TextNow launches new free wireless plan that's *actually* free — here's the deal

TextNow's service in use on a phone
(Image credit: TextNow)

There are a lot of MVNO deals that'll give you free wireless when you meet some eligibility requirements or make a separate purchase, but it's unusual for a carrier to actually hook you up with completely free coverage. The affordable data-based carrier TextNow is attempting to change all of that with their brand new Free Essential Data offering. 

This wireless plan utilizes T-Mobile's vast 5G network to bring you unlimited talk and text plus free data on a few select apps for ridesharing, maps, and email. And again, the service is completely free, you just need to order the SIM card for $4.99 and deal with the occasional ad on your smartphone (that's how TextNow pays for itself). 

TextNow Free Essential Data plan: $4.99 SIM card then $0.00/month

TextNow Free Essential Data plan: $4.99 SIM card then $0.00/month

TextNow has just launched a new wireless plan that gives you unlimited talk and text alongside data for some basic apps for 100% free. Sure, you'll have to deal with the occasional ad on your smartphone, but if that isn't a problem and you just want some dirt-cheap wireless, this new plan presents a fantastic opportunity.

Preferred partner (What does this mean?)  

✅Recommended if: you only use the most essential apps on your smartphone, such as email and Google Maps; you want truly free wireless and you don't mind the occasional ad; you generally buy unlocked phones.

❌Skip this deal if: your area has poor T-Mobile coverage; you enjoy gaming or using a myriad of apps on your phone; your phone is locked. 

If you decide you need more data than what the Free Essential Data plan can provide, you can easily add more to your account through the TextNow app. There are a ton of data options available, starting at just 300MB with the Hour Pass (only $0.99) and going all the way up to 10GB for the ad-free Month Pass ($39.99). Like all of the best MVNO carriers out there, you can also cancel your TextNow account at any time with zero hassle.

Of course, TextNow may not be for everyone. If you like gaming or using social media apps on your Android phone, you'll find that this MVNO may not be the most cost-effective option. There are plenty of other MVNO deals out there for heavy data users, but if you only need the basics and you want truly free wireless service, the Free Essential Data plan is for you.

Patrick Farmer
eCommerce Editor

After almost a decade of working in the e-commerce space, Patrick Farmer (he/him) began his career at Android Central as a Deals and Commerce Writer before moving into a new role as AC's eCommerce Editor in 2023. When he's not hunting down the best deals and offering shopping advice for our readers, you'll often find him listening to music, camping out at a brewery, or treating his cat like a human child.