Prepaid carriers have been able to provide laser-focused mobile service that the Big Three postpaid carriers can't match. Ultra Mobile has zeroed in on people that want to stay in contact with family and friends in other countries while still offering great value and service for a connected generation. Whether you just need a basic service with talk and text or want plenty of data for streaming, social media, and video calls, Ultra Mobile has an option for you.
What is Ultra Mobile?
Ultra Mobile is an MVNO using T-Mobile's network that focuses on offering great service options for those who wish to connect frequently with friends or family around the world. Ultra Mobile also offers competitive rates for data whether you want to buy a single month of service or up to a year. Ultra Mobile is found in many retailers across the country, including many international stores and online. Using the T-Mobile network allows Ultra Mobile to support a ton of world devices as well as most unlocked devices made for the U.S. market.
Read the review
In our review of Ultra Mobile, we found service quality to be solid with generally good speeds on the T-Mobile network. 5G connectivity has improved a lot, and we even saw some speeds over 500Mbps on T-Mobile's band n41. Still, video streaming on the tested unlimited plan was a bit of a letdown at 480p, and there were occasional speed drops during congested hours, but they were infrequent.
Overall, Ultra Mobile is a great choice if you need to call or travel abroad and want to have plenty of data and coverage at home. You can save a little money with another carrier while getting similar coverage and data amounts, but you'll be giving up all international features with the majority of those. Ultra Mobile is the perfect way to stay connected for many people even when they're thousands of miles from where they were born.
Ultra Mobile's service plans
Ultra Mobile has six different data plans that come in a wide range. All plans include the same free international calling and texting features though the more expensive plans come with more monthly credits for any international calling that isn't free. All plans come with hotspot data as well as support for 5G for the same price.
Compared to Ultra Mobile's older plans, the current offering is very simple, with options for just about anyone looking to get connected.
Ultra Mobile's Plans
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Additional high-speed data can be added to these plans at 1GB for $10 and 3GB for $20. The Unlimited plan comes with 40GB of high-speed data and 10GB of hotspot data.
You can also add international roaming credit in $5, $10, and $20 increments. Add-ons can be purchased by signing into your online account, calling support, or by text on your Ultra Mobile phone.
Speaking of international credits, all of Ultra Mobile's plans include unlimited talk to more than 80 countries, so your credits will only need to be used when calling countries not supported. The 80 regions include some of the most popular destinations, such as Canada, Mexico, China, the United Kingdom, and South Korea. Visit Ultra Mobile's international calling page to find the rates for more destinations.
If you know you'll be sticking with Ultra Mobile for a while, you can save some money by signing up for a multi-month plan. Multi-month plans include calling to the same 80+ international destinations and hotspot capability. These plans lack any included international credits, so those must be purchased separately if needed.
Ultra's International Flex
Ultra Mobile is one of the best choices for a new or temporary resident in the U.S., thanks to included support for international calling. Ultra Mobile also has a tourist SIM available directly from T-Mobile stores. Whether you only need a few weeks or several months, Ultra Mobile has a great option available.
Ultra's uTalk is a $10 add-on feature that's compatible with all Ultra Mobile plans. UTalk adds 39 international calling destinations with up to 1250 minutes included. If you are looking for calling support to more countries and don't want to worry about adding calling credit, uTalk is a great addition.
Ultra Mobile Tourist is a SIM designed specifically for those visiting the United States. It comes with 3GB of high-speed data on the T-Mobile network, unlimited domestic talk and text, and 100 minutes of calling to Ultra's 80+ international destinations, just like its other plans. This SIM lasts just three weeks, or 21 days, but should be a great fit for those who want to be in control of their phone service while visiting the U.S. and getting access to a U.S. phone number that can make things like booking reservations a whole lot easier.
Ultra's Flex plan isn't as simple as Ultra's other plans but can be a good fit for someone who doesn't need much data and wants to make many calls to one of Ultra's Flex 15 Destinations. Unlimited calling is available to Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Ireland, Italy, Israel, Malaysia, Mexico, Singapore, South Korea, Thailand, and the United Kingdom. Unlimited nationwide talk and text are included as well as 500MB of high-speed data with rollover.
Flex starts at $22 per month but can be reduced to $12.50 if you either pay for four months upfront or bring four lines. Data with rollover can be added as well at $5 for 500MB, $10 for 1GB, $20 for 2GB, $45 for 5GB, and $80 for 10GB. With these discounted data prices and rollover, Ultra Flex can be a great value for those that need this specific set of features.
Coverage and 5G
The T-Mobile network has some of the best coverage around with the largest 5G network with continued investment bringing 5G coverage to over 280 million people.
Compared to the other carriers T-Mobile's 5G is available to more people and has great spectrum capacity thanks to its 2.5GHz Band n41. T-Mobile's LTE coverage is also quite strong though it falls short compared to its main rivals. In reality, most people should be covered by this network the vast majority of the time, but you may encounter dead zones if you find yourself in a rural area.
How does Ultra Mobile stack up?
Prepaid, data-focused carriers are springing up all over, but one of the closest comparisons is Mint Mobile vs. Ultra Mobile. This is no accident as Ultra Mobile is Mint Mobile's parent company, and the two share a lot of DNA. If you don't need all of the international features included with Ultra's plans, Mint Mobile is a great alternative.
Google Fi is another carrier with great international features, but Fi focuses more on international travel with its data rates carrying over to hundreds of countries. Google Fi also supports eSIM on a handful of the best Android phones, such as the Pixel 5, allowing for easier configuration of multiple SIMs if you have a phone number for another country.
Finally, Visible is a low-cost unlimited plan that uses Verizon's network. Visible has very few international features apart from free calling to a handful of countries, including Canada and Mexico. Still, you get great coverage in the U.S. with unlimited data, including hotspot support if you're trying to get by without paying for home Wi-Fi. Visible costs $40 per month with the option of bringing the cost down to $25 per month when you sign up for Visible's Party Pay feature.
Ultra Mobile uses T-Mobile's LTE and 5G network for its coverage, meaning the vast majority of unlocked phones will work. That includes most if not all of the best Android phones. If you want access to 5G, your phone will need to support T-Mobile's 5G bands; however, that's most 5G phones sold in the past year. You can check your IMEI when you sign up for service with Ultra Mobile. If you want to be sure you have the best possible 5G support, make sure your phone supports T-Mobile's Band n71 and Band n41.
Finally, if you want, you can buy a phone directly from Ultra Mobile's website. This includes most of the best phones you can get, such as the Galaxy S21 series, Google Pixel 5, and OnePlus 8 Pro. You can also choose from a range of iPhones, including the 11 series, 12 series, and SE. Phones purchased through Ultra Mobile's web store can be financed with Affirm.
Ultra Mobile Deals
Ultra Mobile offers discounts when you pay for more service upfront. You can choose any plan in three, six, and 12-month increments with greater discounts when you pay for more at once. Customers switching from AT&T or Verizon can get a free month of service when they sign up for a three-month plan.
Ultra Mobile also has a referral program, so you can earn a $10 bill credit for each friend that signs up. They must sign up using your specific link generated once you have your Ultra Mobile service activated, and the credit won't appear until 30 days after activation. You can earn up to $100 per year.
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