Finding data plans with great coverage is easy nowadays because Verizon, T-Mobile, and AT&T are at the top of their games. However, even their best plans can be limited if you’re looking for a good international plan. They do have international calls and texts available in some plans, but if you’ve got a lot of international relatives and friends, their data plans might not be enough. Not only that, but their data plans can also get very expensive. Hence, mobile carriers like Ultra Mobile are a life-saver for people who want international calls.
What Is Ultra Mobile?
Many people might not have heard of Ultra Mobile in the past, and it’s understandable because it’s not the most prominent mobile plan provider out there. However, if you’ve ever wanted to call internationally for cheap, Ultra Mobile is one of the best out there.
Ultra Mobile is a Mobile Virtual Network Operator (MVNO). While other major carriers will offer international calls as add-ons, Ultra Mobile offers international calls as its main product. With most of its plans, you’ll get full talk and text capabilities to international numbers in over 80 countries. Because of this and the very affordable pricing, Ultra Mobile remains competitive. If you want affordable international calls and texts above all, then Ultra Mobile is your best bet.
Furthermore, most of Ultra Mobile’s plans don’t lock you into a contract. While it will have plans that lock you in for a couple of months up to a year, its options are very flexible. Thus, if you only need international calls for, say, a month, then Ultra Mobile will have you covered. Additionally, Ultra Mobile has international roaming for travelers and hotspot capabilities for the more generous users.
Ultra Mobile’s Coverage
So Ultra Mobile offers cheap international plans. However, that doesn’t automatically mean it’s a decent service provider. Is Ultra Mobile good as a general carrier? What’s the coverage of Ultra Mobile? There are a lot of considerations when switching mobile carriers. Therefore, these questions are valid because you shouldn’t waste your time on any kind of carrier with terrible coverage. Because honestly, what’s the use of international calls when you can’t get them from where you are?
Fortunately, Ultra Mobile has excellent coverage on a par with the big names. Why? The answer to that has to do with the question, “What network does Ultra Mobile use?” You might be surprised, but Ultra Mobile operates under T-Mobile’s nationwide coverage. In other words, you’ll get Ultra Mobile almost anywhere T-Mobile covers.
Of course, T-Mobile doesn’t have 100% of the country covered yet. Ultra Mobile uses T-mobile’s network and because of that, its coverage is strongest within metropolitan areas in North America. Therefore, if you live in a rural area, you might struggle a bit more with reception. So, before jumping onto Ultra Mobile’s ship, you might want to check out its website’s coverage map. It’s an easy-to-use interactive map because all you need to do is enter your city, state, or zip code. Using the map, you should be able to find out whether your area has good coverage.
Ultra Mobile’s Plans
Ultra Mobile is well-known for its international calls and texts. However, does this mean that Ultra Mobile focuses only on these features? Does it offer any kind of data allowances? Does Ultra Mobile have unlimited data on par with the competition? Thankfully, it does offer data plans and unlimited data plans because most people can’t go without it these days. Its data plans come in two variants: single-month plans and multi-month plans. We’ll discuss both of them below.
For users who want to use Ultra Mobile for one month, its single-month plans are the way to go. These are great because not everyone wants to commit just yet. On the other hand, others need the benefits for just one month.
|Single-Month Pricing||High-Speed 4G LTE Data||Unlimited Nationwide Talk, Global Text & Data||Unlimited Talk to 80+ INTL Destinations||Mobile Hotspot Capable||INTL Call Credit||INTL Roaming Credit|
|$16/mo.3||Talk & SMS Only||Yes (without data)||Yes||Yes, if you have Data Add-On||Add-On Available||Add-On Available|
1 At the time of writing, Ultra Mobile has a discounted rate of $39/month for its highest single-month plan. This is certainly a great deal for unlimited data users because it costs just as much as the second-highest plan with only 15 GB of data. If you enable auto-recharge while signing up during the discounted period, you’ll be able to pay the discounted price on all future monthly payments. The promo will last only for an undefined limited amount of time.
