With so many MVNOs (or Mobile Virtual Network Operators) on the market, it can be hard to decide which one is right for you. We’ve reviewed a few on the blog so far—and we haven’t even scratched the surface!
Well, in this article, we’ve got another one for you to consider—Ultra Mobile.
Ultra is a no-contract, prepaid phone service provider that offers a range of plans to suit your needs. So let’s take a look at what Ultra Mobile has to offer.
What Is Ultra Mobile?
Ultra Mobile is a relative newcomer to the American MVNO arena. The company was founded in 2011 with the goal of providing dependable and affordable mobile service to consumers.
Ultra Mobile offers a unique combination of features that help it stand out in a crowded market, including:
- unlimited data
- great international rates
- no-contract plans
How Does Ultra Mobile Work?
Ultra Mobile operates on the T-Mobile network, which means you’ll get reliable coverage and fast download speeds. The company offers several different no-contract plans that feature unlimited talk, text, and data.
In addition to domestic plans, Ultra Mobile also offers international calling options that let you talk to family and friends around the world. You can choose from a variety of international calling plans, with features like unlimited minutes, competitive rates, and more.
Currently, Ultra Mobile is only available to customers in the U.S.
Ultra Mobile Coverage
The fact that Ultra Mobile runs on the T-Mobile’s 5G network is a major selling point. T-Mobile offers 4X more 5G coverage and 2X faster 5G speeds than both AT&T and Verizon. Plus, the company has some of the most advanced 5G technology available today.
That said, 5G coverage is still spotty. Most Ultra Mobile customers will be relying heavily on T-Mobile’s 4G network—currently ranked third behind both Verizon and AT&T.
Luckily, Ultra Mobile has a handy coverage map tool that you can use to check coverage in your area.
Ultra Mobile Plans & Pricing
Ultra Mobile’s plans are a bit confusing because there are actually two different kinds—online-only plans and in-store plans.
- Talk & Text Plan ($15/month): Unlimited talk and text, with no data.
- 2GB Plan ($19/month): Unlimited talk and text with 2GB of data.
- Unlimited Plan ($49/month): Unlimited talk and text with up to 40GB of untethered data (and unlimited tethered data).
Overall, we’re not incredibly impressed with the range of online-only plans on offer. The jump in data from the Talk & Text Plan to the 2GB Plan is miniscule, but a massive jump from the 2GB Plan to the Unlimited Plan is massive. Simply want 5GB of data? Too bad!
We’re also not especially impressed by the value for money, especially when compared to the likes of prepaid MVNOs like Mint Mobile and Visible. For reference, both Mint Mobile and Visible have an Unlimited Plan that costs $30/month.
Ultra Mobile’s in-store plans have more flexibility. There are more options to choose from, and you can also earn discounts by choosing a longer contract term.
That said, prices are still a bit higher than we’d like. Plus, having to locate an Ultra Mobile store to buy your SIM card is a bit annoying.
As you’ll see later on, Ultra Mobile can justify their higher prices with an exceptionally generous approach to international calls and texts—but that’s not a major value add for everyone.
Ultra Mobile Features
Ultra Mobile doesn’t offer a ton of features beyond cell service—in fact, there’s really only two worth mentioning:
Ultra Mobile is extremely generous when it comes to international calls and texts. All of their plans include unlimited international calling and free unlimited texting to over 80 countries.
Yup, you heard that correctly—you can send unlimited international texts for free on any Ultra Mobile plan. That’s a great deal, especially when you consider that the competition often charges extra for international texting.
For international calling, the price ranges from free to $0.70 per minute—still a great deal.
Free Wi-Fi Calling
Ultra Mobile also offers free Wi-Fi calling on all of their plans. This is great, because it allows you to make and receive calls without using your data plan.
While this is a fairly common feature nowadays, it’s still nice to see it included with Ultra Mobile plans. Plus, the quality of their Wi-Fi calling is surprisingly good—no dropped calls here!
What Do Customers Think of Ultra Mobile?
Here’s where things start going downhill for Ultra Mobile.
Based on the company’s rating of 2.2/5 on Trustpilot, it’s safe to say customers have had a lot of problems with the service. In particular, customers have reported frequent service outages, spotty coverage, rude customer service, and more.
Overall, the consensus seems to be that Ultra Mobile is a fairly reliable service—but if you do have an issue, you might struggle to get it resolved in a timely manner.
Is Ultra Mobile Right for You?
Ultra Mobile isn’t for everyone—there are plenty of MVNOs with cheaper plans, better features, and more reliable customer service.
Instead, Ultra Mobile is designed to appeal to people who need (or want) to be in contact with international family, friends, colleagues, business partners, and so on. With its generous international calling plans and free unlimited texting, Ultra Mobile may be worth considering if you need to stay in contact with people overseas.
At the end of the day, though, it’s up to you—free, international communication alternatives like WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger combined with other phone plans can accomplish pretty much the same thing.