Selectel is testing a new feature that lets customers check their account status by text message.
To use the new service, text BAL to firstname.lastname@example.org from your Selectel phone. You will get a text back with your plan expiration date and the number of minutes, texts and MB used in the current period. If you have a Flex Card the text will also include your current balance. There's no charge for either text.
The new feature is in Beta and still has a couple of quirks. For one thing, sending a text to an email address rather than to a phone number or short code can be a little tricky. With most phones you have to type the email address directly into the messaging app, sending a text to an email address from Contacts doesn't work. If you're using Hangouts as your messaging app you're out of luck as Hangouts doesn't support texting to email addresses. Currently the process is partially manual on Selectel's end and it can take Selectel anywhere from 10 minutes to two hours to return the information.
Selectel Wireless is the only Verizon MVNO that includes off network voice roaming at no extra cost. Text roaming is also free. Other Verizon MVNOs either don't offer voice roaming or charge 20¢ or 29¢ per minute extra for roaming calls. Also, unlike with other Verizon MVNOs, double dialing is not required on Selectel when placing a call when roaming.
Selectel offers quite a few plans which are listed below. Selectel doesn't allow LTE phones on some of its least expensive plans, presumably because Verizon charges Selectel extra for LTE access. Like all Verizon MVNOs, LTE speeds are throttled to 5 Mbps down and 2 Mbps up on Selectel.
|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.
For more about Selectel see our Prepaid Operator Profile: Selectel Wireless