Best answer: While Mint Mobile operates on T-Mobile's network in the U.S., it's actually owned by Ultra Mobile.

Mint Mobile: 3 months of service with 2GB LTE/mo ($45)

The origins of Mint Mobile

Mint Mobile is a unique prepaid carrier that sells its plans in multi-month bundles, rather than on a per-month basis. With prices starting as low as $15 a month, you can buy up to a year of service at once and enjoy up to 10GB of LTE each month.

Because Mint Mobile uses T-Mobile's towers in the U.S. for its service, it's easy to assume that it's owned by T-Mobile as well, but Mint Mobile is actually a subsidiary of Ultra Mobile, another MVNO (mobile virtual network operator). Ultra Mobile founded Mint in 2016 under the name Mint SIM, selling SIM cards online and through partnering retailers rather than in its own physical stores. Mint SIM was rebranded to Mint Mobile in May of 2018.

Like many other prepaid carriers, Mint Mobile offers unlimited calls, texting, and data, with different allotments of LTE speeds depending on the plan you choose. You also get Wi-Fi calling, assuming your phone supports it — Mint sells compatible phones on its site, but encourages you to bring your own device as well, provided it's GSM-unlocked and compatible with T-Mobile's network.

Our pick

3-month, 2GB plan

Unlimited talk, text, and data with 2GB of LTE each month.

Mint's most affordable plan is just $45 for three whole months of service. You'll get 2GB of LTE each month, along with mobile hotspot and free calls to Mexico and Canada, but of course, there are higher tiers if you need more data.

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