Tello Mobile Review: An Affordable MVNO on T-Mobile’s Network

Kyle Reyes
January 31, 2023

Tello Mobile is a small MVNO that operates on T-Mobile’s network and has rave customer reviews across the board. They are an MVNO that offers plans at very cheap price points, giving customers tremendous flexibility to pick out the plan that’s best for them. Tello gives customers the option to enjoy T-Mobile’s great 5G and 4G LTE networks while evading the premium prices associated with getting service from T-Mobile itself or any other major wireless network. 

Tello lets users customize the minutes and data that go into their plans to ensure that everyone gets the plan that fits right for them. In our Tello Mobile review, we will go over their plans, what sets them apart, what we like and what we don’t like, and much more! 

Tello Mobile At a Glance

Tello Mobile brings a lot to the table. They offer custom plans that you can build to your liking, international calling, coverage on T-Mobile’s network, and great customer service. They are by no means perfect, but they offer a lot. Changing phone carriers, no matter how good the companies are at getting your paperwork in order will always be a pain. Before you choose, you want to do your due diligence and make sure that you are picking the right company for your situation. This section will cover the basics of Tello Mobile. What sets them apart, is the price of their plans and the plans they offer, and more. 

What Sets Tello Mobile Apart? 

Tello Mobile’s flexible build-your-own plan sets them apart. While we were researching for our Tello Mobile review, the ease with which you could build your plan and see what the different price points were for different combinations of data and minutes was a huge boon. Tello mobile is cheap. Their most expensive plan comes in at $29 dollars, and you can get 1 GB of data and unlimited talk and text for the low price of $10 a month. 

Price of Tello Mobile Plans

Tello Mobile has some crazy affordable plans. Users can choose the number of minutes they want and the amount of data they want. 

  • Starting at no data, users can choose up to 10 GB per month before jumping to unlimited
  • Starting at no minutes, users can choose up to 500 minutes before jumping to unlimited

These plans allow consumers to figure out exactly what their preferred plan is and pay for exactly what they need. This customization is a fantastic aspect of Tello Mobile, and it allows you to change from plan to plan based on what you need at the time. Unlimited minutes are nice, but if one month you need unlimited data and the next you know 10 GBs will suffice, a quick move is all you need. 

What Kinds of Plans does Tello Mobile offer?

Tello mobile offers one kind of plan and it’s a customizable one. Sure, their customization ends with unlimited talk, text, and data, but users have the option to choose between data up to unlimited and minutes up to unlimited. We recommend unlimited minutes because it only costs $4 and prevents you from worrying about any amount of phone conversations you have in the month. 

Their data plans are where the real cost savings comes in. With an unlimited plan at $29 we recommend starting with that and if you see, over the course of a few months, that you are not using all of your data then at that point you can switch to one of their limited data plans. Understanding how much data you use each month is an important step in figuring out what plan to take when you are switching providers. Once you’ve found the right provider, however, it is much easier to switch plans than it is to switch providers. 

What Network does Tello Mobile Use?

Tello Mobile operates on T-Mobile’s network. T-Mobile’s 5G and 4G LTE networks are available for Tello Mobile users, and that allows them to enjoy a pretty significant coverage, available for you on Tello’s coverage map. You will receive great coverage no matter where you are in the United States. 

Can You Bring Your Own Cell Phone?

Yes! Tello allows new customers to bring their own phone as long as it is unlocked. To bring your device to Tello Mobile you must check to ensure that your device is compatible with the new network, but once you double-check it is a go! 

Tello Mobile: Pros & Cons

Tello Mobile is not a perfect carrier but they are a fantastic and affordable carrier for many customers. We’ve compiled a small list of Tello Mobile’s pros and cons in our Tello Mobile review which you can peruse at your leisure. 

