These are the alternative carriers that lease coverage from more than one of the Big Four carriers.
We talk a lot about carriers and MVNOs here because having good wireless service goes hand in hand with your Android phone. And the service being good is the most important part. We can't stress enough that saving a few dollars each month to get service that doesn't work very well is a bad move; Verizon is expensive, for example, and worth every penny for a lot of people because of its coverage.
Multiple networks are especially great for families, who don't always live in the same place.
That's why getting service from an MVNO that works with more than one network can be important! With a company like Google's Project Fi, if coverage from one carrier is bad in the place you're at, you will jump over to another automatically. With most others, you have a choice of carrier when you first sign up and can switch the next month if you like. That's a great way to make sure you always have a good signal, and we think it's pretty cool.
Here's a list of MVNOs that provide service on multiple carrier networks. Note that this isn't an endorsement of any of them, it's just a list so you know where to start looking!
|Red Pocket Mobile||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||No|
|The People's Operator USA||No||Yes||Yes||No||No|
1Voice calls are VoIP only, but not counted against a data cap
2Also uses the Three network in the UK
3TracFone's US Cellular service supports feature phones only
That's a pretty long list, and it's been culled to not include companies that only service business account or companies who force you to buy a special phone. It also doesn't include special operators that only provide service for you if you are part of a specific group, such as the armed services or the right credit union. The operators in this list will all sell you service that anyone can use with any compatible phone, anywhere in the U.S.
Have you tried any of these service providers? There are names we all know, names we've heard of, and names that aren't familiar at all here. If you have any experience with any of these companies, please let us know how it went in the comments.
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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