Simple Mobile Plans: What You Need to Know Before Signing Up

Mobile Network

Simple Mobile is one of the country’s low-cost service providers that many budget-conscious consumers might want to consider. However, before you subscribe to Simple Mobile, it’s important to first understand its pros and cons. Will its benefits be good enough for you to overlook the brand’s pitfalls? Here’s everything you need to know.

 

 

What Is Simple Mobile?

mobile phone with messenger bubble
Photo by Simple Mobile

Perhaps you’ve already looked through the best unlimited data plan options and still find yourself undecided. After all, many of these mobile plans are good, but they’re not always affordable. Moreover, some wireless carriers have strict rules and requirements about carrier-specific phones and numbers. This is exactly Simple Mobile’s marketing claim: a straightforward, budget-friendly operator for those who need something simpler.

What is Simple Mobile? Simple Mobile is an MVNO (mobile virtual network operator) founded in 2009. If you’re unfamiliar with MVNOs, they’re just wireless communication providers that don’t run a wireless infrastructure in-house. Instead, they piggyback off of the networks of larger operators such as Verizon, T-Mobile, and AT&T. For Simple Mobile, they use T-Mobile’s network to provide their nationwide worldwide support.

América Móvil, the parent company that owns TracFone and provides TracFone mobile plans, also owns Simple Mobile. Like TracFone, Simple Mobile markets itself as a low-cost carrier that provides decent data plans to budget-conscious consumers. It does this by providing little-to-no add-ons that other carriers provide, such as Netflix subscriptions or unlimited streaming.

Lastly, one of the biggest perks Simple Mobile has to offer is that it doesn’t require a contract. Hence, you’re not locked into the service for a set period. You can switch to other mobile carriers if you find Simple Mobile plans a little too lacking for your tastes.

Pros

  • Affordable plans
  • No contract needed
  • Convenient and discounted Auto ReUp
  • Wide and reliable coverage
  • Keep your mobile number/phone policy

Cons

  • No additional perks
  • Speeds reduce for customers who use over 40 GB
  • Prepaid only
  • Sometimes glitchy (app & SMS)
  • Poor customer service

Discover Simple Mobile Plans

 

Simple Mobile Plan and Prices

Simple Mobile plan selection
Photo by Simple Mobile

Simple Mobile has a complete selection of service plans for every need. It has standard plans for single lines, family plans for up to five heads, and unlimited data for digital nomads. If you need more, be their guest and purchase add-on plans.

 

Standard Plans

Features 3 GB High-Speed Plan 5 GB High-Speed Plan 15 GB High-Speed Plan
Price $25 $30 $30
Auto ReUp Price $23.75 $28.50 $37.50
Unlimited Text & Call Yes
High-Speed Data 3 GB at high speed, 2G speeds afterward 5 GB at high speed, 2G speeds afterward 15 GB at high speed, 2G speeds afterward
Mobile Hotspot Yes
International calling & roaming Unlimited for 69 destinations for calls (up to 20 unique numbers);

16 Latin-American countries (roaming);

$10 international call credit for 100+ destinations

Firstly, let’s talk about the standard Simple Mobile plans. All of these prepaid plans are limited to a 30-day period, which you can renew monthly. There are three tiers under this category, with each restricting your high-speed data to 3 GB, 5 GB, or 15 GB. Afterward, you’ll get 2G speeds whenever you use your mobile data.

If you’ve noticed from the table above, each of these plans offers mostly similar features. They all provide unlimited call, text, and include a mobile hotspot. Moreover, regardless of the plan, you’ll get provisions for international calls to 69 destinations.

Of course, there are limits to this since you can only call up to 20 unique numbers. On the other hand, each one provides roaming within 16 Latin-American countries and $10 worth of international call credits. Nonetheless, any of these Simple Mobile plans are more than worth it for what you get.

Lastly, each Simple Mobile standard plan provides discounts if you apply for their Auto ReUp program. This program simply allows you to renew your plan automatically after every 30 days.

 

Standard Family Plans

Features 3 GB High-Speed Plan 5 GB High-Speed Plan 15 GB High-Speed Plan
Price  $25 first line $30 first line $40 first line
Additional Lines Limit Up to 4
Price Per Additional Line $20 monthly $25 monthly

Of course, opting for one Standard Simple Mobile plan is enough for just one person. However, if you and your family members want the same plan, you can save money with Simple Mobile family plans.

With these, you’ll get all the same features as the standard plans, depending on your choice. However, each plan will come with a discounted price if you need two or more lines. Each of these additional lines will cost $20 (3 GB plan) or $25 (5 GB and 15 GB plan).

