Saturday, December 9, 2023

Prepaid Prices Keep Dropping!


As we predicted last week, prepaids are dropping prices to snare more customers. Tello has made a significant offer of $25 for what they call "Unlimited" which slows your Data down to 2G after using 35 Gb, which is effectively Unlimited for most of us. They also made a deep cut in the price of their 5Gb plan, which we call "Average" usage. That competitive plan has dropped to $14 per month. These plans both appear on our Mountain Prepaid Price Chart, and are at the top of the bottom prices. And they don't appear to be promotional prices. Tello also has a handy price selector which helps you save even more by selecting just the amount of features you want.

This is in stark contrast to the postpaid plans the major carriers are selling, which, if they are not increasing the plan prices themselves, they are adding mysterious charges and fees. Many of the differences relate to the phone you get with your plan and what you pay for it, which can be helpful, but there's still no free lunch. Expect more Prepaid prices drops before the end of the year. The best way to find them is to look for Prepaids that catch your attention and visit their site.

We also understand that few wireless customers want to bother changing plans, carrier or phones. If there is a small price difference, it's not a big deal. But have you considered that you could be paying half of what you're paying today? I bet you don't roll up to the highest-priced gas pump.  Do you?

Wednesday, December 6, 2023

Holiday Prepaid Discounts


There have been some outstanding Black Friday wireless deals, and now we're expecting some equally generous holiday deals. One of the most notable deals just appeared with Visible Wireless. Their cheapest "Unlimited" plan is now available through the the end of the year for only $20/monthwith the code HOLIDAY. This amount is good for 3 months, then increases to the regular rate of $25/month.

The reason this deal is of special interest is that Visible was recently featured on Mountain Prepaid as the BEST Prepaid for Unlimited Data. On top of that, Visible is one of the few prepaids that includes all taxes and fees. That could amount to as much 20% for those of us who live in high tax areas. While the discount is only for 3 months, it's a great way to get your feet wet with a good Unlimited prepaid plan, and be able to escape if it's not to your liking. Visible is now officially known as "Visible by Verizon" which reflects their relationship with Verizon which has good coverage and features.

There will be other great Holiday Prepaid deals and we might not catch them all. So if you're thinking of switching (to) prepaid, choose one from our Prepaid Reviews and see what they're offering in December. We both might be surprised.

Tuesday, November 7, 2023

It's a Sign


Wouldn't it be nice to have more signs like this?

Monday, November 6, 2023

Wi-Fi for International Travel


I recently returned from a trip to Europe. Since my phone does not automatically roam outside North America, my usual way to communicate is by buying a foreign SIM. SIM's can be easily found in or near large airports, but this time we found the rules were different. The only way to find a SIM in this smaller city in Greece was to show up at a cellular store with your passport in hand and preferably cash as well. It also needs to be a weekday, or maybe early in the day. Greeks are known for taking off a couple hours each day for a leisurely afternoon dinner.

This combination of factors kept me offline, or so I thought. Of course we could log in to the hotel's Wi-Fi and the occasional restaurant, but I really wanted my SIM. We hopped on the local bus to see if we could find a SIM shop open on the weekend and found that every city bus also has Free Wi-Fi which worked quite well. My wife's phone plan includes Wi-Fi Calling so she was not only online almost everywhere, she could make calls and texts as well as she does at home. Without Wi-Fi Calling, I normally use my Google Voice app to make calls and texts. I found a shop on a Saturday with a lady with limited English skills, but, oops, forgot my passport.

This experience with so much widespread foreign Wi-Fi, took the pressure off finding a SIM, although I finally scored one Monday morning. The experience reminded me that many of the rules in Europe have changed and it's no small deal that almost any cellular service in Europe roams freely anywhere else in Europe. Had I remembered this I would have spent more time finding a SIM during my layover in Germany knowing that a German SIM would work equally well in Greece, or Spain, or most of Europe. 

This one of the reasons why we give extra credit for US carriers that offer Wi-Fi Calling that works universally, both on our Prepaid Reviews and our Roaming Zone pages.  There are also now several Prepaid carriers that readily roaming in most of the developed world with few or no roaming charges.