👍 What We Liked

  • Competitive prices among MVNOs. Tello Mobile’s prices are fantastic. The reason you would switch to a carrier like Tello Mobile is to save money. Their plans cost as little as $5 a month and will only cost you $29 a month for unlimited talk, text, and data. 
  • T-Mobile's network. If you switch to Tello you get to enjoy savings while on T-Mobile’s nationwide network. T-Mobile has fantastic coverage all over the country, and as a Tello Mobile customer you have access to that without paying the premium to be a T-Mobile customer. 
  • Excellent customer service. Online reviews rave about Tello Mobile, a feat in and of itself. Tello Mobile has one of the highest rated customer service branches in the country, and we are confident that whenever issues arise their customer service will do all in their power to fix it.  
  • International calling and texting. Tello Mobile has services in place that allow users to call China, Mexico, and India for free and access a wide variety of other countries for low rates. 
  • New customer deals. No matter the time of the year, Tello Mobile offers deals on their plans or their phones for new customers. 

👎 What We Didn’t Like

  • No multi-line savings. Tello Mobile’s plans are priced amazingly, but they do not offer any savings for multi-line plans. 
  • No bells or whistles. The major networks and even a lot of MVNOs provide a pleasant selection of perks along with their unlimited plans. The low cost is fantastic, but the lack of bells or whistles on Tello Mobile plans leaves us a little wanting.   
  • Data deprioritization. It is not a surprise, but your data will slow whenever there is a high strain on the bandwidth in your area. There is no guarantee that it will happen, especially as T-Mobile creates a stronger network, but it is always possible. 
  • No physical stores. This is not a big deal for most, but there is no place where you can bring your phone if you run into issues. There is always 24/7 online customer support if you need assistance! 
  • Low phone selection. While Tello Mobile has a selection of phones in its store, they do not have the greatest phone selection. If you are a new customer, we recommend bringing your own phone along as part of the plan. You can purchase phones directly from the retailer or stores like Best Buy that are not attached to any provider, allowing you to make an easy switch.

Tello Mobile Services & Features

Tello Mobile does not have a ton of services and features, but they make up for it with their amazing affordable plans. The ability to cut your phone bill by such a wide margin more than makes up for the fact that they don’t have a comprehensive international plan or free subscriptions to streaming services as a part of their plans. 

Tello Mobile Plans & Pricing

Tello Mobile allows users to choose the amount of minutes they want and the amount of data they want to pick out their perfect plan. The minutes max out at, well, unlimited and only add $4 a month to your phone bill so we will showcase Tello Mobile’s phone plans in our Tello Mobile review as if they all had unlimited minutes. With that in place, Tello Mobile has seven plans available to new users. 

  • No data for $8 a month
  • 500 MB for $9 a month
  • 1 GB for $10 a month
  • 2 GB for $14 a month
  • 5 GB for $19 a month
  • 10 GB for $24 a month
  • Unlimited GB for $29 a month

With Tello Mobile, we recommend new customers start with their unlimited plan or take a few months to take stock of the amount of data they use. If you know how much data you use each month, you can pick out a Tello Mobile plan that represents that data usage while saving you the maximum amount of money. Until then, their unlimited plan comes in with tremendous value, and allows users to enjoy 25 GB of high speed data before they get throttled down to low data speeds. 

Tello Mobile Phone Selection 

Tello Mobile does not have a huge selection of phones, so we recommend bringing your own if you are a new customer. If you do want a new phone from Tello Mobile, this is what they have to offer! 

  • iPhone SE 2
  • iPhone XR
  • iPhone 12 mini
  • iPhone 12
  • Moto G Pure
  • Moto G Play
  • Nuu F4L
  • Nuu A11L
  • Nuu X6 Plus
  • Samsung Galaxy A02s
  • Samsung Galaxy S20 FE
  • Samsung Galaxy S21
  • Samsung Galaxy S22 5G
  • TCL A30

Tell Mobile has a lot of affordable phones where you can upgrade if you wish, but the manufacturer as well as stores like best buy have new phone models that you can bring into Tello Mobile to become your new phone if you so desire.

How Well Does Tello Mobile Actually Work?

Call & Text Performance

Tello Mobile’s call and text performance are at the front of the pack. There are few instances of dropped calls or unsent texts across the nation so you can be confident that, with Tello Mobile, you will have good service no matter where you are. 

Data Speeds

Like all MVNOs, Tello Mobile has problems with their service across the country, but the main problem comes with deprioritization. All MVNOs have data deprioritization where your data speeds are lowered in times of high bandwidth usage in your area. Other than that, Tello Mobile’s data speeds are fast! 

