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Get Free Cell Phone Service From New MVNO CellNUVO

Users looking for free cell phone service have a new choice, CellNUVO (800-810-1538), which launched last week. Like established freemium operators, RingPlus and FreedomPop, CellNUVO is a Sprint MVNO, although CellNuvo says that they launch service on an unnamed GSM operator "soon".

There are two plans, one free and one paid:

With the free Infinite plan, customers start out with 2500 "credits" which can be used to pay for texts at a cost of 1 credit each, calls at 10 credits per minute; and data for 10 credits per MB. MMS are charged based on the amount of data sending or receiving them uses.

The 2500 starter units aren't exactly free as there's a $25 activation fee. They are also a one time deal, they don't expire, but you don't get automatically get 2500 more units each month. Instead you can earn units various ways:
  • Every day CellNUVO will send you a Thank You message good for 60 credits, which equals 1800 free units per month.
  • Every call you make earns a 15 credit Usage Reward.
  • You can also earn credits by using the CellNUVO app to view ads and take surveys. Watching an ad earns 15 credits, taking a short survey is good for 75 credits. 
  • You can also buy 2500 credits for $10.
CellNUVO's paid option is the Flex plan. It nominally costs $19/month plus taxes and fees, which includes 5000 credits per month. Other than the monthly cost, the Flex plan works like the Infinite plan with the same 1 credit per text, 10 credits per minute or MB rates. Flex plan users can also earn credits by watching ads and taking surveys.  Like with the Infinite plan, Flex plan credits roll over.

The Flex plan has mandatory auto refill, your card will be charged $19 and 5000 credits added automatically every month and also anytime you your credit balance drops below 500 credits. A nice feature of the Flex plan is that the monthly charge and refill will be skipped if you have a balance of over 5000 credits on your monthly renewal date. Thanks to rollover, and CellNUVO's policy of not auto-refilling accounts with over 5000 Units, the Flex plan can actually be free after the first month if you earn enough credits by watching ads, etc. to keep your balance over 5000 credits.

Taxes and fees: CellNUVO is another of the increasing number of prepaid operators that charge a laundry list of postpaid style taxes and fees. In addition to state and local sales taxes, CellNUVO says they charge E911 Fees, FCC Regulatory fees, a Universal Service Fee, a Telecommunications Sales Tax, and a Statutory Gross Tax. The CellNuvo site says "If you are on the Infinite plan we do not automatically charge your card", so it looks like taxes and fees are not charged on the Infinity plan unless you purchase credits.

There's also a $25 activation fee plus $4.95 for a Sprint LTE SIM if needed.

CellNUVO lets you bring your own Sprint phone provided it passes Sprint's quirky  Financial Eligibility Check. Currently only Android phones are supported with iPhone support coming "soon". You can also buy a phone from  CellMVNO. Prices range from $99 for a refurbished Samsung Galaxy Prevail 2 to $749 for a new Samsung Galaxy Note 4.

CellNuvo via BestMVNO

45 comments:

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  1. I'll stick with Ringplus at least they don't make your earn mins by watching ads and taking surveys.

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  2. I guess it's ok if you mostly text.

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  3. My brain hurts reading all that. It was well written, but the points system just left me racing for the aspirin bottle.

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  4. Sprint Native only, no roaming?

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  5. Ringplus is better they give you 1000 mins, 1000 text and 1000 mb and all you got to do is post a thank you on facebook. I rather do that then watching ads and taking surverys and day of the week.

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    1. No, instead of watching ads you listen to them while waiting for a call to pickup. Instead of taking surveys for extra minutes, your usage and social media info get sold directly to advertisers. Why do you think some of the promotions required you to link a social media account to the r+ dashboard? RingPlus has to pay Sprint for the data, texts and sms it is giving to you for "free" or they'd quickly be out of business. RingPlus is a great service, just be mindful that there is a cost associated with "free," and it is more than an account auto top up.

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    2. Who cars about facebook info that nothing to me. I don't any personal info on my facebook account anyways. that nothing. Ringplus still better.

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  6. This is hardly going to be a disruptor. I give it 6 months, at best, before it implodes.

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  7. Replies
    1. oh, how brilliant. And it just might work.

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  8. Not worth it, especially while RingPlus is still around.

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  9. $25 Activation Fee = FAIL

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    1. Great idea! Let's file a class-action lawsuit demanding that they drop the $25 fee! Falst advertising. Free has to be free! That will teach them a lesson!

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    2. It's still a fail even without the $25 activation fee.

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  10. 25.00 activation fee is really you buying your start up mins and then you got to watch ads and take survey to keep your plan free each month. No thanks. Ringplus all time everyday.

