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Prepaid Operator Profile: US Mobile

US Mobile logo
This is one in a series of Prepaid Phone News' series of comprehensive US prepaid mobile operator profiles. These profiles cover all the major US mobile operators' prepaid plans as well as MVNOs which offer a good value.

Overview: Launched in September, 2014,  US Mobile is a T-Mobile mobile virtual mobile operator (MVNO) which buys service from T-Mobile and resells it to individual customers.

Technology: GSM, GPRS and Edge on the 1900 Mhz band, UMTS on the 1700 and 1900 bands and LTE in bands 2, 4 and 12.

Plans: US has a tiered pricing model similar to Ting's. Users are billed for separate buckets of voice minutes, texts and megabytes of data. Users "build a month plan by mixing and matching buckets of minutes, messages and MBs of data.

Here are the available buckets.
Talk 100 min $3 250 min $5 500 min $9 1500 min $10 5000 min $15
Text 100 texts $2 250 texts $3 500 texts $4 1000 texts $5 Unlimited texts $7
Data 100 MB $2 250 MB $5 500 MB $9 1 GB $14 2.5 GB $20 6 GB $35
There's also a $2/month service fee regardless of usage

Here are some examples of US Mobile plans that you can create.

  • 1-100 minutes, no messages,  no data: $5/month ($2 service fee + $3 voice bucket)
  • 1-100 minutes, 1-100 messages,  .01-100 MB: $9/month ($2 service fee + $3 voice bucket + $2 text bucket + $2 data bucket)
  • 5000 minutes, unlimited messages,  2.5 GB: $49/month ($2 service fee + $15 voice bucket +  + $7 messaging bucket + $25 data bucket).
Taxes and fees: US Mobile charges applicable state and local taxes that users report average 9%.

Add on minutes, texts or data: If you run out of minutes, tests or data, you can purchase any bucket as a one time add-on good for 30 days.

International Rates: There's no extra charge for international texting. International calling is available by purchasing a $3, $5 or $10 international call credit add-on good for 30 days. International call rates vary, Sample rates per minute for mobile or landline calls: Canada 3¢, China 5¢, Mexico 8¢, Philippines 17¢, United Kingdom 7¢.

International Roaming: US Mobile does not offer international roaming.

Coverage: US Mobile uses the T-Mobile native network (coverage map). Off network roaming is not available. US Mobile's interactive coverage map does a good job of indicating where service is available and lets you zoom in to see block by block coverage.

Devices: US Mobile sells a large range of feature phones, Android devices, Windows Phones and iPhones at competitive prices.

BYOP: You can bring your own T-Mobile or unlocked GSM phones to US Mobile. Tri-cut SIMs are $3.99 with free shipping.

How to Activate: Activate online at usmobile.com/activate or by calling 1-888-878-1488. from another phone. Activation is free.

Data Settings:
APN: pwg
MMSC: http://pwg.mmsmvno.com/mms/wapenc
Leave other fields at their default values.

Payment Options: Currently the only payment option is with a credit or debit card. Auto pay is available or you can login to your US Mobile account dashboard every month to add money.

Account expiration: plans automatically renew every month with plan and usage fees charged to your credit or debit card. If the charges are declined your service will be suspended. If you don't pay within 60 days after account suspension you line will be disconnected and you will lose your number.

Account Management: US Mobile offers an online dashboard that lets you track your usage, purchase add-ons, change your credit or debit card and change plans. Plan changes take effect at the end of the current plan month, not immediately.

Tethering: (using phone as a modem for a laptop or other device) is allowed with no restrictions.

Call Forwarding: not supported

Call Waiting and 3-Way Calling

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. You will be billed 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: To add a second person while on a call press SEND and dial the new number or choose it from contacts. When the other party answers press SEND to join the two calls.

"Secret" Codes:
*#06# displays the phone's IMEI (serial number)

Free information services calls
611 - US Mobile customer care
711 - Telecommunications Relay Service (TRS) for the hearing and speech impaired
911 - Emergency services
Other 3 digit codes like 211, 311 and 511 are not free on US Mobile

Customer Service:
Phone support: : 888.878.1488 24/7
Email support: help@usmobile.com
Social Media: Twitter, Facebook

Phone Sales and General Information Web Site: www.usmobile.com/

US Mobile Pros: Flexible plans. Good value for moderate use, BYOD, online usage records, tethering allowed.

US Mobile Cons: Not cost effective for heavy data users. Limited rural coverage.

Updated 4/25/16: Price cut and data increase.

27 comments:

Comment Page :
  1. I love these profiles, Dennis. Any way to highlight them more prominently? Either as a column on the left hand side (as News by Carrier is on the right) or as the pinned first post for each carrier's label?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Maybe add the links to the operator profiles to the carrier names in the News by carrier column
      Something like this
      US Mobile (t) *profile link*
      Ultra Mobile (t) *profile link*

      Delete
    2. The profiles are all conveniently listed at the bottom, center of the site's home page. :-)

      Delete
    3. There's also a "Prepaid Carrier Profiles" item in menu below the site name.