Tello Mobile vs. Competitors

Tello Mobile vs. T-Mobile

T-Mobile has more add-ons, faster speeds, and more data in their unlimited plan. The major downside is that their plans are much, much more expensive than the plans from Tello Mobile. If you are okay with data deprioritization we think that Tello Mobile is the perfect place to land, but if you want the surety that you will have T-Mobile’s fastest available data speeds then it makes sense to stick with the major wireless company. 

Tello Mobile vs. Mint Mobile

Mint Mobile also operates on T-Mobile’s network and they are big competition for Tello Mobile. Mint Mobile’s unlimited plan is at the same price point and offers more data and more add-ons, but in order to receive $30 a month for Mint’s unlimited plan you need to sign up for a yearlong contract. If you prefer the flexibility of Tello’s no contract plans, then they are the winner. 

Tello Mobile vs. Visible

Visible is an MVNO that operates on Verizon’s network, and it is one of our favorite MVNOs in the competition at this time. Their major downside, however, is that they only offer unlimited plans. They have two plans and both are unlimited. If you are looking to save a lot of money on your phone bill each month and aren’t looking for unlimited data, then Tello is the way to go. 

Tello Mobile Customer Service

Tello mobile has fantastic customer service. You can reach their customer service on their website.  

What Customers Have to Say About Tello Mobile

“I appreciate the cheap, custom plans and the warning texts when my data gets low. I do wish that maybe I could respond to that warning text and tell my plan to renew or maybe a second text when it’s almost out (closer than 200 megabytes, maybe 50?). Also, it gets so slow once my data runs out! I’ve definitely struggled if my data runs out and I’m away from Wi-Fi I can’t load the website to renew my plan!” - Ahava M. (via Tello Mobile)

“Amazingly great service, for so little cost! I have this service on two phones for my grandsons, since I want them to have a way to communicate when they are away from home. It gives them all the time they need for talk and text but limits their ability to waste time gaming or surfing websites which may be sketchy or simply time-wasting.” - Anonymous. (via Trustpilot)

“Tello is one of the most affordable prepaid plans around. It works well when I'm in or near a town. On the rare occasion, I need to travel, roaming between towns is almost non-existent. Get what you pay for I suppose. The other star it lost is the hassle to get data to roll over. If you let the plan renew automatically, you lose the remaining unused gigabytes from the prior month. If you renew manually, the unused data rolls over, but you lose the remaining days on your plan. Otherwise, the service has been fine. It's just the corners they cut are more than mere inconveniences.” - Ed C. (via Trustpilot)

Tello Mobile FAQ

How can I order a new Tello Mobile SIM card?

If you already have a device active on Tello Mobile’s network you need to access your account and go to the “My SIM” tab. Once you are there, you can order a new SIM card and it will be shipped with maximum haste. 

What devices work with Tello Mobile?

As long as the devices are unlocked and compatible with Tello Mobile’s network they will be working on Tello Mobile! 

How good is the coverage in my area?

You can always check Tello Mobile's coverage map, but they have excellent coverage all over the country. Due to the fact that they use T-Mobile’s network, they can enjoy some of the finest coverage and it will only get better and better as T-Mobile increases its 5G network and leverages the new communications technology in order to provide the fastest coverage they can all over the nation. 

TLDR; Tello Mobile is an affordable MVNO with Amazing Low-Data Plans

Throughout our Tello Mobile review we kept thinking about their plan’s flexibility and it is phenomenal. The ability to switch your phone plan so you are getting the data and the minutes that work best for you is a fantastic way to save money on your phone bill each month. If you are not particularly concerned with the latest and greatest, preferring a practical approach, Tello Mobile is for you! 

Kyle Reyes
Kyles Reyes is a journalist from Pittsburgh, PA that specializes in the wireless industry, phone plan comparisons & advice.
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How much data do you get on the unlimited plan?

The plan is unlimited, but once you reach 20GB you may experience slower speeds depending on network usage.

How much hotspot data do you get on the unlimited plan?

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