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  11. Comments read like the RingPlus social media team is out in force today!

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  12. Are you sure they don't activate Sprint iPhones? From the website: "Currently our service works with CDMA Android >>and iPhone<< devices. GSM Android and iPhone devices are to be added in a few weeks."

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    Replies
    1. CellNUVO doesn't even have an iOS app yet.

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    2. Do you have to have the app to use the free CellNUVO service on an iPhone?

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  13. Sounds like the perfect shell corporation. File bankruptcy and shut down Ring Plus
    and all the rats will move to CellNuvo. Everyone knows all the free plans at RP are just an infusion of cash. Maybe RP execs own CellNuvo ???
    Didn't RP recently have the very same $25 dollar idea?

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    Replies
    1. Oh, a conspiracy! Yeah, sure. More like an imagination running wild.

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  14. From the FAQ:
    Phones with the following features will work with CellNUVO:
    Android 2.3 phones or newer
    iPhone iOS 7 or newer
    Certain Unlocked iPhones from AT&T, T-Mobile, Verizon and Sprint are compatible.
    Most CDMA phones are compatible and GSM handset support is coming soon.
    Phones not locked to another carrier’s network.

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  15. So it's free except for the $25 activation fee plus $10 for every 2500 credits you buy. OK.

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  16. They includes domestic roaming. it can be good for some

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    1. They do show a Sprint postpaid coverage map on their site but roaming is not mentioned anywhere else. I doubt they actually include roaming. Until someone independently confirms working roaming, I'm skeptical.

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  17. I spoke with support. They do enable roaming by default but I'm not sure how much it will cost. I just completed an order - will let you all know how the voice quality is. What I'm hoping for is less echo and less missed calls compared to Ringplus.

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    1. great. I'm waiting for their gsm? tmobile or att

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    2. Yes, call quality is similar to Ting/Virgin Mobile (a lot better than my ringplus experience).

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    3. I haven't tried using roaming yet but I was told that it's enabled. The ads/surveys in the app don't take long to watch or fill out. I'm pretty happy with the experience and will try and update throughout the next 30 days.

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  18. Hmmm. Calls cost 10 credits per minute. Every call you make earns a 15 credit Usage Reward.

    I guess I could just use Tasker or another means to automate calls to one of my other phones and earn a net 5 credits per call.

    Making just one automated call per minute would earn a net 300 credits per hour. This could be left to run all night.


    Is it me, or is it CellNUVO who hasn't thought everything through.

    And I'm not saying I would actually do this, but it looks possible and I don't if they have a system in place to prevent it.

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  19. "Watching an ad earns 15 credits." So you have to watch 167 ads to earn 2500 points; sounds like torture.

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    Replies
    1. So don't watch any ads. You will still earn 1800 points per month plus rewards points for using the service.

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    2. "167 ads to earn 2500 points; sounds like torture." No problem. Just make 167 calls instead.

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    3. 167 ads over a month is only like 5-6 ads a day right? I'll take that over paying $3 a day.

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  20. CellNUVO requires an address, email address, phone number and credit card to sign up for the free plan.

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  21. An old Virgin Kyocera dumbphone passed the ESN check. So apparently you do NOT need their app to sign up for service.

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  22. I hear they charge tax and fees for free plans every month. No deal.

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    Replies
    1. Where did yo hear that? I don't doubt it's true but until actual users report their experiences everything is guesswork.

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    2. I heard they only charge a flat 911 fee that everyone has to charge. Besides that if your bill is $0 all the fees are percentage based. (% of $0=$0)

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  23. looks like $29 activation fee is refundable if you are not happy with them, and leave them before one year.

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  24. I'm with the others here- doesn't sound like a great deal, but I haven't done a spreadsheet to figure out the actual costs in normal simple terms. WAY too complex pricing structure. and I thought tracfone was bad... credits!? really? please.

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    Replies
    1. Credits allow a free plan with no taxes. They run about $10 a month?
      (insert your own guess)
      200 min 2500 sms 1 gig data = 14740 credits
      (no spreadsheet required )
      4 surveys and 10 adds a day = 13500 credits
      add the 1800 than you = 15300
      net gain of about 1000 credits each month.

      It all boils down to what each person is willing to do for free calls.
      4 surveys and 10 ads is really easy for most, to much like work for some.
      I would do it. That usage is costing me over $60 a month at Verizon.

      You could also cover 14740 credits by buying 15000 credits for $60.
      Coincidence?

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  25. is this company taking off? No updates from website. I see only less than 100 cellnuvo installation on googel play.

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