On the other hand, while the standard family plans Simple Mobile offers are pretty good, they aren’t for everyone. If you want more options, check out our list of the best family cell phone plan choices in 2021.

 

Unlimited Data Plans

$60 unlimited plan
Photo by Simple Mobile
Features Truly Unlimited + 5 GB Hotspot Truly Unlimited + 15 GB Hotspot
Price $50 $60
Auto ReUp Price $47.50 / $45* $57
Unlimited Text & Call Yes
High-Speed Data Unlimited
Mobile Hotspot Additional 5 GB High Speed Additional 15 GB High Speed
Video Streaming Up to 480p
International Calling & Roaming Unlimited for 69 destinations for calls (up to 20 unique numbers);

16 Latin-American countries (roaming);

$10 international call credit for 100+ destinations

* This $45 pricing is a 3-month-only, limited-time offer that will end on 9/30/2021.

 

For the most part, Simple Mobile Unlimited subscribers will get roughly the same features as the Standard Plan. They have the same international calls and roaming capabilities as well as the same unlimited calls and texts. Moreover, they even have similar discounts when customers sign up for the Auto ReUp program. However, as the name suggests, these unlimited plans don’t have a data cap on high-speed data.

Hence, you’ll be able to use your data at full speeds any time for the full 30 days. However, there is some fine print you need to know about, and that is speed throttling within Simple Mobile. You see, because Simple Mobile piggybacks off of T-Mobile, that means T-Mobile’s customers will have priority during congested hours.

As a result, even with an unlimited plan, you might not get the best speeds during high traffic hours. Moreover, Simple Mobile also reduces data speeds for customers who use over 40 GB of data. Hence, an unlimited plan is no guarantee that you’ll experience the best data speeds.

Lastly, these unlimited plans also have slightly more features than the standard plans. These include 480p video streaming and additional mobile hotspot provisions.

 

Unlimited Family Plans

Features Truly Unlimited + 5 GB Hotspot Truly Unlimited + 15 GB Hotspot
Price $60 $50
Additional Lines Limit Up to 4
Price Per Additional Line $25 monthly

If your entire family wants an unlimited mobile service, you can save more money by availing of Simple Mobile’s unlimited family plans. These will save you tons of cash even for just 2 lines. However, like the Standard Simple Mobile family plans, you can also add up to four lines for $25 each.

Unfortunately, Simple Mobile family plans don’t give additional discounts for Auto ReUp users. Hence, it won’t make a difference even if your Simple Mobile pay bill happens automatically using Auto ReUp.

 

Add-On Plans

Of course, having a data cap for your high-speed internet connections can be limiting at times. However, you wouldn’t want to renew your Simple Mobile data plan before the 30-day limit just for the data.

For that reason, Simple Mobile also provides add-on plans for an extra 2 GB, 5 GB, or 10 GB of high-speed data. You can avail of each for $5, $10, or $20, respectively. Regardless of which add-on you buy, it should kick in once you reach your high-speed data limit. However, these add-ons don’t have service days and don’t carry over to the next month. Hence, make sure you use the data before the next renewal.

On the other hand, Simple Mobile also offers an add-on for international calling for only $10. This $10 calling credit allows you to call international numbers, whether landline or mobile, in over 100 locations. It’s convenient for those who have to frequently contact people from abroad. Moreover, it doesn’t have a cap as you can purchase as many credits as you want. The balance also rolls over to the next month so you don’t have to worry about using it all up.

 

Simple Mobile Phone Selection

an iPhone, pixel phone, and galaxy phone
Design Made on Canva

One of the biggest benefits of using Simple Mobile is that the company doesn’t implement restrictions on phones. You can opt to bring your own phone to the program or purchase various Simple Mobile phones the company offers.

If you decide to bring your own phone, know that this does come with some caveats. For example, your phone has to be an unlocked GSM, T-Mobile compatible phone for the sim to activate. You can also check if your smartphone is compatible with Simple Mobile on their website.

Of course, one of the best ways to ensure compatibility is to buy a new one from Simple Mobile. Thankfully, they offer a variety of smartphones including top-of-the-line models from the best brands like Apple and Samsung. However, if you’re on a budget, Simple Mobile also offers tons of phones for less than $100.

Generally, you can pay for cheaper Simple Mobile phones outright. However, you can opt to avail of a payment plan for more expensive options.

 

Network Speed and Coverage

coverage map
Photo by Simple Mobile

Of course, what’s a wireless carrier without extensive coverage? Thankfully, despite its cheap prices, Simple Mobile has nationwide coverage thanks to T-Mobile. Hence, you don’t have to worry too much about finding yourself in areas without cell coverage. To have a full view of the network coverage Simple Mobile provides, you can check out their website’s coverage map.

