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Here’s everything you need to know about whether or not your phone is compatible with Tello Mobile’s services. We cover everything from getting set up, to plans, to bringing your own device (BYOD), to porting numbers. Let’s dig in…



TL;DR: Quick Guide to Phone Compatibility with Tello Mobile 📱🔍

Compatibility Criteria:

  • Must be 4G LTE compatible; 3G or older won’t work.
  • Ensure it’s unlocked, as carrier-locked phones aren’t supported.
  • Check Tello’s BYOP list for confirmed compatible devices: Tello BYOP.

SIM Card Flexibility:

  • Tello provides a versatile 3-in-1 SIM card (mini, micro, nano).

Works with Tello:

  • Most unlocked 4G LTE phones from T-Mobile, AT&T, Cricket, Simple Mobile, Straight Talk.
  • Many unlocked 4G LTE Verizon phones (verify on compatibility list).
  • Phones bought from Tello (includes free SIM).

Not Compatible with Tello:

  • CDMA-only phones.
  • Locked phones (contact your carrier for unlocking).
  • Non-compatible models (check Tello’s list or contact support).
  • Mobile routers, e.g., Netgear.

Tello is a mobile virtual network operator (MVNO) that provides wireless services to customers with no contract and at affordable prices. One of the most frequently asked questions about Tello is whether or not any phone can be used with their network.

The answer is no, not all phones can be used with Tello, but there are certain types of phones that are compatible with their network.

If your phone is unlocked and compatible with voice over LTE (VoLTE), it can work with Tello. Additionally, Tello offers a handpicked collection of phones that are compatible with their network, starting from just $79 – great if you’re looking for a seriously cheap and/or budget smartphone.

There is slightly more to getting started with a Tello plan, so read as we delve into everything you need to know about getting up and running with your Tello account.

Tello Mobile Compatibility Requirements

Can I Use Any Phone With Tello? No – You'll Need A Specific KindPin

Tello Mobile offers plans without contracts and supports the Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) option. However, not every phone is compatible with Tello’s network.

Let’s find out if your phone is compatible with Tello, just read on and we’ll cover everything you need to know.

Understanding Phone Compatibility

Phone compatibility refers to a device’s ability to operate on a specific network. Since Tello uses T-Mobile’s infrastructure, only devices compatible with the network are suitable for Tello.

Checking Device Compatibility

To determine if a device is compatible with Tello, users can utilize the Tello Compatibility Tool on their website or check the device’s IMEI number against Tello’s database. It’s important to note that Tello only supports unlocked devices. Devices locked to other carriers must be unlocked before they can be used with Tello.

Supported Networks and Technologies

Tello is compatible with devices that work on T-Mobile’s GSM and LTE networks and supports VoLTE (Voice over LTE) technology. Devices exclusive to Verizon or those using Verizon’s network are not supported. Starting in 2021, Tello began enrolling devices that operate on their new 4G LTE/5G network. Devices should support LTE bands 25, 26, and 41 to ensure optimal coverage and data speed with Tello.

APN Settings

Once a device is confirmed to be compatible with Tello, users must configure the APN settings to connect to the network. Here’s a quick and simple overview covering how to update and/or change your phone’s APN settings for Tello Mobile.

Configuring APN Settings for Tello Mobile

For Android Devices:

  1. Open Settings on your Android device.
  2. Navigate to More networks. This option might vary and could be listed as More, Wireless & networks, Wireless Controls, Wireless Manager, or Phone Information depending on your Android model.
  3. Select Mobile networks or Cellular networks.
  4. Choose Access Point Names (APNs).
  5. Here, you’ll typically see the APNs of your current carrier. To add a new APN, tap the + button, often located at the top right.
  6. Enter the following details for the new APN:
    • Name: Tello
    • APN: wholesale
    • Leave the other fields as they are.
  7. To save the new APN, tap the menu (three dots) and select Save.
  8. Restart your device for the changes to take effect.

For iPhone:

  1. Go to Settings on your iOS device.
  2. Tap on Cellular.
  3. Choose Cellular Data Options.
  4. Select Cellular Network.
  5. Tap on Add APN.
  6. Fill in the following details for the new APN:
    • Name: Tello
    • APN: wholesale
    • Leave the other fields as they are.
  7. Tap Done to save the new APN.

Troubleshooting Tips:

  • If you face issues after setting up the APN, consider restarting your device again.
  • Try resetting your network settings in the device’s settings as an alternative solution.
  • For further assistance, reach out to Tello customer support.

