As the name implies, business resellers are supposed to only sell to businesses. Most of the resellers accept businesses of any size, including sole proprietors. Typically customers only need to supply a business name and an EIN, sometimes just an SSN to qualify and there's little or no verification that prospective customers actually operate businesses.
Although they tend to offer good value, the BRs have a major downside, they tend to go out of business quickly and with little warning. I'm not sure why that's the case, but the lack of verification is probably one reason. There's also evidence that at least some of the failed BRs were opening large multi-line business accounts and reselling the separate lines to individuals. I suspect that's not allowed by the reseller's contract with the mobile operator.
Here are a few of the BRs of the past that are no longer active:
- 35orLess, which was a T-Mobile reseller, launched in December, 2014 and stopped accepting new customers three months later on Mar, 2014. Current customers were allowed to keep their service.
- Harbor Mobile launched in July, 2014 as a T-Mobile reseller. Harbor stopped accepting new customers a year later but current customers were allowed to keep their service. Harbor relaunched as an AT&T reseller in November, 2014 and shut down six months later, giving customers only 60 hours notice. AT&T based customers were not able to keep there service but were allowed to switch to AT&T or port their numbers to a new operator.
- Mobal Freedom was a T-Mobile business reseller from international roaming SIM vendor Mobal Communications. It launched in April 2015 and stopped accepting new customers two months later. Current customers were allowed to keep their plans and numbers.
In spite of their tendency to disappear with little or no warning, so far customers have been able to keep their numbers, and in most cases their service, plans and pricing. To be on the safe side, I recommend not trusting any business reseller with an important phone number, especially a published business number. Instead, park your number with a call forwarding service like Google Voice, which is free after a $20 port-in fee or with a paid, business oriented service like Phone.com or Ring Central.
Here are all the currently active low cost business resellers I've been able to find.
BlueGreen Mobile (formerly Smartel) launched in September 2015 as a T-Mobile reseller. BlueGreen added AT&T service shortly after launch. A tax id (EIN or SSN), but no other business verification is required at sign up. There's a $10 sign up fee which includes a SIM. Support is limited to email and chat. Taxes and fees are included in plan prices. Autopay is required. BlueGreen stopped activating new lines Oct. 7, 2016 but has plans to resume "soon".
BlueGreen Pink (T-Mobile) and Blue (AT&T) based plans include Hotspot and WiFi calling. T-Mobile based plans also include T-Mobile's Music Freedom (zero rated music streaming) and roaming up to plan limits in Mexico and Canada as well as unlimited text and 2G data roaming and 20¢/minute voice roaming in over 140 countries. Higher priced Pink plans also include Binge On (zero rated video streaming) and Data Stash (rollover data).
NetTalk Connect NetTalk, an established VoIP provider is now selling a single T-Mobile reseller plan with unlimited talk, text and data with the first 10 GB at full speeds for $30 per month ($20/month for the 1st 5 months). Taxes and fees are included in plan price. Autopay is required. SIMs are $9.99 each. A business name and an SSN or EIN is required at signup. The plan includes Hotspot and WiFi calling, Music Freedom (zero rated music streaming), roaming up to plan limits in Mexico and Canada, unlimited text, 2G data roaming and 20¢/minute voice roaming in over 140 countries, Binge On (zero rated video streaming) and Data Stash (rollover data).
4G Antenna Shop (4GAS) has been in business since 2011 selling cellular modems and antennas. 4GAS began reselling T-Mobile mobile broadband service since late 2015. There's no activation fee, SIMs cost $8.50. Autopay is required. A name, business name, email address, contact phone number and an EIN or copy of a business license s required at sign up.
Plans include Music Freedom (zero rated music streaming) and unlimited SD (480p) video streaming.
Until recently, 4GAS offered phone plans, but all current plans are intended for use in mobile broadband devices like hotspots, tablets, cellular modems and laptops with cellular data capacity. The plans do not include voice service but unlimited voice can be added for $5/month. The voice add-on is primarily intended for cellular modems with a voice port. 4GAS plans do not work with T-Mobile branded phones, but have been reported to work with some, but not all, unlocked non-T-Mobile devices.
The tables below list all the plans from the companies mentioned above.
AT&T Based Plans
|BlueGreen Blue||$25.00||Unlimited||Unlimited||1 GB|
|BlueGreen Blue||$34.99||Unlimited||Unlimited||3 GB|
|BlueGreen Blue||$35.00||None||None||5 GB||Data Only|
|BlueGreen Blue||$41.99||Unlimited||Unlimited||5 GB|
|BlueGreen Blue||$43.50||None||None||7 GB||Data Only|
|BlueGreen Blue||$48.00||None||None||10 GB||Data Only|
|BlueGreen Blue||$50.99||Unlimited||Unlimited||7.5 GB|
T-Mobile Based Plans
|Name||Price||Voice||Messaging||High Speed Data 1||Includes|
|4GAS||$17.71 2||None||None||5 GB||Music Freedom, Unlimited SD Video|
|BlueGreen Pink Silver||$25.00||Unlimited||Unlimited||2 GB||Music Freedom, International roaming|
|NetTalk Connect||$30 ($20 1st 5 months)||Unlimited||Unlimited||10 GB||Music Freedom, International roaming, Binge on, Data Stash|
|4GAS||$48.70 3||Unlimited||Unlimited||unlimited 4||Video throttled to 480p 5|
|BlueGreen Pink Gold||$45.00||Unlimited||Unlimited||10 GB||Music Freedom, International roaming, Binge on. Data Stash|
|BlueGreen Pink Platinum||$60.00||Unlimited||Unlimited||Unlimited (7 GB Hotspot)||Music Freedom, International roaming, Binge on. Data Stash|
2 Plan price includes $2.71 for taxes and fees.
3 Plan price includes $3.71 for taxes and fees.
4 After 26 GB is used in a month data is subject to de-prioritization when the network is congested.
5 Unlimited HD video available for $25/month extra
Updated 11-Oct-2016: BlueGreen no longer activating new lines, 4GAS plan changes.
Sources: BlueGreen Mobile, NetTalk Connect, 4G Antenna Shop
Image: Pexels.com CC0 licensed