Several weeks ago, rumors started floating around about a purported Google MVNO codenamed Nova. It looks like that's a little more than a rumor now, as Android lead Sundar Pichai essentially spilled the beans at a talk today at Mobile World Congress. Now, before you get too excited, it looks like this is going to be on a much smaller scale than we originally thought, and is in fact not intended to go head-to-head with the Big Four.
There are plenty of pre-paid MVNOs in the US, but Ting has consistently offered some of the best deals. However, it only worked on Sprint's network. If that wasn't a good fit for you, tough. The company recently started testing a GSM service on an invite-only basis, but now it's open to everyone. While it's still technically beta, you can add a GSM phone to Ting right now.
Earnings calls are usually a rather boring affair, unless the company is run by John Legere and includes a guy wearing a pink cowboy hat. T-Mobile had its Q4 2014 earnings call this morning, and the entire thing was live streamed on YouTube. When asked about T-Mobile's growth versus Sprint, John Legere explains why T-Mobile has already passed the Now Network to become the third largest carrier in the US. Why doesn't Sprint agree? It's apparently relying on a technicality.
Almost every carrier story we post has at least a few versions of the following comments—"I would totally use carrier X, but it doesn't work very well where I live," and, "I don't know why everyone is always talking smack about carrier Y, it works great in my area." According to the Wall Street Journal, Google's rumored MVNO could put an end to that by not only supporting both T-Mobile and Sprint, but by switching between the networks automatically depending on which signal is better.
Ting has attracted many customers with its low-cost, pay-for-what-you-use tier-based approach to mobile service (give me a second, I'm sure I could fit more hyphens into this sentence), but some have been put off by the company's reliance on the Sprint network. Starting February 2015, folks will have a choice. Ting will start offering a GSM option for people who just want to pop a SIM card into their existing unlocked phone.
Are you tired of reading about some of the more nefarious developments at the Big Four US wireless carriers? Are you stuck in a two-year contract that you signed to get a steep discount on your phone? Are you ready to make a change to a carrier that at least pretends that it needs your business? Then Ting would like a word. The Sprint MVNO is doubling down on its offer to help pay off your early termination fee, up to $150.
Republic Wireless offers a variety of super-cheap calling and data plans thanks to its WiFi-cellular hybrid calling setup. In just a few days you'll be able to pair the reasonably priced Moto E with those plans. Republic will start selling the Moto E for $99 on October 15th.
There are no contracts on Republic Wireless, so that $99 price isn't subsidized at all. It's not much cheaper than the Moto E usually is, but you can't just bring any device to Republic.
Republic Wireless saw success with its offer of the Moto X last year, and now the carrier has made good on its promise to start selling the low-cost Moto G. For a mere $149 you can get the 8GB Moto G on Republic with no contract and cheap WiFi calling.
Republic Wireless piggybacks on the Sprint network, but augments that with WiFi calling when you're connected to a network. Unlike other VoIP solutions, Republic Wireless can hand-off a call from WiFi to cellular if you lose connection.
According to a report from The Information, Google held a series of talks with Verizon Wireless in January covering a range of issues. A source familiar with the talks says one item on the agenda was Google's interest in becoming a mobile virtual network operator (MVNO) in markets where it offers Google Fiber. This isn't the first time a Google phone carrier has been rumored, but this might be the first time Android is strong enough to withstand the inevitable blowback from established carriers.
There was a time not long ago that you couldn't even get AT&T-compatible Straight Talk SIMs due to a mysterious shortage. Well, things have certainly turned around. Straight Talk has just started listing 4G LTE service for AT&T devices. You can break free from the traditional carriers, save some money, and still keep your LTE data. That's a deal.
Straight Talk offers monthly plans starting at $45 with "unlimited" data.