Sunday, October 29, 2023

US Mobile's Inexpensive Wireless Home Phone

US Mobile is shaking up the wireless market by offering a number of features that top most other carriers, and not just Prepaid. They now offer plans on their Prepaid phones starting at $5, International Calling and Roaming, Wi-Fi Calling, and more. Now they have the courage to sell a Wireless Home Phone plan for a radical price of $10 per month, the lowest among our reviews of Wireless Home Phone plans! You need to buy the home phone base, just like the other carriers, but it's less than $50, with no commitment.

There's a lot to love here: Your first month with the Wireless Home Phone is FREE and includes all the usual Wireless Home Phone Features with no internet connection required, unlimited calling to the US and most of the world, and they even have 24/7 Live Customer Service. Their wireless home base will use either the AT&T or T-Mobile network and has a 26-hour battery backup for power outages. With a 14-day trial, you can see if it works at your home and send it back if it doesn't.

As we noted on Mountain Prepaid Reviews, US Mobile appears in more than one of our Prepaid "BEST OF" categories. We have used US Mobile in previous years with positive results and it appears they have improved since then. US Mobile is a great alternative for people who have decided not to stay with the TracFone Prepaids which have required a change of networks.

Sunday, October 1, 2023

It's Not Just A FREE iPhone!

The newest national wireless carrier, Boost Infinite, is offering a FREE iPhone each time Apple introduces a new model. This is a big deal, but not because it's an iPhone, or even that it's FREE! This particular iPhone does something that no other iPhone does. For the first time, iPhone is certified for the Boost Wireless Network. Boost Infinite members who purchase iPhone 15 benefit from the power of America's Smart Network™, which seamlessly connects to the Boost Wireless Network in select markets, and if the phone finds none, it then automatically switches to one of Boost's partner networks.

This pretty much assures that you'll always have good 5G coverage, and if 5G isn't available, the best of 4G LTE on one of the partner networks. There are plans from other carriers that will access roaming partners, but not roaming on major networks and not within the main carrier's service area. Verizon once had a plan that if your phone lost Verizon coverage, it would roam automatically on Sprint.  Verizon found their customers would roam on Sprint far more often than they expected, so they slowly began to roll back where roaming on Sprint would occur.

Now, with Boost Infinite, and your 'Smart Network' iPhone, you could get a strong Boost 5G signal at work, but you live out in the suburbs where there is no Boost coverage, so your phone automatically switches to, say, AT&T. Then you head to the fitness club where there is no Boost coverage and no AT&T coverage. No problem. Your Boost Infinite phone seamlessly switches over to T-Mobile, which just happens to have strong coverage at the fitness club. 

So go ahead and revel in your 'Latest iPhone Every Year' status, but also enjoy the best of 3 major networks wherever you go. (BTW, we were not compensated for this post)

Wednesday, September 20, 2023

Boost Mobile $10 Deal

Boost Mobile has introduced a really cheap plan, $10/month for 2GB Data and Unlimited Talk & Text. I've looked for gotchas on this plan but can't find any. They'll send you a SIM for FREE and it appears that once you get this plan it doesn't expire. My kid is in Wi-Fi coverage all day so doesn't mind the 2GB limit and at this price he can pay for it by himself.
Boost Mobile needs to be aggressive right now as they introduce their own 5G network, but for the foreseeable future it looks like you'll be roaming more on AT&T or T-Mobile until you switch to one of Boost's new 5G phones that automatically switch on and off their own 5G network.  This is a limited-time offer so decide soon.

If you need a little more Data, Boost has a $15 plan for 5GB, and also an Unlimited Data plan for $25/month. 


Tuesday, August 29, 2023

Prepaids to Avoid, and Why

With the demise of Net10 earlier this month, we're investigating the viability of the other Prepaids formerly owned by America Movil and now controlled by Verizon. 
Is your current Prepaid on this list? We'll help you switch to a better carrier.


