Why Tello is the best carrier for ex-Virgin Mobile customers

Tello website on a Galaxy S8
Tello website on a Galaxy S8 (Image credit: Joe Maring / Android Central)

In January 2020, Virgin Mobile customers were informed that the pre-paid wireless provider was closing its doors. The company officially shut down in February, with any existing customers being transitioned over to Boost Mobile.

Seeing as how Boost Mobile is powered by Sprint just like Virgin Mobile was, it's a solid fit. The coverage is exactly the same, not to mention that Boost has a good selection of plans and features. But what if we told you that we think there's a better option out there?

If you're an ex-Virgin Mobile customer looking for a new home, we'd recommend checking out Tello. Whether or not you've heard of Tello before, here are a few reasons why we think it's the better alternative over Boost.

The same network you know and love

If you were previously using Virgin Mobile, chances are you were happy with its coverage. Virgin relied on Sprint for its wireless service, and that's also what powers Tello.

What does that mean? Switching from Virgin to Tello, your coverage should be the same. Sprint doesn't have the absolute best coverage compared to the likes of AT&T and Verizon, but if you live in an area where Sprint is exceptionally strong, Tello has that going for it.

If you want to be extra sure, you can use Tello's interactive coverage map (opens in new tab) and check things out for yourself.

Customizable plan based on your usage

One of the highlights of Tello is its Build Your Own Plan tool. With this, you can build a plan designed around your usage, so you don't overpay for service you don't need.

Just select how much data and how many minutes you plan on using during a given month, and your monthly cost will be based on that (unlimited texting is included for free).

If you don't talk on the phone that much but use a lot of data, you could sign up for 100 minutes and 8GB for $26/month. Want something more balanced? You can also pay $17/month for 4GB of data and 300 minutes.

The data allotment you choose represents how much LTE service you have access to. If you choose 4GB but end up using more, don't fret! You'll be downgraded to much slower 2G speeds, but you won't incur any sort of penalties/fees.

Unlimited everything without breaking the bank

Tello plans

Source: Tello (Image credit: Source: Tello)

If you use your phone a lot, Tello's unlimited plan is absolutely worth a look. This is one of the newer additions to Tello, and it just so happens to be one of the most affordable unlimited plans on the market.

For a cool $39/month, Tello will give you unlimited minutes, LTE data, and texting. Comparatively, Boost Mobile's cheapest unlimited plan costs $50/month.

We know unlimited plans aren't for everyone, but if they are something you're interested in, Tello easily has the upper-hand here.

Easy-to-use family plan

Whether you're getting wireless service for you and your partner, a family of four, or combining service with a few friends, family plans are essential. Once again, Tello comes through.

Using the company's family plan creator (opens in new tab), you can indicate how many lines you need (up to five) and build a plan for each one.

You won't get any multi-line discounts, which is a bummer, but we still appreciate how easy Tello makes it to get everything set up. You can manage your family account from Tello's website, it doesn't cost extra to have multiple lines, and you can upgrade and downgrade the plans at any time.

You can bring your own phone

Still holding onto your phone from Boost Mobile and don't feel like buying a new one right now? Good news — you don't have to.

Tello allows you to bring over your own phone to the service, and as long as your phone is compatible with Sprint (which it is if you used it on Virgin Mobile or Boost), it's ready to go with Tello.

You'll want to check your phone's compatibility (opens in new tab) on Tello's website just to be 100% sure, but this is a great benefit and keeps you from having to shell out a few hundred dollars on a new handset.

It doesn't cost extra to use your hotspot

My Tello app showing account details

Source: Joe Maring / Android Central (Image credit: Source: Joe Maring / Android Central)

These days, just about every phone comes with a hotspot/tethering feature — aka the ability to turn your phone into a makeshift router so you can share its data connection with other devices.

Some wireless carriers charge you to use this feature, but not Tello. No matter which plan you sign up for, you can use your hotspot without having to spend an extra dime.

There's not much else to say here, simply that this is how it should be everywhere. It isn't, unfortunately, but we're glad to see Tello do right by its customers.

Support for international calling

For those of you that have family or friends outside of the U.S., this is another area in which Tello scores some major points.

Right off the bat, calls to Canada, Mexico, and China are free. They'll still count towards your monthly minute allowance, but you won't pay extra just to call numbers in these countries.

As for other parts of the world, Tello has set cost-per-minute rates that are fairly competitive. Here are a few examples of what you can expect:

  • United Kingdom — 0.7¢/minute
  • Germany — 2.2¢/minute
  • Australia — 2.8¢/minute
  • Spain — 2.9¢/minute
  • Japan — 4.5¢/minute
Joe Maring

Joe Maring was a Senior Editor for Android Central between 2017 and 2021. You can reach him on Twitter at @JoeMaring1.