2 At the time of writing, the $39/month plan also has a promo. Ultra Mobile is offering $4 monthly credit savings if you apply for auto-recharge. However, they’re offering this only for a limited time and it may be subject to change.
3 At the time of writing, the $16/month plan has a $2 credit promo if you avail of auto-recharge. However, this promo is also available only for a limited time.
Single-Month Unlimited Data Plan
As you can see, Ultra Mobile does offer an unlimited data plan. Of course, because it’s the priciest, it’s the plan with the most features. However, it is rather expensive if you’re going for budget-friendly data plans.
As you may already know, unlimited plans come with fine print for every mobile carrier. Likewise, Ultra Mobile has some of its own. For example, with its unlimited plan, you can consume up to 50 GB of data before your data speeds slow down for the rest of the 30 days. Their speed cut is no joke, either. After the 50 GB cap, you’ll get only a 128 Kbps connection. In other words, if 4G LTE allows you to download a standard definition movie within eight minutes, 128 Kbps will take you over 24 hours. Thus, it’s best to know how much data you regularly consume and if you might exceed this limit. Otherwise, you might regret it later, especially if you’re particular about data speeds.
With that said, if 50 GB of high-speed monthly data is enough for you, this certainly may be a good deal. However, it’s worth it to keep the fine print in mind if you’re a heavy data user. You also have to be aware that video streaming will play at DVD quality or Standard Definition by default.
Single-Month Non-Unlimited Data Plans
On the other hand, people can opt for non-unlimited plans if they’re not heavy data users. With these non-unlimited data plans, you’ll get only the amount you pay for. For example, if your plan is for 15 GB of data per month, that’s the only amount you’ll get. Afterward, you won’t be able to access the internet through mobile data at all. With these plans except for the no-data plan, you’ll also get DVD quality or Standard Definition video streaming by default.
Additionally, there are a few things you need to know about the $16/month no-data plan in specific. Firstly, its unlimited texting includes only picture texts and iMessage. Moreover, you have to activate your SIM on a compatible phone within 45 days of purchase. They’re not big deals but it’s good to keep them in mind before you avail of that plan.
Many people don’t mind committing for a few months because they’re investing in a mobile carrier anyway. Hence, Ultra Mobile’s multi-month plans are ideal for such people. That’s because you can save a lot more with these plans for both the Unlimited Data plan and the lower-to-mid tier plans. They’re offering multi-month plans for three, six, or 12 months depending on your preference.
Of course, Ultra Mobile also wants more users to avail of these plans to guarantee a bit of income. As a result, you’ll notice that the more you buy in advance, the more you save money on your plan.
|12-Month Pricing||6-Month Pricing||3-Month Pricing||High-Speed 4G LTE Data||Unlimited Nationwide Talk, Global Text, & Data||Unlimited Talk to 80+ INTL Destinations||Mobile Hotspot Capable|
1 At the time of writing, the 12-month pricing for the 1 GB data plan has a 29% discount. To clarify, this means you can get this plan for only $10/month if you avail of it online. It’s also only applicable for new activation users. However, this promo is only available for an undefined limited amount of time.
Multi-Month Unlimited Data Plan
The multi-month plans are essentially the same as the single-month plans (with a few key differences). That’s why, similarly, the multi-month unlimited data plan offers mobile hotspot, talk and text capabilities, and 4G LTE. In addition, you’ll also get the same default resolution while playing video — at Standard Definition or DVD quality.
However, unlike the single-month plan, the data cap for full-speed internet access on this multi-month unlimited plan is 32 GB. To clarify, that means if you consume more than 32 GB, your data speeds will slow down to a sluggish 128 Kbps. It’s significantly lower than the data cap of 50 GB in the single-month unlimited plan, but it’s also cheaper. However, it’s not that much cheaper if you avail of the three-month or six-month plans. To truly make this plan (and its drawbacks) worth your while, availing of the 12-month contract is worth looking into.