By now you know that Verizon has discontinued Net10 as a prepaid carrier. We're not sure what will happen to existing Net10 customers, but they are being directed to move to Simple Mobile instead. You may need a new phone or a different choice if your phone is not compatible with Verizon. Simple Mobile is a good choice and has better features than Net10. You can also choose Tello which has lower prices, and also uses the Verizon network. 


GoSmart has been a carrier to avoid from day one. Their downloads are limited to 3G speeds (with the exception of Facebook access). Their roaming and price advantages just don't make up for that speed limitation. Even their web site is difficult to access. You're advised to switch to a Prepaid that has 4G LTE and 5G coverage which would be Simple Mobile which has the same Latin America roaming capabilities, or Tello which has lower prices. If you 

Page Plus

We always liked Page Plus because they had rock-bottom prices and used the Verizon network. But Verizon hasn't promoted anything about Page Plus, so we will guess it too is headed for the chopping block. We don't see a need to escape from Page Plus just yet, but you'd be more confident about the future if you moved to prepaid like Visible which has the lowest price that includes Unlimited Data, on the Verizon network, or Tello which has lower prices and lets you escape the Verizon family of prepaids.

Walmart Family Mobile

Walmart's Family Mobile web site says it is still "powered by T-Mobile", although coverage for new Family Mobile customers use the Verizon network. Does Verizon still want to handle these customers  for Walmart or do something else with them? Straight Talk was to be the 'official' Walmart carrier so what is the need for Family Mobile? This one is less obvious. Verizon could sell it to somebody else or just bring new Family Mobile customers onto the Verizon network and let Walmart do all the rest of the work. Since Walmart sells phones and service from all the other carriers, what's the advantage?

Verizon Prepaid

Verizon's own Prepaid is a high quality choice and they offer all of the advantages of the Verizon network but with none of the savings. If you truly are credit-challenged, you might benefit from Verizon 's own prepaid, but there are better alternatives. Besides, Verizon is already prepaid-heavy so why not get one that saves you the most money? Which one? Check out Visible who just recently lowered their price for Unlimited Talk, Text & Data.

What to Do?

Are you using one of these Prepaid carriers and want to switch? If you have a Verizon-compatible phone you have easy choices. In addition to the alternatives listed above, Visible is one of the best Verizon prepaids. For those of us who have a phone that is limited to a different network, like T-Mobile or AT&T, or if you want to get a new Prepaid phone, we highly recommend Boost Mobile. Boost gives you the best of AT&T and T-Mobile coverage at lower prices than the above carriers, and may eventually access Boost's own all-5G network. Another top choice is US Mobile. It's good for T-Mobile compatible phones, with great prices and international roaming capabilities. 

Tuesday, August 8, 2023

Simple Mobile Changes Coverage


Simple Mobile
Like all the prepaids now owned by Verizon, Simple Mobile's coverage reflects coverage that resembles Verizon's network. New Simple Mobile phones will have the new Simple Mobile coverage and older Simple Mobile phones should continue roaming on the T-Mobile network. This means if you change from one Simple Mobile phone to another, you may have a big change in your service.

Simple Mobile Coverage

T-Moble's network has more 5G coverage for Prepaid phones, but Verizon has more coverage overall. In most cases you won't notice a difference. For now, Simple Mobile's big advantage is their included roaming areas across Latin America in countries from Mexico and south. Let's hope Verizon continues to support it.

Updated Simple Mobile maps are shown at

Tuesday, August 1, 2023

Visible Makes a Big Price Drop


Visible has officially dropped the rate on their regular plan. Originally priced at $30/month, it's now $25 a month, taxes & fees included, for Unlimited Data, Talk, Text and Hotspot. It appears Visible has finally realized they were a bit overpriced and yet wants to ensure they offer a simple, fundamentally accessible and audaciously inclusive product. That means no more requiring port-in, using a code, or acting within a promotional window to get the rate.

