MVNOs, or Mobile Virtual Network Operators, are companies that offers cellular service, but do not own their own cellular networks. They are independently operated, unlike prepaid subsidiaries that are owned by the carriers themselves.
MVNOs purchase bulk capacity from the major carriers and resell it under their own branding, generally with an official contract with the carrier to do so.
MVNO Smartphone Plans
MVNOs can offer plans on only one of the major carriers, or on multiple networks. Many of them offer only smartphone plans, but a several offer hotspot/data-only plans as well. This entry focuses on MVNOs that only offer smart phone plans. MVNOs that offer data plans will have their own individual entries.
In many cases, the MVNO may not directly state what network they are using, but it's usually not too hard to figure out. For example, a plan called the "Red" plan is likely on Verizon, while a "Blue" plan is likely on AT&T.
MVNOs may offer plans that are cheaper or have differing terms than going directly through a major network provider, but it's important to remember that your data will always be prioritized behind customers who purchase directly with the carriers.
All MVNOs are not created equal, and there is a lot of variety of the terms of plan offerings they provide.
News, Videos, & Status
We don't tend to pay too much attention to MVNO smartphone plans, as they rarely meet our definition of 'mobile internet'.
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Potential Alternatives to Consider:
Some of our TOP PICK Cellular Data Plans to also consider:
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Smartphone plans in general aren't considered 'mobile internet' for our purposes in close tracking, and MVNO plans even less so.
We are offering this listing of MVNOs that have tended to offer smartphone plans with at least 10GB of high speed mobile hotspot use - which can serve as a back-up option as part of a mobile internet arsenal. You'll need to continue your research on these options as to their suitability in your setup.
This List is NOT AN ENDORSEMENT
This listing is in no way an endorsement or vetting for any MVNO you see listed, nor confirmation that they have a legit contract with the carrier. We do not remove vendors just because we receive a complaint on them - they are listed simply because they have a website that offers a smartphone plan with at least 10GB of mobile hotspot data.
Please do your own continued research and evaluation.
We have absolutely no affiliation with any MVNO, none pay for their listing on our site, and we do not participate in kickbacks for sign-ups.
- Airvoice (AT&T)
- Boss Revolution (Sprint)
- Connected Mobile (T-Mobile)
- Consumer Cellular (AT&T, T-Mobile) - See our Gear Center Entry
- Credo Mobile (Verizon)
- Flash Wireless (Sprint)
- Fonus (AT&T)
- Freedom Pop (AT&T)
- H20 Wireless (AT&T)
- i3 Mobile (AT&T)
- Kroger Wireless (Sprint/T-Mobile)
- Lycamobile (T-Mobile)
- Mint Mobile (T-Mobile)
- Pulse Cellular (AT&T, T-Mobile, Verizon)
- Reach Mobile (Verizon)
- Republic Wireless (T-Mobile, Sprint)
- Selectel (Verizon)
- Spectrum Mobile (Verizon) - See our Gear Center Entry
- Straight Talk (AT&T, Verizon, T-Mobile, Sprint) - See our Gear Center Entry
- Tello (T-Mobile, Sprint)
- Teltik (T-Mobile)
- Text Now (Sprint)
- Ting Mobile (Verizon, T-Mobile)
- Total Wireless (Verizon)
- Tracfone (AT&T, Verizon, T-Mobile, Sprint) - See our Gear Center Entry
- Ultra Mobile (T-Mobile) - See our Gear Center Entry
- US Mobile (T-Mobile, Verizon)
- Wing (Verizon, T-Mobile)
- Xfinity (Verizon) - See our Gear Center Entry
Shopping for Cellular Data Plans
Finding the right plans for your needs is no easy task - quite simply mobile travelers using cellular data as their primary way online is not how most carriers have designed their plans. Many of us want plans that provide copious amounts of data.
Understanding the different plan terms (like network management, throttling, hotspot data, video resolution) is key to determining if a plan will meet your needs or not. You also need plans that are suitable for use in the device you want to use them in - such as smartphone, mobile hotspot device or cellular embedded router.
To learn more about shopping for dataplans, check out these key guides:
As heavily as the carriers push their "Unlimited' data plans - you'll quickly discover that most have limits. Here's a video going over what you need to know about unlimited plans, including 3rd party resellers plans that you might find on the internet:
But a data plan alone will not keep you online - it's only one part of the equation. You also need the right gear and signal enhancing strategy.
For more education on assembling a cellular centric mobile internet setup, head on over to our collection of guides: