Well, Net10 is at it again. You may recall just a few months ago (June 2013) I informed some folks that truly unlimited data was available by switching to a T-Mobile SIM (the pink Net10 sims). Well if you are a power user like I am, then you are aware that policy has changed, again. There is no longer a truly unlimited plan. Don't bother calling Net10, they will transfer you to the completely useless "High Data Usage Line", which only informs you that you have exceeded your 2.5GB of data, and have been throttled, and won't be unthrottled until the end of your prepaid plan. It's crap.
Last time we had a policy change at Net10 we simply had to change SIMs, well this time the game has changed. To get truly unlimited data you just have to, switch networks. Net10's website lays it out in black and white, there is not more truly unlimited from them.
The choices for data are now 500MB, 3.5GB, or 5.0GB of data. These plans drop in at $40, $60, and $75, respectively. What a joke! I would wager these prices are being mandated by their backing networks of AT&T and T-Mobile as their pricing comes right around that of the two backers.
To compare the prices, Tmobile has 500MB ($50), 2.5GB ($60), and an truly unlimited for $70. That is not a bad option really, but still, $70 for a truly unlimited plan is a bit crazy.
Back to SimpleMobile?
So my first thought was to go back to SimpleMobile, since that was the first MVNO I really cared to use, but I was quickly saddened when their pricing page showed they too were bucketing and throttling connections.
Simple's plans are now 1GB for $40, 3GB for $50, and 5GB for $60. That isn't heading in the right direction at all. Frankly, the $70 for truly unlimited at T-Mobile is looking pretty good. Let's keep looking.
Back to the MVNO list
Looking at the list of MVNOs out there (which has grown nicely in the last year or so), you would think more options would show up. Well you'd be right. Here are a few I have found:
Their plan is simple. 30 days for $55, and it is never throttled, but you are limited to 2GB of data. Then it is a hard off. Ok, that isn't really going to work for me. Let's try again.
Now this is a promising setup. The more users there are, the lower the monthly minutes price is (sitting at $30 as of this writing). Here is what it is all about:
A constant countdown that reflects next month's service rate based on the number of new customers in the current month.
Basically, the more people that sign up each month, the lower the next month costs. The good side is that it will never go above $35, but can go as low as $0 (not likely, but it could happen).
The drawback here is that data is an additional fee (well it comes with 500MB), but you can purhcase a 2.5GB ($15) bucket or an unlimited bucket ($25).
So for a fee of $60 or less ($35 + $25) you get unlimited data and unlimited minutes and text. All backed on T-Mobile. Well, that is $10 cheaper than T-Mobile. Sounding good to me.
Setup on 35orless is $35 (plus data) which includes shipping and the SIM. So you are setup and going as soon as you order.
So, just like that?
No, trust me, I did the due diligence here, and I have checked out a lot of MVNOs over the last 24 to 48 hours (since being throttled). This is a decision that seems sound, and I will of course keep abreast of the landscape that is MVNO land, because I continue to be contract free, and willing and able to jump to any provider available. Wish me luck.