On the other hand, network speeds should prove to be reliable since Simple Mobile uses T-Mobile’s network. However, as we’ve mentioned before, your network speed might slow down during congested hours. That’s because T-Mobile will still prioritize its main customers first before providing better speeds to partner MVNOs.

Moreover, Simple Mobile itself also slows down your network speed after using 40 GB of data for the month. As a result, it’s not exactly the best network provider if you have heavy data usage. That is unless you’re willing to put up with slower speeds.

 

Activation Process

Simple Mobile is a fully online business, so that means you won’t find any physical stores or stalls anywhere. Hence, you’d have to purchase their SIM cards online to get started. Thankfully, however, these SIM cards usually arrive in a week, so it won’t take too long.

Once your SIM card arrives, switching over to Simple Mobile is pretty easy. All you need to do is insert the SIM into your phone’s SIM slot. Afterward, go to the Simple Mobile activation page to enter the activation number from your SIM card. There, you can activate your SIM based on the type of phone you have.

 

Customer Service

messenger on mobile phone
Photo by Simple Mobile

What is Simple Mobile customer service like? Unfortunately, like many other cell phone carriers, Simple Mobile doesn’t provide very good customer service. Most of the reviews are mixed or low, claiming that the company’s processes are tedious and complicated. Moreover, the smartphone app isn’t any better. For the most part, users report that the app glitches a lot and it isn’t very easy to receive help.

On the other hand, Yelp reviewers have also complained about the Simple Mobile cancellation process. Usually, the complaints were about the lack of refunds, multiple call transfers, and unhelpful customer support in general. Moreover, there were also tons of complaints about a complicated activation process that dragged on longer than expected.

Overall, Simple Mobile customer service isn’t the best. In fact, many might even regard it as poor. Hence, if you value customer service a lot, then you should look somewhere else. However, if you just can’t say no to the cheap prices, then just brace yourself for the poor customer support.

 

What We Like About Simple Mobile

Simple Mobile certainly has a lot going for it if you’re a customer who needs something straightforward. It’s one of the best carriers out there if you need something cheap with no frills, bells, or whistles. After all, you don’t need a Netflix subscription included if you’re just buying a SIM card for your grandparents.

On the other hand, Simple Mobile is also great because it offers no-contract data plans. Hence, you don’t need to bind yourself to a long-term agreement and you can switch plans whenever you want. Moreover, you can also easily stop using Simple Mobile if the plans or services aren’t to your liking.

In addition, Simple Mobile also has a large network to depend on in terms of coverage and speed. T-Mobile is reliable, that much is true, so you don’t need to worry too much about network coverage.

Lastly, Simple Mobile is incredibly flexible not only because of its no-contract setup but also because of its BYOP program. Hence, anyone switching from a different carrier can easily hop onto Simple Mobile. Of course, there are some compatibility checks that you’d have to pass before you can do that. Nonetheless, it beats having to buy a new phone just because you want to switch.

 

What We Don’t Like About Simple Mobile

On the other hand, Simple Mobile is far from perfect and isn’t the best carrier for everyone. That’s because it has tons of flaws that people can’t always overlook. For example, availing of the service itself isn’t exactly stress-free. Most people complain that the Simple Mobile app is pretty glitchy and hard to use. Moreover, there have been reports about a long and complicated activation process that just betray their alleged simplicity.

In addition, the service itself isn’t always reliable. Some have stated that SMS messaging isn’t always decent or dependable. Moreover, the carrier also throttles data speeds a lot when there’s congestion or when you reach the hidden 40 GB limit. Granted, the congestion issue might not be Simple Mobile’s fault per se, given that they’re an MVNO. However, the latter 40 GB limit throws their “truly unlimited” plan into question.

Lastly, we can’t leave out the poor customer service. Simple Mobile may be a cheap mobile carrier. However, that doesn’t mean they should skip out on customer support just because their service is affordable. Yes, the low prices might make this excusable for some. Nonetheless, it isn’t something you should overlook, especially since you’ll probably call customer service during the initial activation process.

 

The Verdict

Compared to the other major carriers, Simple Mobile is truly affordable and can save you tons of money. Hence, it’s a decent option if you’re tight on cash or you just need something simple for a relative. Moreover, it’s also a good choice if you value keeping your current smartphone or mobile number. Lastly, it’s ideal for folks who want a no-contract plan, as long as they’re willing to renew every 30 days.

That said, Simple Mobile isn’t going to be for everybody, especially for heavy data users. That’s because the “truly unlimited” plans aren’t exactly affordable. In fact, you may pay just a little less than what you would for a major carrier’s unlimited plan. Moreover, the speed throttling just isn’t ideal for heavy data usage, so it’s a real consideration.

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