A quick look at Tello – the NEW no fee cell phone provider
Guest article by Aaron.
You can read the entire article on ThreeThriftyGuys.com
Before I tell you more about Tello – I need to tell-o you about something called a mobile virtual network operator (or MVNO). You may have heard this term before OR know what it is. But for those new to it, it could help you save more on your monthly cell phone bill. To start, a MVNO is:
a wireless communications services provider that does not own the wireless network infrastructure over which it provides services to its customers. An MVNO enters into a business agreement with a mobile network operator to obtain bulk access to network services at wholesale rates, then sets retail prices independently.
Some of the better known MVNO’s in the States are, Republic Wireless, Ting, Boost Mobile, Consumer Cellular. Because they are merely “renting” their space on the network – they can pass along the savings to their customers.
Pros and cons of a MVNO
It’s important to note the positive and negatives pertaining to a mobile virtual network operator.
- No contract
- Same native towers, but very few MNVO’s have roaming
- Few or no taxes/fees (administrative fee, etc)
- Same features as postpaid (411, voicemail, call forwarding, etc.)
- Many of the same phones on postpaid networks
- No subsidy (pay full-price for a phone)
- Don’t have retail locations if you need in-person customer service
- Higher ping times on mobile data (higher latency means less priority through the data network)
- Some MVNO’s have a limited selection of phones
In my experience with a MVNO, the pros definitely outweigh the cons – especially by way of cost, flexibility and customer service.
Introduction to Tello
All this leads me to introducing you to another new player in the MVNO market, Tello (You have to admit they have a cool name). When the Tello folks contacted us to help get the word out and also take a look at their offering – we were thrilled. I personally love passing on any news to readers that might help them save more money or lower their existing cell phone bill.
What differentiates Tello from other MVNO players?
- Nationwide 4G LTE coverage
- Flexible plans
- No predefined phone-plan combos
- Tether away for free
- No ring time charges
One of the things I really like about Tello is their “Build Your Own Plan” offering. Basically YOU choose how you want to set up your plan NOT the provider.
Of course, they do have pre-defined plans for those who don’t want to think too much OR don’t know quite what they need. Before you decide to sign-up with Tello, you’ll want to be sure that the coverage is good. They have a handy coverage map on their site and you can plug in your home address to see if the 3G or 4G will be sufficient in your ‘hood.
A look at Tello’s 3G coverage
Customers can bring their own phone, any eligible unlocked CDMA device, or they can buy a new phone directly from Tello, with prices ranging from $66 to $380. I think this is a great feature, because many MVNO’s do not offer this alternative.
Are you on an MVNO? What are your thoughts?