that's worth the risk for such a great deal.

    Thanks in advance!

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  13. I'm on the fence here. $35/month for 10 GB (wow!) of data is tempting. If I switch, I would be leaving behind my $30/month t-mobile plan. I feel like if I sign up for this Smartel deal, I might be shopping for another phone service in a month from now if Smartel goes bust.

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    Replies
    1. Hold on to the $30 plan SIM. As I recall you have 120 days before they physically delete the account. You would simply have to call CS to get the plan re-established.

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  14. Who wants to bet these guys are all the same? They will go under from we've seen. Those who don't learn from history are doomed to repeat it.

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    1. T-Mobile has historically grandfathered customers of resellers they shut down. If they go under you will probably get to keep your plan.

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  15. Great prices . But will be surprised if they don't go the way of 35orless. Another Tmobile mvno that launched with ultralow prices (for its time) . Honestly, if you're a traveler , need a burner etc these new mvnos are fine as anything will do . But if you want any kind of potential for stability, I'd say avoid anything less then three to five years old. My view, Red Pocket, H20, Air Voice, Ptel , Good 2 Go and a few other independent players have been around for years. And a few newcomers seem to be doing well enough to stick around like Eco , Expo, Ultra, etc but by and by for the most part, most Sprint and Tmobile mvnos especially will probably hit the dust if they are new. Even Verizon ones do, Next G, Talk for Good and Byo Wireless all did. I don't trust anything under a few years for a reason. Want REAL stability go with a prepaid division or Tracfone even. New mvnos? Nahhhh. Bad choice for anything long term.

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    1. What you say is true. But many don't care about stability at all. The game is finding the best price for the service that covers your needs. Use a Google Voice number as your primary. Doesn't matter what your cell number is or who is providing the pipe. Service folds? Simply switch over to the second best option. Most likely the one being used before the failed service. Give me turmoil in the market! That's the way things change for the consumer.

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  16. Does the $35 plan includes ROAMING in Canada and Mexico??

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    1. That's what the Smartel site seems to say. As far as I know, no has tested it however.

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    2. Where does it say that?

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    3. Do you support International voice, text or MMS? : smartel.mobi
      "We include Unlimited Talk and Text in Mexico and Canada to both landlines and mobile phones."

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  17. If smartel goes under, how will T-Mobile know who the actual customers are to grandfather service?

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    1. Good question, Mobal, 35orLess and Harbor are still in business. If Smartel stopped paying its bills I don't think T-Mobile would be under any obligation to give individuals a business discount.

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  18. What about free global 2g data roaming? Isn't T-Mobile still doing that?

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    Replies
    1. Only on some plans not all. Business plans are available with and without global data. Smartel does claim to offer it so they likely don't.

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  19. Dennis said "As always with new providers, I recommend not porting in a treasured number and using a credit card, which has better buyer protection than a debit card.".

    I've had the same cell phone # for around 15 years and I don't want to lose it. What are the dangers and risks of porting into an unknown MVNO like Smartel? Will I have any recourse with T-Mobile Corporate or the FCC/FTC is something goes wrong?

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  20. Hofo ID Grateful4adviceSeptember 11, 2015 at 12:59 PM

    Don't risk it. Port to Google Voice and forward your number. Using the GV app you can make out going calls. It uses.cellular minutes not VOIP.

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  21. This still looks sketchy to me.

    I'm suspicious of a MVNO that hides behind a private domain registration. http://whois.domaintools.com/smartel.mobi Why won't they make their information public?

    On a related note, their site seems to be on a dedicated server. And here are the other domains hosted on that server which I'm guessing are owned by the same people who run Smartel...

    sophossecurity.net
    whois: http://whois.domaintools.com/sophossecurity.net
    registrant name: Jake Rog
    registrant organization: GO Technology Management, LLC. (Go Technology Management is what's listed as the outgoing caller ID when using smartel as Dennis mentioned above)

    vehicletrack.us
    whois: http://whois.domaintools.com/vehicletrack.us
    Registrant Name: Jake Rog
    Registrant Organization: GO Technology Management, LLC.
    Registrant Address1: 795 Hammond Dr.
    Registrant Address2: Apt. 613
    Registrant City: Atlanta
    Registrant State/Province: Georgia
    Registrant Postal Code: 30328
    Registrant Country: United States
    Registrant Country Code: US
    Registrant Phone Number: +1.4043038877


    A reverse IP search on bing shows there are several sites hosted on the same server as Smartel.mobi http://www.bing.com/search?q=ip%3a108.179.254.203&qs=n&pq=ip%3a108.179.254.203&sc=1-18&sp=-1&sk=&cvid=FB8079A7BCA74770879B754B4C208A74&first=1&FORM=PERE


    jakerog.com
    whois: http://whois.domaintools.com/jakerog.com
    Registrant Name: Jake Rog
    Registrant Organization: GO Technology Management, LLC.

    analyticsrain.com
    whois: http://whois.domaintools.com/analyticsrain.com
    Registrant Name: On behalf of analyticsrain.com OWNER
    Registrant Organization: c/o whoisproxy.com Ltd.
    Registrant Street: Plaza Level,41 Shortland Street
    Registrant City: Auckland
    Registrant State/Province:
    Registrant Postal Code: 1010
    Registrant Country: NZ
    Registrant Phone: +64.48319528

    thetop10.best
    whois: http://whois.domaintools.com/thetop10.best
    Private registration

    vividorchid.com
    whois: http://whois.domaintools.com/vividorchid.com
    Private registration

    wellnessharmony.com
    whois: http://whois.domaintools.com/wellnessharmony.com
    Registrant Name: Jake Rog
    Registrant Organization: GO Technology Management, LLC.

    counselforthetaxpayer.ca
    whois: http://whois.domaintools.com/counselforthetaxpayer.ca
    Private registration


    So, to me it looks like Smartel is run by this Jake Rog guy. I find it to be of concern that no address is listed for Smartel and that the domain registration is private. That's not the sign of a reputable business to me.

