Which network does Ultra Mobile use?

Ultra Mobile SIM and phone showing YouTube app
(Image credit: Samuel Contreras)

Best answer: Ultra Mobile was purchased by T-Mobile in March 2023, but the prepaid phone company has been using that carrier's LTE and 5G network since its inception. This includes wide availability of T-Mobile's mid-band Ultra Capacity 5G network. Ultra Mobile may now be formally under T-Mobile's umbrella, but the carrier remains committed to providing outstanding coverage and international benefits at an extremely low cost, with plans as low as $15/month available. 

Ultra Mobile's network

Ultra Mobile uses T-Mobile's network with full access to both LTE and 5G. T-Mobile's network is a great fit for a 5G phone with its extended-range 5G now making up the majority of its network coverage. You can also access T-Mobile's mid-band network, which offers much higher speeds — as we saw in our Ultra Mobile review. This mid-band network covers over 200 million people across 6,000+ cities, and is set to grow dramatically over the next few years. 

Ultra Mobile coverage map

(Image credit: Ultra Mobile)

All Ultra plans come with access to 5G, but if you don't own a 5G-compatible device, T-Mobile's 4G LTE coverage is still solid and should cover the majority of people joining Ultra Mobile. But to be sure, you can always check Ultra Mobile's coverage map on its website.

Will Ultra Mobile work with my phone?

T-Mobile's network has wide compatibility with most unlocked phones and doesn't lock any capable phones out of accessing 5G. If your phone is unlocked, there's a good chance it will work with Ultra Mobile. This includes the best Android phones if purchased unlocked, so if you're ready for a new device, you have plenty to choose from. 

If you're looking to try 5G, just make sure that your device can connect to T-Mobile's band n71 and band n41. Luckily, most 5G phones sold in the U.S. support these bands. If you're not sure, you can use Ultra Mobile's compatibility checker on its website by simply providing your phone's IMEI number.

You can also purchase a new phone from Ultra Mobile directly by heading to its website. Ultra Mobile sells some of the biggest names in Android with devices like the Galaxy S23 and the Pixel 6a.

What plans does Ultra Mobile offer?

Ultra Mobile is an MVNO, also known as an alternative carrier, that offers a variety of data plans with 250MB, 2GB, 3GB, 6GB, 15GB, and two unlimited plans on T-Mobile's Network. By joining a prepaid carrier like Ultra Mobile instead of T-Mobile directly, you can save money on your cell phone bill — especially when buying three, six, or 12 months of service upfront.

The cheapest 250MB plan for 12 months starts at $10 per month. Each plan comes with unlimited talk, text, and data, unlimited international text, free mobile hotspot, and free international calling to 80+ countries. It's a great plan to get if you want excellent T-Mobile coverage for a reasonable price and don't want to overpay for data or features you don't need.

Samuel Contreras

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.

With contributions from