If you like Mint Mobile's plans but aren't sure about the coverage there are a few things you can do to check. You'll need to make sure your phone is fully compatible with the T-Mobile network. Since Mint Mobile uses this network exclusively, if you're not covered by T-Mobile, you're out of luck. Make sure to check the coverage map before switching and note the money-back guarantee window so you don't get stuck with something that doesn't work for you.
Check your phone and coverage map
Most modern unlocked phones support the majority of T-Mobile's network, but some older devices might not support Band 71. This band uses a 600MHz spectrum to deliver long-range coverage to fill in the gaps between towers. If your phone doesn't support this band, you'll drop down to 3G a lot more often.
You can find out which bands your phone supports in its specification if you want to be sure, but pretty much any new phone will be compatible, including Androids and iPhones. Look for Band 2 (1900MHz), Band 4/66 (1700/2100MHz), Band 5 (850MHz), Band 12 (700MHz), and Band 71 (600MHz) for 4G LTE. 5G coverage isn't officially included yet, but T-Mobile uses N71 (600MHz) and N41 (2.5GHz) for its sub-6 5G network.
You can also download the Mint Mobile app which can check your phone automatically.
Visit Mint's coverage map to check your specific area on a map. Remember to check the places you go most often, such as your workplace or relative's homes. If you click on the map, there will be a popup showing you the strength of each frequency present. If everything is green, you're most likely good to go.
Your network experience isn't going to be the same everywhere, even though you have the same phone and network. Carriers have to get access to not only as much spectrum as possible but access to towers, which can be a challenging process depending on local laws or approval boards.
To be sure, you can ask around to see what works best for other people. Since Mint Mobile uses T-Mobile's network, you can talk to people with T-Mobile or another one of its MVNOs, such as Metro by T-Mobile or Walmart Family Mobile.
You're not stuck
You can try your first three months at Mint Mobile for the yearly rate. That's $45 for three months. If things don't work out, there is a seven-day money-back guarantee.
Try a new carrier with an unlocked phone
The Pixel 3a supports T-Mobile's network, including the long-range band 71. It's unlocked so you can try out nearly any carrier.
Save by buying in bulk
Mint Mobile has great rates on data plans if you're willing to buy in advance and runs on T-Mobile's network for great coverage.
Alternative carriers (MVNOS)
- What is an alternative mobile carrier?
- What are the advantages of going with an alternative carrier?
- How to make sure your phone works on a prepaid alternative carrier
- 8 Important Considerations When Switching To An MVNO
- These are the cheapest data plans you can buy in the U.S.
- Mint SIM vs. Cricket Wireless: Which is better for you?
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