Multi-Month Non-Unlimited Data Plans
As you can see, the multi-month plans don’t have an equivalent to the single month’s no-data plan. The lowest multi-month plan offers 1 GB of data by default and can cost lower or just as much as the single month’s lowest no-data plan depending on how many months you sign up for. In contrast, they’re easily better deals than your single-month plans and have better data allowances, too. It looks like Ultra Mobile is encouraging people to opt-in for more than a month at a time.
Ultra Flex Family Prepaid Plans
Many people avail of family plans because they want to lower costs. However, while many other service providers do offer family plans, you’ll, unfortunately, get no such offer from Ultra Mobile. This is true for both single-month and multi-month plans. Instead, where you can get family plans is with Ultra Mobile’s Ultra Flex Family Prepaid Plan. This plan allows people to buy unlimited talk & text for up to five lines per account. Check out their prepaid plans below:
|# of Lines||Price Per Line||4G LTE Shared Data|
|4+ LInes||$12.50/mo.||1 GB shared|
|3 Lines||$15.00/mo.||750 MB shared|
|2 Lines||$17.50/mo.||500 MB shared|
|1 Line||$22.00/mo.||250 MB|
*Taxes and fees apply
In summary, every line you add gives you an additional 250 MB of shared data. Additionally, these shared data allowances rollover from month to month without expiration if they go unused. Of course, 250MB is certainly small and can only get you so much. However, you can bypass this by purchasing more data for your plan. Although, on the other hand, if you truly care about having data, it’s best if you can compare how much you’ll spend with these plans + added data in contrast to existing single-line plans.
When it comes to payment, Ultra Mobile’s family plan is very flexible. You can pay for the whole plan through your plan’s parent or pay per line. If you pay individually, no one will lose their service because of someone else’s unpaid bill.
Through these prepaid plans, you can get more than one line with unlimited nationwide talk, global texts, and unlimited international calls to 15 countries. Additionally, you can also purchase international calling credits for your whole plan anytime you want.
Switching to Ultra Mobile
Switching mobile carriers can certainly have its issues. Above all, it’s important to check for problems before you change your carrier. Ultra Mobile is no different, so you might want to check these out before you make the switch.
Firstly, the SIM requires an Ultra Mobile-compatible phone for it to work. Because many people are switching from their old carrier, their current phone may not work with Ultra Mobile. In short, you might need a new or unlocked phone. Hence, switching to this carrier may be inconvenient if you already have a good phone. On the other hand, it can be a good excuse to replace your old smartphone with something better. Hence, whether this is good or bad depends on your personal perspective.
Secondly, Ultra Mobile only allows for direct switching from different mobile networks. Therefore, if you’ve been using AT&T, Sprint, Verizon, and other non-T-Mobile carriers, you’re very welcome to switch. However, people using T-Mobile or T-Mobile partner companies like Mint, Simple, and Republic aren’t allowed to switch directly.
Ultra Mobile’s Customer Service
Customer service is important to any mobile carrier because it makes or breaks some people’s experiences. Ultra Mobile is a smaller brand and because of that, it’s understandable that people might be apprehensive. What if they don’t have proper customer service when something goes wrong? Therefore, it’s only right that we talk a little bit about customer service.
Unfortunately, Ultra Mobile is relatively new so we can’t get much information on its customer service. However, we do know that their customer service is available daily via phone, email, and chat from 6 am to 6 pm.
Moreover, complaints against Ultra Mobile’s customer service generally have to do with eligibility. Why is this a complaint? For example, some people may not know about the eligibility requirement. Thus, they move forward to ordering a SIM card only to find out that they can’t make the switch. The bulk of Ultra Mobile’s customer service complaints is because most people don’t know about the eligibility. As a result, many order SIM cards or devices without checking and complain afterward.
Ultra Mobile is a convenient and cheap alternative to the country’s biggest mobile carriers. It’s not for everyone, however, as it’s primarily geared towards people who need international calls and texts. With Ultra Mobile, you can easily contact your relatives and friends from overseas without breaking the bank.