It might surprise you to learn that some of the carriers you see advertised on TV and in print are actually MVNOs. Indeed, there are a number of players you see on a regular basis who actually rely on another carrier for network support.
Popular or well-known MVNO brands include MetroPCS, Boost Mobile, Cricket Wireless, and TracFone. Each of these operates independently as a company but ultimately fall back on the towers established by the big four brands.
As a general rule, the larger the tier-one carrier, the less prone they are to license or resell their own networks. Think of it in terms of owning a hotel. If you had a property that was always booked up and doing well, would you worry about reselling or licensing to a middle-man?
On the other hand, if you struggling by comparison or are looking to help your bottom line, you might sublet a few rooms to someone else. This is why someone like Verizon is far more stringent to go the MVNO route as Sprint.
Other reputable MVNO names that you may have seen pop up along the way include Virgin Mobile, Net10, Straight Talk, and Consumer Cellular.
There are quite a few MVNO brands in the US market, each of which is slightly different from the next. Further, there are also emerging companies which might be worth keeping an eye on, particularly if you find yourself on Wi-Fi for much of the day.
Some MVNOs such as Republic Wireless, Ting, and TracFone give customers more control over their talk, text, and date. In fact, it’s possible to specifically design a rate plan with the exact number of each criteria. Don’t care for messaging or talking much but just need a certain amount of data? That’s possible in some cases.