Most of us can identify the bigger names in the wireless network space as we routinely see advertising from Verizon, AT&T, T-Mobile, and Sprint. These so-called “Big Four” pretty much own the landscape.
But, for each of the aforementioned service providers listed above there are others out there vying for your attention and money. Most of these smaller outfits license and use the towers and infrastructure from tier one players but offer their own rates, customer service, and phone selection.
You might have seen a commercial or print ad for some of them along the way. Some of them include Boost Mobile, Cricket, and Mint Mobile. These Mobile Virtual Network Operators (MVNOs) can offer customers everything they need at a fraction of the price they’re paying.
FreedomPop, a brand we’ve profiled, makes its name by offering free and inexpensive phone plans. Its spin-off, Unreal Mobile, hopes to peel away subscribers who might be attracted to, or put off by, the potential merger of T-Mobile and Sprint.
Unreal supports both CDMA and GSM phones, relying on Sprint and AT&T for the networks, respectively.
Unreal has a plan for $10 per month that includes unlimited calls, texts, and 1GB of high-speed data. A $20 option nets 3GB per month while the $30 plan offers up 5GB of LTE data. These are among some of the cheapest you’ll find around and match up nicely with what Mint Mobile does.
PODCAST: What is an MVNO?
It’s worth noting that users actually receive unlimited data each month and there are no overage fees. Once a user hits the allotted month the speeds are throttled down to 2G speeds for the rest of the bill cycle.
On the other end of data usage, customers who do not go through their bucket can roll up to 500MB over from month to month. All plans are no-contract which means there’s no long-term obligation and subscribers can cancel at any time.
- Unlimited Everything + 1GB LTE $10/month
- Unlimited Everything + 2GB LTE $15/month
- Unlimited Everything + 3GB LTE $20/month
- Unlimited Everything + 5GB LTE $30/month
- Unlimited Everything + 10GB LTE $40/month
All Unreal plans also include a VPN, ad blocker, and data saver. The VPN encrypts and secures your internet connection, and protects phone calls, texts, and data from being snooped on by malicious types.
The ad blocker block ads from showing up on web sites and in select mobile apps while the data saver compresses and saves data, in turn saving users money. Additional features can be purchased for a fee. Unreal also provides hotspot-only plans, too.
Unreal Mobile offers a modest selection of devices but many of them are a generation or two behind. Moreover, they tend to skew to the lower end of hardware. With that said, there are big brand names here such as Samsung, Motorola, LG, and Apple.
Bring Your Own Device
You can often use your current unlocked GSM phone, especially if it was purchased directly from the manufacturer. Additionally, those which are compatible with Sprint or AT&T will work on Unreal.
As a general rule, T-Mobile unlocked phones ought to be compatible with Unreal Mobile’s GSM-based plans. To check compatibility of your existing device, head to the carrier’s website.