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Best MVNOs that use T-Mobile's network 2022

T-Mobile storefront
T-Mobile storefront (Image credit: Android Central)

The best MVNOs that use the T-Mobile network deliver great data speeds and solid coverage on one of the nation's fastest-growing networks. The T-Mobile network has been one of the biggest surprises in recent years and now its 5G network covers more people than any other.

T-Mobile's network also works with the best Android phones you can get. Metro by T-Mobile manages to be one of the best-prepaid carriers to use the network with tons of data and even great roaming partner access.

Metro By T-Mobile Galaxy S20+

(Image credit: Samuel Contreras / Android Central)

Best Unlimited: Metro by T-Mobile

Metro by T-Mobile

Unlimited multi-line discounts

Reasons to buy

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Full T-Mobile network with roaming partners
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Great phone support
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Tons of plans to choose from
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5G is included for free

Reasons to avoid

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Not much hotspot data
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480p video streams
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2GB plan isn't a great deal

Metro by T-Mobile has three main plans, starting at 10GB with unlimited music streaming for $40 per month for one line. This is a great plan for most people with regular access to Wi-Fi and even comes with $10 off each additional line. This works out to $70, $100, $130, and $160 per month for two, three, four, and five lines, respectively. Users will also get access to T-Mobile's 5G network if they have a compatible phone.

The next plan up is an unlimited plan with 5GB of hotspot data and 100GB of Google One cloud storage. Coming in at $50 per month for the first line, this is ideal for heavier users who don't want to worry about how much data they use. There is a $20 per line discount, meaning that the prices come out to $80, $110, $140, and $170 per month for two, three, four, and five lines.

Finally, there's a $60 unlimited plan that comes with 15GB of hotspot data, 100GB of Google One storage, and an Amazon Prime membership that instantly pays for itself if you use Amazon. For two and three lines, the price comes out to $90 and $120 per month. For four and five lines there is a promotion bringing the cost down to $120 and $150, respectively, meaning you can save money with this plan if you have four or five lines.

There is also a smaller 5GB plan for $30 per month if you only need a small amount of data. There is no multi-line discount with this plan.

Mint Mobile SIM Galaxy S20

(Image credit: Samuel Contreras / Android Central)

Best Value: Mint Mobile

Mint Mobile

Small, medium, or large?

Reasons to buy

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Save with longer terms
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Simple plans
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Upgrade mid-cycle
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Hotspot on all plans
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5G is included for free

Reasons to avoid

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Only 5GB of hotspot data on the unlimited plan
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No multi-line discount

Mint Mobile gets a lot of attention for a good reason. If you're willing to buy a year of phone service, you can get 15GB of data for $25 per month with only one line. You also get hotspot data on every plan. You can also go for an unlimited plan that comes with 35GB of high-speed data and 5GB of hotspot data. This unlimited plan is even a bit cheaper than the 15GB plan at three or 12 months.

If you can make do with 4GB per month, the price comes in at $25, $20, or $15 per month for three, six, and 12 months, respectively. For 10GB, the prices come up to $35, $25, or $20 per month. If you need 15GB, your price is $45, $35, or $25 per month. The unlimited plan is $40, $35, or $30 per month.

Keep in mind that you will need to pay for all the months up front, so the cost can be a bit high right at first. One nice thing is that you can try the first three months for the 12-month price, so if it turns out you don't love the service you don't commit for a whole year. You can also upgrade mid-cycle, so if you find you need more data partway through your extended plan, you can pay the difference to get the larger plan.

Google FI Website

(Image credit: Android Central)

Best for Travel: Google Fi

Google Fi

When you don't know where you'll go next

Reasons to buy

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Multiple networks with certain phones
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Free roaming in 200+ countries
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Flexible or unlimited
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Hotspot on every plan
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5G is included for free

Reasons to avoid

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Expensive for high data usage

Google Fi isn't trying to have the lowest prices around, but it is keeping things as simple as possible. If you have a Google Pixel, Galaxy S22 series, or one of a few other Android phones, you can access not only the T-Mobile network but the Sprint and UScellular network. This unique approach keeps its customers connected in most of the county without issue. If you don't have one of these phones, you'll just use the T-Mobile network. 5G access is included with both Designed for Fi and Compatible with Fi phones. You also get to travel to 200+ countries without worrying about data prices.

Google Fi's main plan is a flexible plan starting at $20 per month for one line with data, but increases by $10 per 1GB until 6GB. After that, the cost freezes at $80 per month with a feature called Bill Protection. If your group is blowing through a lot of data, this plan gets expensive fast.

There are also two unlimited plans to choose from with Simple Unlimited and Unlimited Plus coming in at $60 and $70 per month. Both of these plans come with unlimited talk, text, and 22GB of high-speed data. The more expensive plan gets 100GB of Google cloud storage as well mobile hotspot and a data-only SIM. This plan also comes with international data included.

