Cell phones are a necessary evil. We use them daily, often for more than just staying in touch. For many people, they are one of the most expensive monthly bills. Of course, it’s nearly impossible to go without a cell phone. So, what is someone supposed to do? If you don’t want to lose your cell phone, but you need a cheaper service option that doesn’t sacrifice quality, Tello could be the service for you.
Tello Mobile is an MVNO. That stands for mobile virtual network operator. Basically, that means that instead of having their own cell phone towers Tello is able to tap into other companies’ towers to provide network coverage. Tello utilizes Sprint cell towers, which means that you’ll have service across the country at high speeds with few dropped calls or dead spots.
Tello is one of the cheapest cell providers out there, with plans starting at just $5 per month. You get the chance to build your own plan or you can choose from a number of premade plans. No matter what plan you choose, you’re bound to save money. The most expensive plan is still just $39 per month! Keep in mind, there is no contract with Tello, but plans do renew automatically each month. If you want to cancel, you can do so any time without hassle.
Unless you opt to create your own plan, you’ll have four main packages to choose from. This includes:
- Economy plan: Unlimited Talk & Text + 1 GB for $10/month
- Value plan: Unlimited Talk & Text + 2 GB for $14/month
- Smart plan: Unlimited Talk & Text + 4 GB for $19/month
- Data plan: Unlimited Talk & Text + Unlimited data / Unlimited everything for $39/month
If you go over your data allotment, your speeds will be reduced. You will always have a chance to add data at the pay-as-you-go rates, though. These rates will give you a MB of data for 2¢, a minute of phone time for 1¢, and a text for 1¢.
Tello Family Plans come in handy for budget families. They are super affordable, flexible and there is no extra cost per new line. You can add an unlimited number of lines and each member of the family can customize their plan according to their needs and have their own phone number.
Tello gives you the option of bringing a compatible phone to their service. If you do not own a compatible phone, you can choose the right phone for you on the Tello website. Nearly 30 phones are available, from moderately priced options and refurbished models to newer and more expensive iPhones. The price will ultimately depend on what you’re looking to purchase and whether or not it’s a previously used model. That said, there are a selection of phones available for under $100 and you can bring your own phone if it’s compatible.
You won’t have to worry about the cost of your phone adding to the cost of your bill because Tello charges the full phone price at purchase. There are no payment plans. You buy your phone and then your monthly phone plan and that’s it.
Most Sprint-compatible phones will work on Tello’s network. If the phone proves to be compatible you may need a new SIM card. If you do, Tello can sell you one, if necessary.
ACTIVATING YOUR PHONE
Tello is an online wireless provider. Basically, this means that you’ll buy your phone or order your SIM card online rather than heading into the nearest store to get it in person. You’ll just visit the Tello website to begin the process. So porting to Tello is easy and safe.
You should be able to turn on your newly purchased phone or to enter the SIM card into your current phone to start activation. In most cases, that’s all you need to do. Your phone should be up and running within minutes.
PERFORMANCE & FEATURES
Tello is a no-frills service. You’re not going to find a lot of bells and whistles. What you will find is an affordable service with no hidden fees or hard to understand bills. You’ll get good service without dropped calls at a price most everyone can afford. As Tello uses Sprint cell towers, you can determine how good your service is from that. If Sprint has a lot of towers in your area, you’ll get better service. As Sprint has towers all across the country, you should be covered, no matter where you live or visit.
You can easily check Tello’s coverage in your area on their website.
Data speeds will also depend on your area, though they appear to be 3-4 G in most areas. This is comparable to several phone companies. That said, if you prefer data usage over talking, you might want to check the speeds in your area.
TELLO CUSTOMER SERVICE
You will conduct all business with Tello online or on the phone. They do not offer physical stores, at this time. If you’re on your Tello phone you can reach customer service by dialing 611. You can also call 1-866-377-0294. There are also contact details for online email and other options on the Tello website.
If you decide you want to cancel, it’s worth noting that you won’t need to talk to anyone to do it. You can cancel straight from your account dashboard in your online account.
TELLO REVIEW: FINAL THOUGHTS
If you’re on a budget where every penny counts, you’d have a hard time finding a more reasonably priced cell phone option. Tello offers reliable phone service without dropped calls and reasonably fast internet speeds. The prices are some of the cheapest around and with no contract, you’re free to cancel whenever you want.
Are you planning to try Tello? Let us know your thoughts about this low-cost phone service in the comments!
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