Getting Started With Tello

Can I Use Any Phone With Tello? No – You'll Need A Specific KindPin

When it comes to using Tello, there are a few steps you need to take to get started. In this section, we’ll go over selecting a Tello plan, activating your phone on Tello, and transferring your number.

Selecting a Tello Plan

Tello offers a variety of plans to fit your needs. Whether you need a lot of data or just a few minutes of talk time, Tello has a plan that will work for you. You can choose from a ready-made plan or customize a plan to have more control over your monthly bill.

Plan TypeMinutesDataTextPrice/MonthAdditional Features
Build Your OwnCustomCustomUnlimited$5 (min.) + data costChoose any mix of minutes, data, and unlimited text
EconomyUnlimited1 GBUnlimited$9Free Hotspot & Wi-Fi Calling
ValueUnlimited2 GBUnlimited$10Free Hotspot & Wi-Fi Calling
SmartUnlimited5 GBUnlimited$14Free Hotspot & Wi-Fi Calling
UnlimitedUnlimitedUnlimitedUnlimited$25Free Hotspot & Wi-Fi Calling, International Calls to 60+ Countries
Family PlansVariesVariesUnlimited$5/line (min.)Separate lines for each family member, each with customizable plans
For Grandparents5001 GBUnlimited$8Ideal for light phone users
For Teens3005 GBUnlimited$12Moderate data and talk for everyday use
For StudentsUnlimited10 GBUnlimited$19Great for data-hungry students
For ParentsUnlimitedUnlimitedUnlimited$25Full coverage for unlimited talk, text, and data

Activating Your Phone on Tello

If you’re bringing your own phone to Tello, you’ll need to activate it on their network. The process is simple and can be done online. You’ll need to have a Tello SIM card, which you can purchase from Tello or from a third-party retailer. Once you have your SIM card, you can activate your phone on Tello’s website.

Transferring Your Number

If you want to keep your current phone number, you can transfer it to Tello. This process is called porting. To port your number, you’ll need to provide Tello with some information about your current phone plan. Tello will then contact your current provider to initiate the porting process. The process can take a few days to complete, so be sure to plan accordingly.

Overall, getting started with Tello is a simple process. Whether you’re bringing your own phone or purchasing a new one from Tello, the process is fairly simple and straightforward. Plus, Tello’s customer support is legendary as well (it’s got a 4.7 out of 5 score on TrustPilot) which for a carrier is more or less unheard of).

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the requirements for a phone to be compatible with Tello’s network?

In order for a phone to be compatible with Tello’s network, it must be unlocked and compatible with Tello’s service. This means that the phone must support 4G LTE or 5G networks and be unlocked from its original carrier. Tello-compatible devices include most unlocked T-Mobile, AT&T, Cricket Wireless, Simple Mobile, and Straight Talk phones. Many 4G LTE phones used on Verizon may also work with Tello as long as they have been unlocked.

Is it possible to use a T-Mobile phone with Tello service?

Yes, T-Mobile phones can be used with Tello service as long as they are unlocked and compatible with Tello’s network. Most T-Mobile phones are compatible with Tello’s network, but it is recommended that you check with Tello’s customer service team to ensure compatibility.

How can I determine if my Samsung phone will work with Tello?

To determine if your Samsung phone will work with Tello, you can check if it is compatible and unlocked. You can also check the phone’s IMEI number to see if it is compatible with Tello’s network. To find your phone’s IMEI number, dial *#06# on your phone’s keypad and the number will be displayed on your screen.

Can I switch my existing Tello SIM card to a different smartphone?

Yes, you can switch your existing Tello SIM card to a different smartphone as long as the new phone is compatible with Tello’s network and the SIM card is the correct size for the new phone. You can purchase a new SIM card from Tello’s website if you need a different size.

What steps are needed to unlock a phone for use with Tello?

To unlock a phone for use with Tello, you will need to contact your phone’s original carrier and request an unlock code. Once you have received the unlock code, you can enter it into your phone to unlock it. After the phone is unlocked, you can use it with Tello’s service as long as it is compatible.

Which mobile networks does Tello operate on for service coverage?

Tello operates on the T-Mobile network for service coverage. T-Mobile’s network provides coverage in most parts of the United States, but it is recommended that you check Tello’s coverage map to ensure coverage in your area.

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