When you look at the mobile carrier market, there are really only three names sitting at the top of everything. Those major mobile carriers blanket the country in their service, but they can charge a pretty high price when it comes to solo shoppers. Luckily, there's a way to get onto their networks without having to pay their prices.

MVNOs (Mobile Virtual Network Operators) like Red Pocket Mobile sell service like any other carrier, but in effect they're re-selling the service of one of the major carriers. By paying for that service wholesale, they can offer lower prices for users and develop more compelling bundles.

Red Pocket, for example, actually offers its service through all of the major carriers. This means you can subscribe to its service and continue to get the same coverage you were getting from your previous carrier. This is a useful feature in areas where you know some carriers have spotty reception.

Redpocket Googledisplay Family Kitchen 1080x1080px Customsize

Red Pocket Mobile's service

See Red Pocket Mobile's affordable plans here, with some that can start as low as $5.

So, just how cheap can these plans get? That'll depend on how much data you plan on using, but Red Pocket offers monthly plans that go as low as $10/month while still giving you unlimited text, 1,000 minutes of calling, and 1GB of high-speed data. That's the full price of the plan, too. Some major carriers charge access fees that cost that much just to use their service.

Red Pocket's plans can offer even more than that, though. If you need unlimited calling and texts, it's $19/month plan will offer that as well as 3GB of high speed data. The $30/month plan brings that up to 10GB of data, and the $40/month plan goes even further to 22GB. All three of these plans continue to offer 2G data speeds after that high-speed data cap is reached, too, so you won't be cut off. Proving how serious the savings can get, Red Pocket is offering any of these plans for just $5.

For Black Friday, Red Pocket is also offering an annual service sale with a year of its 1000-minute/1GB plan for $94.99 ($8/month) and an 8GB plan with unlimited talk and text for $204.99 ($17.08/month). Unless you're streaming a lot of movies and music on your data plans, it's likely an 8GB data allowance will actually go a long way. You can see just how much data streaming uses here, which may help give you a more clear picture of why unlimited plans may not be worth it.

Big mobile carriers might entice you to their expensive unlimited plans with big deals on phones, but MVNOs are fully capable of offering compelling discounts on phones as well. And, they generally don't have as strict locks on leaving their network with your phone. Major carriers may require you to pay off the full price of a device or complete an installment plan (which could be 24 months long). Meanwhile, Red Pocket will unlock phones after just 12 months of service.

To see a clear example of ust what MVNOs can offer, check out Red Pocket Mobile's plans and deals here.

We may earn a commission for purchases using our links. Learn more.