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Which network does Tello use?

Tello website on a Galaxy S20+
(Image credit: Samuel Contreras / Android Central)

Which network does Tello use?

Tello uses T-Mobile's LTE and 5G network for its coverage. While the carrier used to use Sprint's network, new lines will be on T-Mobile, with any remaining Sprint connections being migrated over soon.

Which network does Tello use?

Like many of the best MVNO carriers, Tello uses T-Mobile's nationwide LTE and 5G network. In the past, Tello used Sprint, but all plans activated recently will be on the T-Mobile network. This is great for most users because T-Mobile has worked hard over the past few years to build a competitive network that provides its fastest 5G speeds to all customers with a compatible phone.

One nice thing about T-Mobile's network is that 5G is included on all plans if you have a 5G-compatible phone. T-Mobile's 5G coverage uses both bands n71 and n41, with most 5G phones from the last couple of years supporting these 5G bands. 

Band n71 serves as the 5G network's foundation, with 320 million people covered, while band n41 adds much more speed where needed. As of July 2022, band n41 covers 235 million people, with T-Mobile expecting to cover 260 million by the end of the year.

5G NR band information on a Galaxy S20+

(Image credit: Samuel Contreras / Android Central)

In the past, Tello used Sprint's network for all of its coverage, and some customers with older phones may still be using the network. While new activations and people that have upgraded to a T-Mobile-compatible phone will be on the new network, some people may still need to switch.

Even if you have good coverage on the Sprint network, T-Mobile is in the process of shutting down Sprint's network. If you're using one of these older devices, you've likely already been contacted about upgrading. This could be a good time to make sure you're using one of the best cell phone plans for your needs if you've found Tello's data packages to be smaller than you need.

If you're thinking of signing up for Tello, there are a couple of things to do to make sure you make the most of your new carrier. First thing's first, T-Mobile's network really shines with 5G. So if you're able, a 5G phone will have much better performance on average. With so many of the best cheap Android phones supporting 5G, like the OnePlus Nord N20 and the Google Pixel 6a, you don't have to spend a ton to get 5G.

When Samuel is not writing about networking or 5G at Android Central, he spends most of his time researching computer components and obsessing over what CPU goes into the ultimate Windows 98 computer. It's the Pentium 3.