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.