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Ultra Mobile vs T-Mobile: Is It Time To Go MVNO?

If you’re looking to switch carriers and you’ve heard good things about 1) T-Mobile and 2) Ultra Mobile but you aren’t sure which is best, this comparison post is for you. 



Ultra Mobile is an MVNO that runs on T-Mobile’s network. T-Mobile, by comparison, is a big box carrier in the vein of Verizon and AT&T. 

T-Mobile builds and runs its own network of cell towers and masts. It also invests tens of millions of dollars every year improving its infrastructure, adding in things like mmWave. 

Ultra Mobile doesn’t have to worry about any of this; it just piggy-backs off of T-Mobile’s network and, for this reason, it has significantly lower business costs. 

This is why MVNO plans from carriers like Mint Mobile and Ultra Mobile are considerably cheaper and – in many ways – better value for money. 

In this guide, we will compare Ultra Mobile and T-Mobile side-by-side, enabling you to decide which carrier offers the best deal.

Ultra Mobile vs T-Mobile: A Quick Bite-Sized Overview

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Before we get down to the nitty-gritty of how Ultra Mobile compares to T-Mobile, here’s a quick PROS and CONS overview of the two carriers – think of it as a TL;DR for their respective strengths and weaknesses. 

Ultra Mobile:

  • Pros:
    • Simple account dashboard
    • Unlimited international talk and text
    • Nationwide coverage
  • Cons:
    • Has fewer phone and accessories options

T-Mobile:

  • Pros:
    • Very good network coverage
    • Fast data speeds
    • Good value if you buy 4 lines
    • Transparent pricing
  • Cons:
    • Expensive
    • Limited range of plans
    • ‘Unlimited’ plans are not truly unlimited

Plan Comparison

Ultra Mobile plans start at $10, while T-Mobile plans start at $70. Ultra Mobile, being an MVNO, offers some of the cheapest cell phone plans with no contract.

So if you want to save some money on your monthly phone bills, switching away from a big-box carrier like T-Mobile and/or Verizon over to an MVNO like Ultra Mobile could be one of the simplest ways to do just that.

Here’s what I mean: just look at the difference in monthly costs…

Ultra Mobile Plans:

Plan NameDataPrice
2GB Plan2GB$12/mo
6GB Plan6GB$21/mo
15GB Plan15GB$27/mo
Unlimited PlanUnlimited$34.5/mo

T-Mobile Plans:

Plan NameDataMonthly PriceAnnual Cost
T-Mobile MagentaUnlimited$70$840
T-Mobile Magenta MaxUnlimited$85$1,020

What About Coverage?

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Ultra Mobile taps into T-Mobile’s robust 5G and 4G LTE networks, promising users high-speed and reliable connectivity across various regions.

T-Mobile’s extensive and fast network means Ultra Mobile users can experience top-notch connectivity, whether they’re in bustling cities or serene countryside.

T-Mobile’s commitment to network enhancement is evident in its continuous investments in network technologies and infrastructure development.

According to data from Speedtest by Ookla, T-Mobile has been recognized for having the fastest 5G speeds in the United States, showcasing its dedication to delivering superior connectivity experiences to its users.

This accolade underscores the potential benefits Ultra Mobile users can reap by being on a network that is at the forefront of 5G technology.

However, coverage can differ, so it’s wise to use coverage checkers to know exactly what to expect in your specific area.

Being on T-Mobile’s award-winning network, Ultra Mobile users get to be part of the exciting and transformative journey that 5G brings, enjoying innovations and enhancements in the mobile ecosystem.

Coverage can vary, so it’s crucial to check availability in your area using coverage checkers.

  • Ultra Mobile Coverage: View Ultra Mobile coverage map
  • T-Mobile Coverage: View T-Mobile coverage map

Plan Features Comparison & Analysis

Carrier FeaturesUltra MobileT-Mobile
NetworksT-MobileT-Mobile
Data Speed5G & 4G LTE5G & 4G LTE
3G NetworkGSMGSM
Mobile Hotspot✔️✔️
Bring Your Phone✔️✔️
Keep Your Number✔️✔️
ContractNo – prepaidNo – Postpaid
Customer Service24/7
Money Back GuaranteeYes – 10 day
International CallsYes – Includes 80 countries

Things To Keep In Mind

5G and 4G LTE Speeds 🚀📶

Both operate on the T-Mobile network, offering 5G & 4G LTE data speeds, ensuring users experience top-notch connectivity and swift internet browsing, streaming, and downloading.

They also operate on a GSM 3G network, a global system for mobile communications, which is a standard developed to ensure devices can communicate with each other across different network operators.

Keep Your Own Phone Number 📞🔒

A striking similarity between Ultra Mobile and T-Mobile is the flexibility they offer to users.

Both carriers allow you to bring your phone and keep your number, eliminating the hassle of changing numbers and the additional cost of purchasing a new device.

This feature is particularly beneficial for those who are looking to switch carriers without disrupting their current mobile setup.

Mobile Hotspots 📱🔥

Delving into the realm of mobile hotspots, both Ultra Mobile and T-Mobile shine, offering mobile hotspot features.

This is a crucial feature for those on the go, needing to connect multiple devices to the internet, ensuring that whether you are working remotely or enjoying a day out, your devices stay connected.

However, the journey through the mobile carrier landscape reveals some distinctive differences between the two.

  • Ultra Mobile operates on a no-contract, prepaid basis, allowing users the freedom to pay in advance without being tied down by long-term commitments.
  • This contrasts with T-Mobile’s postpaid contract system, where users receive a bill after using the services, typically binding them to a longer-term commitment.

Customer Service 🤝👥

Customer service is a pivotal aspect of any service-oriented company.

Ultra Mobile stands out by offering 24/7 customer service, ensuring users have access to support whenever needed.

This is a crucial consideration for potential users, as having access to round-the-clock support can be a game-changer in resolving issues and addressing concerns promptly.

Money-Back Guarantee 💰

Another noteworthy feature of Ultra Mobile is its 10-day money-back guarantee.

This feature is a testament to the company’s confidence in its services, allowing users to test the waters and decide if the services meet their needs and expectations.

The absence of such a guarantee in T-Mobile might make prospective users ponder the level of commitment and satisfaction assurance provided by the carrier.

International Calling Options 🌐📞

International calling is a feature that sets Ultra Mobile apart, offering calls to 90 countries.

This feature is a boon for those with friends, family, or business associates abroad, allowing seamless communication without incurring exorbitant costs.

The lack of this feature in T-Mobile’s standard offerings might be a deciding factor for those who regularly make international calls.

Wrapping Up…

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While Ultra Mobile and T-Mobile share several features like data speed, the ability to bring your phone, and mobile hotspot availability, they differ in contract types, customer service availability, money-back guarantees, and international calling options.

Ultra Mobile seems to cater to a diverse user base, focusing on flexibility, customer support, and international connectivity, while T-Mobile offers robust and reliable services with a more conventional approach to contracts and customer engagement.

The choice between the two would hinge on individual preferences, needs, and the value placed on features like customer support and international calling options.

If you want free international calling, the freedom of NOT having contracts, and cheaper overall monthly costs, going with Ultra Mobile is the obvious choice.

Richard Goodwin

Richard Goodwin has been working as a tech journalist for over 10 years. He has written for Den of Geek, Fortean Times, IT PRO, PC Pro, ALPHR, and many other technology sites. He is the editor and owner of KnowYourMobile.

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