    Jake Rog seems to dabble in a few other areas as can be seen by the websites listed above shown by a Bing reverse IP search http://www.bing.com/search?q=ip%3a108.179.254.203&qs=n&pq=ip%3a108.179.254.203&sc=1-18&sp=-1&sk=&cvid=FB8079A7BCA74770879B754B4C208A74&first=1&FORM=PERE

    So I don't know if this is just some dude dabbling in selling phone service with no viable plan or what. Going by the address listed in some of the whois records for the other domains hosted on the Smartel server, I'm wondering if Smartel is being run by some guy (jake rog?) out of an apartment.

    I'm also concerned about privacy. Who is this jake guy who would get customers payment info? And if he's reselling T-Mobile business service as many here have guessed, does he have access to my phone usage, such as who I send texts to and the content of those texts?

    I think I'm going to pass on this. It might seem like the deal of a lifetime but I think it has "fly by night" written all over it.


    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's me again.

      Here's the website for Go Technology Management LLC, which is the name that appears on caller ID for Smartel customers, according to a Smartel customer who reported this to Dennis... http://www.goknows.com/

      And on that web site, here's the about page that mentions the guy, Jake, who seems to be the man behind Smartel ... http://www.goknows.com/about-us/

      His facebook page https://www.facebook.com/jake.rog

      Smartel has a Youtube channel.... https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCLADW6EtzZJgpwWAjuCyhCA

      I found this particular video featuring a Lamborghini with the Smartel logo digitally added to it to be especially cringeworthy... https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3dq-d-ucUwE

      Maybe he had this video done by this guy who will put your company name on a Lamborghini in a video for only $5 https://www.fiverr.com/niki91/promote-your-business-on-lamborghini-gallardo-video-4310394f-f076-48f8-9524-8483e5465c8f


      I guess what I'm saying is that this Smartel.mobi doesn't seem like a professional outfit due to:

      * apparently reselling a t-mobile business plan while posturing as a legitimate MVNO
      * Private domain registration + no physical address listed on web site - lack of transparency.
      * Cheesy fake Lamborghini video

      It doesn't look like credit card payments are handled by a well known third party, something I'd prefer when dealing with some company that I've never heard of like this one. Basically, if you pay these guys, you're submitting your credit card information and personal information to a server which the owner(s) won't reveal anything about who they are to you.

      Can somebody who has a T-Mobile business account tell us if a business account owner is able to see all activity of all of the phone lines owned by the account? For instance, if I sign up with Smartel, can this Jake guy or whoever is running the show look at who I call, check my voicemail, etc.?



      Delete
  22. Excellent research! I can't offer opinion about Smartel and the integrity of the owner. What I can say is MVNO Ultra Mobile hid behind a series of mail drops in Nevada, LA and NY with no fixed office and the only number terminating in a Philippine call center.

    I was very concerned about this but time has proven my concerns about Ultra to be without merit. Could the ownership of Smartel be unethical or incompetent? Absolutely. However, Smartel owners could also be people of integrity trying to start a business with limited resources. I have boot strapped a few small businesses with no VC. You cut costs where you can.

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  23. Boost is still offering 10 GB for $30 to people who port from Cricket, MetroPCS, T-Mobile and possibly ATT and T-Mobile MVNOs.it's called the Slash Your Plan in Half promotion.

    I believe the data is hard capped at 10 GB on this Boost plan.

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  24. I can't wait to see what the blue offers when available.

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  25. Boost $30 10 GB link:
    http://www.prepaidphonenews.com/2015/06/metropcs-and-cricket-customers-can.html

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  26. Well, that was quick, it seems Smartel has ended all new personal plan sign up's, and is now only doing business plans, according to their Web site and an email going out to customers. I have a feeling they were told by T-Mobile to stop splitting up business accounts and reselling them as personal lines like Harbor had happen to them. However the Verizon plans are still listed on their site and AT&T and Sprint are listed as "coming soon".

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    Replies
    1. Wow. Who woulda' thunk?

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  27. Yes, they told me its for business use...

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  28. I went to the site and there is no pink plan available anymore the color has changed to green.. Does anyone know what is going on? Did T Mobile withdraw agreement? Is anyone using the pink plan successfully?

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    1. I've been using it since Monday. Works fine so far. Note that the green logo still links to the pink page (look at the URL) but all the old plans are gone. They appear to be restricting pink to business users now, much as Harbor Mobile did.

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  29. Smartel is now Bluegreen Mobile
    http://smartel.mobi/
    https://bluegreenmobile.com/

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