The Visible+ plan will remain $45 a month and still includes 5G Ultra Wideband access, 50 GB of premium network experience, roaming coverage in Canada & Mexico, and global calling to 30+ countries. When users bring their own phone to the Visible+ plan in August they are also eligible for a Wireless Noise exclusive discount of $10 off/month with code VISIBLE35!

Visible uses the Verizon network and is one of the few Prepaids that now includes taxes and fees, and have now qualified for placement into our Prepaid Price Chart.

Thursday, July 27, 2023

Boost Infinite Discount at Amazon


Boost Infinite
The new national carrier, Boost Infinite, has partnered up with Amazon. Boost Infinite is the postpaid version of Boost Mobile. Both now use Boost's own 5G network and then is backed up by their roaming partners AT&T and T-Mobile. How well Boost Infinite operates is yet to be seen, but Boost Mobile has already achieved our Mountain Prepaid "Reviewers Choice".

Boost Infinite is bringing its Infinite Unlimited wireless postpaid plan to Amazon with an exclusive offer for Prime members. Amazon Prime members who purchase the Boost Infinite Unlimited SIM kit at Amazon will get 20% off the list price of $25, on top of a $25 bill credit toward their first month of service from Boost Infinite.

The SIM kit, sold and shipped Free by Amazon, enables Prime members to activate Infinite Unlimited wireless service that includes Unlimited Talk, Text, and Data for only $25 a month, a price that’s locked forever. Boost Infinite’s plan is compatible with most unlocked iPhones and Android smartphones. You can add up to five lines per account.

Boost's relationship with Amazon does not seem to be related to the rumors of a possible 'Amazon Wireless.'

Wednesday, July 26, 2023

AT&T Adds a New Wireless Home Internet


AT&T has entered the Wireless Home Internet competition with "AT&T Internet Air". AT&T has finally joined T-Mobile and Verizon with a new 5G Wireless unit (we can't call it a box!) but it's coming with a slow rollout. AT&T is first offering the service to their wired internet customers. The idea is that current users will get a better and faster internet experience, and AT&T gets to stop supporting all those wires. 

For $55 per month, which may be more or less than what you're paying now, it should improve service for those AT&T customers who are limited to those slow DSL internet connections. Downloads speeds are expected to be 100 Gb+. In those areas of the country where AT&T provides wired internet access, there may also be room for new Wireless Internet customers.  So, if you or your neighbors get AT&T Internet at home, you may be able to switch today. Hopefully, they will offer it to the rest of the country when they can finally make enough 'boxes'.

We have 2 pages with details and comparisons of the various Wireless Home Internet options:

Mountain Wireless Home Internet

Wireless Web Access

Monday, July 24, 2023

Straight Talk Adds Multi-Line Discounts


Straight Talk, one of our most popular Prepaids, is now offering discounts for 2, 3 and 4-line plans. The problem? For now, this is just a promotion and expires on October 22, 2023. This is offered by so many other Prepaid carriers, I can't help think Straight Talk would keep it. These plans include all the same benefits as the $45 Silver Unlimited plan, but at a bigger discount and this offer is available to new and existing customers. If you've been considering adding or starting multiple Straight Talk lines, go ahead and do it now.

Here are the new plan discounts, available today:

  • 2/$45 for $75
  • 3/$45 for $90 (Buy 2 lines, get 1 free!)
  • 4/$45 for $100
  • Friday, July 7, 2023

    Prepaids that Are Giving Us More Data

    A few months ago we created a Prepaid Price Chart. It looks like we missed the mark by keeping track of the cheapest Prepaid plans instead of plans that most of us can use. So we increased the Data threshold to 5Gb, and the price to less than $30. We found that the average wireless customer uses from 5 to 8Gb of monthly Data, and there is no problem finding Prepaid plans with that much Data at a reasonable price. It was surprising to find 2 plans with 25Gb of Data and 1 with 30Gb of data for under $30!

    We looked at dozens of Prepaid wireless offers to settle on about 10 plans that will satisfy the needs of most users who are moving from expensive 'regular' plans to budget plans. Our price review eliminated several carriers that claim to be "low-cost", but aren't really. A few high points are from Boost Mobile who offers a great combination of Data and features starting at $15, and US Mobile who offers price points at $15, $20, $25 and $30. Remember, each of the plans shown have 'Unlimited' Talk, Text and Data, with the difference being the amount of High-Speed Data included.