All Google Fi plans benefit from multi-line discounts as well. 

Tello review

Source: Joe Maring / Android Central (Image credit: Samuel Contreras / Android Central)

Best for Light Use: Tello

Tello

A low barrier to entry

Reasons to buy

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Great prices on small plans
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Plenty of data on custom plans
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Use your data in a mobile hotspot
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Calls to Canada, Mexico, China, and Romania included
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5G is included for free

Reasons to avoid

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No discounts on family plans
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Small phone selection

Tello is designed in a way that lets you buy as little or as much data as you need. If you are a light user, it will be hard to beat Tello's 1GB plan with unlimited talk and text for just $10 per month. There are no contracts or fees to worry about either so there won't be any billing surprises. An unlimited option is available for $39 per month with 25GB of high-speed data. You can add up to four lines to an account if you want to bring your family but there are no additional discounts.

Tello is a great option if you have family or friends in Canada, Mexico, China, or Romania, thanks to included support for calls to those countries. Calling to other countries is supported, though you'll need to pay by the minute. Texts are typically one cent each.

You can bring your own phone as long as it's unlocked and works with the T-Mobile network. You can check your IMEI to be sure. Tello sells a few phones on its site including refurbished flip phones and cheap smartphones. If you want something higher-end, you'll need to bring it.

US Mobile SIM cards

(Image credit: Android Central)

Best Flexible Plan: US Mobile

US Mobile

Pay only for what your need

Reasons to buy

+
Wide range of plans
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International roaming
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Works with two networks
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Pay for what you need
+
5G is included for free

Reasons to avoid

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Slow speed cap on the base unlimited plan
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No multi-line discount

US Mobile has a wide range of plans with something that will work for just about anyone, starting with just unlimited talk and text. From there you can add 1GB, 5GB, 12GB, 18GB, or 30GB of data depending on how much you think you'll need. You can also build a custom plan starting at just 75 minutes if you want even more customization. Many people will like the $40 unlimited plan that doesn't include hotspot data and has a speed limit of 5Mbps.

If you're looking for a family plan, US Mobile offers discounts for up to four lines on its unlimited plan. Line one comes in at the standard $40 per month with line two costing only $30 per month. Lines three and four are $20 per month each. With three lines you can add a perk such as Spotify, Disney+, or even a gaming service like PS Plus. You can select two perks if you have four lines.

With a choice between the T-Mobile and Verizon LTE networks, you'll get to pick the network that works best for you and your phone with no difference in cost. While you can add multiple lines to your account, there are no discounts for doing so. If you intend to go unlimited on every line, the cost can get high quickly. The best way to save here is to decide how much data, minutes, and texts you need and to avoid overbuying.

Walmart

(Image credit: Walmart)

Best for the Family: Walmart Family Mobile

Walmart Family Mobile

Flat rate for additional lines

Reasons to buy

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Hotspot on all plans
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Flat rate for more lines
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International add-on available
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Lots of storefronts in the U.S.
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5G is included for free

Reasons to avoid

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Unlimited video at only 480p

Walmart Family Mobile offers four plans and only uses the T-Mobile network for service. All plans come with unlimited talk, text, and 2G data. The cheapest plan at $25 comes with 2GB of data at LTE speeds. You can get 4GB for $30 and 14GB for $40 per month. There is also a $50 plan with unlimited LTE speed data and a 10GB hotspot. The real trick comes when you start adding lines.

As the name implies, this MVNO is focused on plans with multiple lines, with every additional line costing just $25 per month extra. This includes the unlimited plan, meaning you can have five unlimited plans with 10GB of hotspot data for just shy of $150 per month. If you're looking to save some money on big data plans on the T-Mobile network, there aren't many that can match this price. It's also easy to find, given the huge number of Walmart storefronts in the U.S.

Bottom line

There are a lot of great MVNOs on the T-Mobile network that offer a range of plans from just a few minutes to unlimited including some of the best MVNOs overall. While more and more people are using a large amount of data on their smartphones, the availability of Wi-Fi has continued to grow, allowing a lot of people to get by on a much cheaper plan. If you find you can get by on this small amount of data, there is a plan on most carriers with two or three gigabytes for a great price.

For most people, having unlimited data is still a great option thanks to being able to forget about whether you have Wi-Fi or not and just stream. It's also nice to have your own hotspot data so you can keep your laptop or tablet connected even when public Wi-Fi is at a crawl or requires a purchase. Metro by T-Mobile offers a great balance of large amounts of data with hotspot included. If you have a few lines, the value gets even better.

When Samuel is not writing about networking or 5G at Android Central, he spends most of his time researching computer components and obsessing over what CPU goes into the ultimate Windows 98 computer. It's the Pentium 3.