For the past few years, the family has been on a Verizon cell phone plan. The plan was an unlimited plan so unlimited data is good right? Except that I can’t really tether with it. It was an older unlimited plan that limits the tethered speed to 600kb/s. Not enough to stream with, or surf with so what’s the point? We also are still in quarantine and most of the time we are on WiFi. So that unlimited data does me no good – my most recent Verizon bill showed 0.05GB data used over a month. So why pay for unlimited data?
I did some research and looking at a combination of costs and coverage, I landed on Tello. Tello is an MVNO that uses Sprint as its provider. The Tello plan has unlimited talk and text, and 1GB of data. While it is not a lot of data, I can tether with it. So far so good, but the best bit is the $10/month fee.
Given that I am not using data, and almost never use the phone to talk, I think this should be fine. We were paying $50/month for the Verizon plan, so dropping that to $10 is outstanding*.
*Note that some phone plans are bundles and while dropping one line sounds great, often the cost of the other lines will increase because there are discounts the more lines you have. In this case, the cost of the remaining lines went up to the point where the overall savings was only about $15.
I pulled the trigger on moving to Tello back in October and have been monitoring my usage ever since. Because we rarely travel outside of the apartment, my data usage has still been very low. I generally use about 250MB per month.
If I need more data than that I can add it on through the Tello app.
I have also had no coverage issues, even when we have travelled outside of our usually locale. In fact just recently we drove to the mountains while looking at houses (from the car) and streamed Spotify the whole time we were driving with no problems.
One change that I have noticed, is that I use a lot more public WiFi than I used to in order to keep the data usage down. I don’t consider this a downside and the phone handles moving from WiFi to roaming data and back again with no problems.
The real test will be to see how it performs once quarantine restrictions are lifted. I look forward to updating this once that happens.