      The Blogger platform this site uses doesn't support adding second link to each line of the "News by Carrier" list.

      Delete
  2. Good only for light users. With 30 dollars you will go smart 4 gb data and unlimited talk and text on the same net work.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. There's no LTE with GoSmart. A fairer comparison would be with Ultra.

      Delete
  3. I almost activated with US Mobile. That is until I realized it is no contract Postpaid. After Dennis highlighted Walmart Family Mobile & how some accounts are receiving collection notices instantly after canceling(or trying in their cases), no more Postpaid for me. Thank you Dennis for cluing me in Consumer Affairs and I just cannot believe how disgusting & awful consumers, especially Postpaid are/were treated. Although Cricket when they were CDMA & transitioning to GSM didn't treat their clients any better. I wish US Mobile was Prepay. Oh well.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I don't see any reviews of US Mobile on consumeraffairs.com nor have I heard any complaints about US Mobile's billing practices.

      Delete
    2. I was on US mobile for a while and didn't have any complaints. Customer support is leaps and bounds better than my current provider (tracfone).

      Delete
    3. Not sure where the POSTPAID comment comes from. Clearly states at top of page PREPAID.

      Quote from US Mobile site under "can i cancel my service" reads: "Because we are a prepaid service, if you choose to leave US Mobile, all you need to do is remove the US Mobile SIM card from your phone. Your service will end when you fail to pay for the next month's service. We are sad to see you go and would love to hear your feedback here"

      Just want to make sure the facts are correct.

      Delete
  4. Dennis, you are correct, US Mobile has NO complaints and is NOT listed amongst the phone companies that have quite a bit of customer issues. Hopefully as US Mobile grows in customers and profits, those kind of issues are minimal(NOTHING is perfect, just HOW issues are handled). My POV is I just really enjoy using prepay, I have so much freedom going from Cricket to T-Mobile to whatever provider suits my needs. I wish the best for US Mobile and what they have to offer to another customers' needs as everyone has different needs and options are always welcomed. Thank you Dennis and PrepaidPhoneNews for ALL the research, time and effort you do. I greatly appreciate it!

    ReplyDelete
  5. Actually, US Mobile does offer international calling and texting but for some reason does not show it on their site until you log in to your user account. They offer three levels of pricing ($3, $5, $10) valid for 30 days, and their calling rates seem reasonable. International text messages are deducted from your standard text allotment with no surcharges. However, you are correct that US Mobile does not offer international roaming.

    I've only been using their service for a month but am pleased so far. It's a good option for light users like me who occasionally need to make international calls and texts.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks. I've updated the post based on your comment.

      Delete
  6. https://www.usmobile.com/international

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, I've added a link to the rates to the post.

      Delete
  7. So have the prices gone down or something? Weren't the base unit prices all $3 each just a little while ago?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. 100 MB was cut from $4 to $2 in Oct, 2014
      100 texts has been $2 since US Mobile launched.

      Delete
  8. What's this supposed to mean?
    Call Waiting and 3-Way Calling (Ting CDMA and GSM)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That would be a copy/paste typo. I've corrected it, thanks for pointing it out.

      Delete
  9. I just had an elderly family member switch to US mobile. He was on consumer cellular paying 35 a month when all he does is use talk minutes, about 12-1300. It was 12 bucks on US mobile for 1500 since he doesnt text or use data. Customer service was honestly the best I've ever seen. Its 24 hour call or chat with no wait. They answered everything patiently. I will be testing ringplus with a new phone and if it isnt amazing I'm coming here myself.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. CC $35 price includes taxes and free roaming.
      USM $12 does not included about $2 in taxes, and there is no off-network roaming available.
      For elderly people who still travel to rural areas on their own, US Mobile can be a risky choice. AirVoice Unlimited TnT for $20/month would be a safer plan for an elderly person who uses 1200-1300 minutes/month.

      Delete
    2. Consumer Cellular plan prices do not include taxes and fees.

      Delete
    3. Consumer Cellular charges $30 for 1500 minutes, not $35. So the $35 price stated in the post above must include taxes and fees.

      Delete
  10. 1-100 minutes, 1-100 messages, .01-100 MB: $9/month ($2 service fee + $3 voice bucket + $2 text bucket + $2 data bucket)

    Do the unused minutes roll over?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. There's no rollover. US Mobile buckets are use it in 30 days or lose it.

      Delete
  11. Just ported from T-Mobile to US Mobile. Port was done in 20 minutes. On-line chat answered in 10 seconds. Very clear info in their Knowledgebase. 100/100/250mb $12 + $0.09 tax (WA state).

    ReplyDelete
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