    We still show a few low-priced plans ($10!) for those of us who may be within range of free Wi-Fi most of the time and only need 1 Gb of Data. Visit our new Prepaid Price Chart and keep it real.

    Tuesday, June 13, 2023

    Straight Talk Summer Deals

    Straight Talk is having a summer phone sale. We don't ordinarily talk about actual phone deals, but Straight Talk is one of our most popular prepaids so we'll share their latest offers:

    • Get the Samsung Galaxy A14 for only $99.99.
    • Save $100 on the Google Pixel 6A.
    • Save $20 on the Moto G Stylus 5G BLACK.
    • PRICE DROP: Samsung Galaxy A13 5G $99.99 now $79.99 (While supplies last)
    • Also check out their calling and Data plans,
    These deals are good now through the end of August. Of course you can bring your own phone and Straight Talk is also our preferred Wireless Home Internet.  Straight Talk phones use the Verizon network.

    Monday, June 12, 2023

    Mint Mobile Goes for FREE!

    The newest Mint Mobile promotions are a pretty good deal. You can get 6 months of service for FREE when you buy a phone, plus the 6 Month Plan. The second deal is $15 for ANY of their plans, for the first 3 months. That could get you Unlimited Talk, Text and Data. Then you can switch to one of their other plans for $15, $20, $25 or $30, still good deals. Remember, "Unlimited" means 40 Gb of Data per month, then slowing to 2G speeds. This offer expires on July 14. We also discovered that if you pay with PayPal you can get an additional $5 off, through June 19th. There are no special codes or coupons, just pay with PayPal.

    Mint Mobile saves you money by selling their service in larger chunks than 30 days. Mint uses the T-Mobile network, who tried to buy the company, but there have been roadblocks to that deal. Mint Mobile gets a thumbs up on our Mountain Prepaid Reviews.

    Wednesday, June 7, 2023

    Boost Mobile Goes Global

    Boost Mobile, one of our preferred prepaid providers, has made their product even more appealing. Now you can roam in over 100 countries around the world, including Data.  This is not a common feature among prepaids! You need to have an eSIM-compatible phone and they do ask for a $5 add-on, but that's not bad. 

    Boost offers this new promotion: Pay only $15 for 3 months of 5GB of 5G/4G data AND unlimited talk + text. This includes free shipping. Also, Save $200 on the Moto G 5G with the $40/mo. unlimited data, talk, and text plan, that's 80% off!

    Boost is currently using the AT&T network but you might switch over to the T-Mobile network if AT&T is not available. You may also be switched over to Boost's own 5G network, which is still expanding. Check out our Mountain Prepaid Boost Review.

    Friday, May 19, 2023

    Home Internet from Straight Talk

    Straight Talk has entered the Wireless Home Internet competition with a deal that compares to T-Mobile's Home Internet.

    Straight Talk Wireless Home Internet uses the Verizon wireless network. You get:

    -Data speeds up to 100 Mbps on 5G or 50 Mbps on 4G LTE

    -Wi-Fi 6 Dual-band

    -Self-installable router for $99


    This competes with Verizon's own Wireless Home Internet which is only $25/mo. if you're a Verizon wireless customer ($50 without). The Straight Talk internet service is also cheaper than T-Mobile's Wireless Home Internet at $50/mo. although T-Mobile provides the wireless router for FREE. We looked at the Straight Talk router because we get a highly variable signal at home from T-Mobile but a nice strong signal from Verizon.

    Verizon has not made the 5G Wireless Home Internet available everywhere in the country and you should check to see if the Straight Talk version is available in your neighborhood.

