T-Mobile MVNOs List

Many mobile virtual network operators (MVNOs) run over T-Mobile’s network. In many cases, these carriers offer wireless plans that are far less expensive than similar plans offered directly by T-Mobile.

Best T-Mobile MVNOs

I’m a huge fan of Mint Mobile. The carrier offers ridiculously cheap service over T-Mobile’s network. Mint’s plans include 3-35 gigabytes of high-speed data each month along with unlimited minutes and texts. Plans are priced at as low as $15 per month.

While T-Mobile’s Connect plans are offered by T-Mobile itself (rather than a true MVNO), these plans are excellent for subscribers that don’t need a lot of data. The plans come with unlimited minutes, unlimited texts, and high-priority data. A plan with a monthly data allotment of 2GB costs $15 per month. A 5GB plan costs $25 per month.

List of T-Mobile MVNOs

CarrierEstimated subscribersRecommendedNotes:
Mint Mobile4,000,000Mint is owned by Ultra Mobile.
U.S. Mobile100,000
T-Mobile Prepaid2,000,000
Metro by T-Mobile19,000,000
TracFone10,000,000Additional subscribers may use other carriers that are part of TracFone. An América Móvil (TracFone's parent company) report covering performance in the 4th quarter of 2018 indicates the company had roughly 22 million lines in the U.S.
Straight Talk*9,000,000Straight Talk is a TracFone brand.
Consumer Cellular3,000,000
NET10 Wireless*3,000,000NET10 is part of TracFone
Republic Wireless2,500,000
Walmart Family Mobile1,000,000
Simple Mobile*1,000,000Simple Mobile is a TracFone brand.
Ultra Mobile1,000,000
Google Fi500,000Fi-enabled devices can simultaneously access T-Mobile, Sprint, and U.S. Cellular's networks. Other device will use only T-Mobile's network.
Lycamobile500,000
Ting300,000
Red Pocket Mobile200,000
TextNow100,000
SpeedTalk Mobile50,000
GoSmart Mobile*GoSmart Mobile is a TracFone brand.
Telcel*Telcel is a TracFone Brand
Clearway Wireless*Clearway is a TracFone brand. I believe Clearway works with all of the Big Four networks, but I'm not confident.
Teltik

T-Mobile coverage and quality

T-Mobile’s network does not offer coverage as extensive as what Verizon and AT&T’s networks offer, but T-Mobile’s coverage is superior to Sprint’s coverage.1 I discuss nationwide reliability in far more detail in another article.

Where T-Mobile offers coverage, speeds tend to be solid. In Opensignal’s crowdsourced speed tests, T-Mobile tends to do well.2 For more information about how you can evaluate the quality of T-Mobile’s network in areas where you spend time, see How to Evaluate Wireless Service Quality.

Phone compatibility with T-Mobile MVNOs

In most cases, unlocked GSM phones and phones that are carrier-locked to T-Mobile will work with MVNOs that use T-Mobile’s network.

T-Mobile’s LTE service generally operates over bands are 2, 4, 12, 66, and 71. If you’re purchasing a new device, I suggest considering a nearly universal unlocked phone so that you have the freedom to switch between major U.S. networks in the future without having to purchase a new device.

Downsides to T-Mobile MVNOs

Subscribers using T-Mobile-based MVNOs may be prioritized behind some direct T-Mobile subscribers. Accordingly, customers using MVNOs may experience especially slow data speeds during periods of network congestion.

Subscribers on MVNO’s that use T-Mobile’s network may not have the same roaming capabilities that many of T-Mobile’s direct subscribers have.

Notes

Some of the MVNO’s listed above offer service over multiple networks, not only T-Mobile. The list also includes some carriers that may not strictly qualify as MVNOs; T-Mobile’s own prepaid brand and T-Mobile’s flanker brand, Metro, appear on the list.

I have financial relationships with many wireless carriers, including multiple T-Mobile MVNOs. Details about my financial arrangements can be found on my transparency page.

Footnotes

  1. See RootMetrics’ national report.
  2. I have serious concerns about selection bias that may affect Opensignal’s results. For more details, see my article on Opensignal’s methodology.