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Thank you to Tello for sponsoring this blog post. All opinions are my own.
Looking for an affordable cell phone plan? Have you heard of Tello?
To be honest, before Tello reached out to me to try their service I had never heard of them. But after doing a little research I was excited to give them a try.
Tello provided me with a data plan and compatible phone (a refurbished iPhone 6) for the purpose of the review. All the opinions in the review are my own and are meant to help you decide on whether Tello is right for you.
Ok, let’s get to the details of my Tello review.
WHO IS TELLO?
Tello is what’s known as a mobile virtual network operator (MVNO) which is a wireless carrier that leases wireless telephone and data service from major carriers such as AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile, and Verizon Wireless.
Because MVNO’s do not own the infrastructure, they’re able to offer service at a much lower price point.
Tello uses Sprint’s cell phone towers to provide coast to coast coverage on the Nationwide Sprint Network.
Tello takes pride in offering very flexible plans that are month to month. They offer no contracts, no activation or early termination fees, and the ability to cancel your service at any time.
But is Tello right for you? Let’s go into more detail below.
IS TELLO ANY GOOD?
Let’s just cut to the chase right? You basically want to know if Tello is any good and if you should switch right?
Like I mentioned above, Tello operates on the Sprint network which means they use Sprint’s cell towers. This means that if you’re already on Sprint (like I am) you might be a great fit to switch to Tello.
Go ahead and compare the plan you have with Sprint to Tello’s plans (I’ll go more into the plans in the next section).
I’m currently on Sprint and I used my phone and Sprint service to compare with Tello’s. I tested the Tello service with a refurbished iPhone 6 I got from their website and I was able to get the same service as I did on my Sprint plan (iPhone 6s Plus).
Since I had both plans activated at the same time I was able to do side by side comparisons.
My signal was pretty even in almost all areas I tested it in and I didn’t have any dropped calls or problems connecting. Because I’m on Sprint that probably won’t be a surprise but I just wanted to share my experience comparing the two in case you’ve never used an MVNO before.
Now let’s go into what plans are available and what they cost.
TELLO PLANS & PRICING
Tello’s plans are probably the best thing about Tello. They have the most customizable and flexible plans I’ve seen at very affordable prices.
Plus Tello has no contract, no activation or early termination fees and you can cancel or change your plan at any time as often as you like (like I mentioned above).
For testing, I chose the 6GB data plan with unlimited minutes and texts. Honestly, I could have chosen a plan with fewer data and minutes but I figured for testing purposes I may need more data.
The plan I chose was just $24 plus taxes.
Do they have a plan that fits your needs? Use their Build Your Own Plan feature on the website and mix and match to find the best plan for you at the best price.
Choose your data, minutes and texts.
You can choose how much data you want, anywhere from 500MB to Unlimited. As well as how many minutes and texts you need. Try different combinations to get yourself the best price.
Because plans can change I won’t go into each plan and price but they have plans starting at just $5 a month up to $39 a month for unlimited.
So go ahead and try the Build Your Own Plan option here.
Oh, and if you need tethering, Tello has you covered. They give you free tethering which some other plans charge for. You will be using your data when tethering but there are no additional charges to use it.
How is Tello’s service in your area?
Like I mentioned a few times already, Tello uses the Sprint Network so if you’re currently using Sprint you should be ok. But to be sure, make sure you check their coverage tool. Also, be aware that Tello does not do roaming so if you’re on Sprint but tend to use roaming then this is also a factor.
If you’re on another network you can compare coverage using a site like RootMetrics to see how Tello’s coverage (choose the Sprint Network) will differ from your current network provider.
WHAT PHONES CAN I GET AND CAN I BRING OVER MY OWN PHONE TO TELLO?
I love when cell phone providers allow you to bring over your phone. I keep my phone pretty much until it falls apart so I like to have the option to move it with me.
Your phone would have to be compatible so be sure to use the Tello compatibility checker on their site if you plan to bring over your phone.
If you want a new phone or your phone is not compatible, Tello does sell phones. Their selection at the time of writing this blog post was not huge but it could be due to the $75 off phone sale they were having.
I wanted a separate phone for testing so I chose to test out a refurbished iPhone 6 which was listed for $199 at the time. I thought prices were reasonable considering how much they can go for elsewhere.
If you need a new phone and can’t find one on the Tello site you can try Amazon for unlocked phones. Just make sure it’s compatible by checking the Tello website under the “Bring Your Phone” section.
PROS AND CONS OF USING TELLO
Let’s look at the pros and cons of Tello.
- Cost & Plan Customization- Obviously cost is a major factor in choosing Tello. Plans start as low as $5 and go up to $39. You can also build a plan that fits you and your family which is a huge plus.
- No Contract
- No Activation Fees
- Free Tethering
- Bring Your Own Phone (if it’s compatible)
- Bring Your Existing Phone Number
- Change Plans Whenever You Want
- Cancel Your Service Right Online (any time for any reason)
- International Calling to Canada, Mexico, and China
- WiFi Calling via the Tello App
- Referral Program ($10 Tello Dollars for you & your referral)
- No Roaming. If you need roaming coverage then Tello is probably not for you (you can, however, use the Tello App to make calls via Wifi from anywhere)
- No Brick & Morter Stores to Bring Your Phone if Needed
- Service Can Be an Issue if Sprint’s Network Isn’t Up to Par in Your Area
- No Payment Plans for Purchased Phones (you pay upfront)
Should You Switch to Tello? My Thoughts!
In my opinion, switching to Tello will all depend on what you need and where you live.
If you’re currently on Sprint and don’t really need roaming then it’s a no brainer to switch to a lower-priced Tello plan. Go ahead and check out Tello’s Plans here.
On another carrier? Check the coverage map on the Tello website and see how coverage will be in your area and then decide.
Think about how much you’re paying now and do the math! Is it worth it?
Check out Tello today and see if it will work for you. This one switch could save you hundreds of dollars this year! Plus if you don’t like it you can always switch to another carrier since you’re not in a contract and didn’t have to pay an activation fee.
Don’t be afraid to switch to a new cell phone provider!
Switching carriers every couple years and even more often can save you money and it’s not that hard. I did everything myself and didn’t even have to talk to Tello to get setup.