    Wednesday, May 17, 2023

    US Mobile Prepaid Goes Global

    One of the lowest-priced Prepaids, US Mobile, has added substantial global roaming. This is an uncommon feature of Prepaids.  Here are the details:

    Global by US Mobile is a new suite of international data plans with coverage in more than 70 countries and regions, starting at just $5 a month. Here are the plans that are available now:

    Global ($5/ month) Get 13 GB of data in 73 countries and regions across the globe for 365 days. 

    USA & Canada ($5/ month) Get 35 GB of data in the USA and Canada for 365 days. 

    Asia Pacific ($5/ month) Get 17 GB of data in 20 countries and regions across Asia and the Pacific for 365 days. 

    Europe ($20/ month) Get 10 GB of data in 35 countries and regions across Europe for 30 days. 

    (On plans effective for the whole year, you can use 5 GB in London, then use another 5 GB in Tokyo.)

    Also: Get 100 Days FREE when you transfer your number to US Mobile. Or get a new number and save 50% on your first month. Prices start at $10/month for 15 Gb of data, all Talk and Text is Unlimited.

    Read our US Mobile Review.

    Do we get paid for this? (No)

    Sunday, May 7, 2023

    Reviewers' Choice: The Best Prepaids

    After our post about the preference for Independent Prepaids, a few readers asked us to share the criteria for our Mountain Prepaid "Reviewers' Choice". We were tempted to choose just one as our "Choice", but several Prepaids could be 'The Best' for some users, and some of the others could fill our requirements even better. Here's the reasoning for each choice:

    Boost Mobile offers service on multiple networks at a low price. They have their own all-5G network in several cities, and beyond that, you will be roaming on AT&T or T-Mobile, providing coverage almost everywhere. You can choose a $25 nearly-Unlimited 30 Gb plan or a $15 plan with 5Gb of data, both of which are throttled to 2G speeds after your data limit, which is a good thing.

    Tello is one of the best bargain-basement Prepaids. Use their handy online selector to get just the right amount of Talk, Text and/or Data and cut your price to the bone. If the $5 plan doesn't work for you, maybe the $6 plan will. It's that flexible.

    Twigby is one of the lowest-cost Prepaids that uses the Verizon network, but not owned by Verizon. Their $20 plan provides a large 4Gb Data bucket and includes a 3-month half-price introductory price and FREE SIM. WiFi Calling also makes Twigby a great value.

    US Mobile has several benefits. First, they are one of the only prepaids that offer included roaming in over 100 countries. Next, they offer service on more than one network in the US, and third, competitive prices and promotions.

    Simple Mobile is the one Prepaid from the major carriers that makes our "Reviewer's Choice" as one of the best values among the Big 3. Prices start around $25 which gets you a bunch of features and at least 3GB of Data. Plans included FREE calling to 69 countries, a credit of $10 or $20 per month to call 100 more. Some Simple Mobile phones use the T-Mobile network but we expect them to eventually use the Verizon network.

    Wednesday, May 3, 2023

    Prepaid: If You Can't Beat 'em, Buy 'em

    T-Mobile announced it wants to eliminate the prepaid competition by buying Mint Mobile and Ultra Mobile. This is a new trend among the Big 3 carriers. T-Mobile has already acquired Metro PCS and plan to raise those prices for their new Metro by T-Mobile. Verizon has already acquired all the America Movil prepaids and after shutting down a few, we expect they'll also start raising those prices, too. AT&T has been a little less aggressive with their purchase of Cricket Wireless which has settled into the position of their low-cost entry into the field.

    Instead of complaining about the behavior of the major carriers, we'd like to point out the other prepaids that are still providing a competitive service and are not owned by the larger cellular companies. We have web pages dedicated to these independent carriers at Budget Prepaid Carriers and the smaller Secondary Prepaids. Some of these are extraordinary bargains and some have a enticing box of features, including roaming outside the US. Some have impressed us enough to set aside a "Reviewers' Choice" category which highlights Prepaids that outperform the others.

    The US Department of Justice has questioned T-Mobile's proposed acquisitions, so the purchases may not be a slam dunk. In the meantime, we have no reason to avoid these acquired carriers, but keep track of your charges and be ready to flee if you see a price increase or a loss of features. We'll help you make your escape.