One of the pleasures of managing a personal finance site is learning about new products/services that help people save money – and then getting to share them with you!
So when we heard about Gen Mobile – we knew we'd like to learn more about them and give them a test run. Their marketing curator extraordinaire, Tony, sent us a couple of phones to try-out and we'd now like to share our experience with them.
A little bit about Gen Mobile
Gen Mobile was founded by a couple of entrepreneurs in the wireless industry. They rightly claim of having over 25 years of experience in the field and have taken what they've learned at these other companies, bringing it to life in Gen Mobile.
They operate on the Sprint® 4G LTE network and do not throttle usage. They also allow customers to tether their data, free of charge.
Folks can bring their own phone or choose from the over 20 phones available for sale on their site. The plans range from $5 to $25/mo and customers can pay every month or every three months (with a discount of up to 20% off).
One of the attractive features of Gen Mobile is international calling and texting. All plans include free, unlimited texting in the U.S. and to other countries. They also offer free unlimited calling to over 101 countries on their $15/mo plans and up.
Our experience with the service
I remember my first go-around with an MVNO and it wasn't all roses. I soon left that provider for another and was happy I did so. This was years ago when MVNOs were first popping up – so the service wasn't stellar (yet).
I'm surprised at how far many have come since that time.
My first impressions of Gen Mobile were favorable. They mailed out the phones (one was a small, kiddie or candy bar phone – great for the small kids going back-to-school) within a couple of days. The packaging was branded and easy to open, with an easy slide-out box including all the essentials.
Since this was a new(er) phone (which didn't require me to transfer or insert a SIM card), the start-up process was seamless. In minutes I was set to go.
There is a Gen Mobile Care app that allows customers the ability to track usage, make payments, change plans, and add data, minutes or international credit at any time. This is a nice, self-service feature.
While using the service, I experienced no hiccups when dialing out and texting. Surfing the web was also quick and streamlined.
I didn't get a chance to try the phone while I was in a rural / remote area – but I assume the coverage will match wherever Sprint network lives. Based on their site reviews it seems like they have a lot of satisfied customers.
Speaking of service – here is Gen Mobile's coverage map (from the Sprint website):
What differentiates Gen Mobile from other providers are the following:
- High touch customer service team that responds quickly and goes the extra mile. This is critical in telco since many customers need to call in to change their service to us or port in their existing numbers. The CS team makes sure everything is done with quality and understanding. This has helped establish our overall reputation as a solid provider.
- Value. Plans start at $5 (text only) and our 3-month plans start at $9 month for 1GB, 300 call minutes and unlimited text or Unlimited talk and text.
- Unlimited Global Talk and Text to over 100 countries including India, Pakistan, China, Australia, UK and many more. For $13 month (3 month plan) consumers get 1GB with Unlimited Global Talk and Text.
- 7-day money-back guarantee.
If you're thinking about bringing your own phone to Gen Mobile – be sure to visit their Bring Your Own Phone page that shows compatible phones which work on the network. You'll want to be sure you purchase the correct kit.
My final thoughts
Overall, I was happy with the performance of the service and I think their plan pricing is right in-line with other providers. One bonus it the ability to pre-pay on service three months in advance with an added discount.
If you choose to go with a phone offered through Gen Mobile, know they don't offer any new phones – but refurbished slightly used ones. I've personally never experienced any issues with refurbished (plus they are generally more affordable!)
I'd love to know your thoughts and if you've tried / or are currently with Gen Mobile?
Can I use my existing phone number?
Yes, you can keep it or get a new one.
What network does Gen Mobile operate on?
It utilizes the Sprint 4G LTE network.
Is Gen Mobile any good?
From our experience, we didn't have any hiccups with the service. The unboxing was stellar and very easy to get up and running.
Is there free tethering with Gen mobile?
Tether away, for free!
What are the plan prices again?
Plans range from $5 (unlimited text only) to $25/mo for unlimited talk/text and 3GB data + international calling minutes to over 100 countries.
Where is Gen Mobile located?
They are out of Redondo Beach, California. There are probably good surfers in the office there.
What if I missed my Gen Mobile bill?
Gen Mobile offers 15 days of grace after your bill was due with unlimited texting before they shut you down.
How do I contact Gen Mobile?
The United States, +1-833-528-1380 or from your Gen Mobile phone, dial *611. They also have a chat feature on their contact page. Office Hours: Everyday 8:00am – 6:00pm PST
comparison of other mvnos
|MVNO||Network Used||Plan Price|
|Calls to Mexico & Canada Included in Plan||Customer Service||Plan Friendliness|
(Ability to uprade / downgrade at will)
|Boost||Sprint||$35 (Unlimited / 3GB data)||$5 extra||Fair||1 month notice||No|
|Consumer Cellular||AT&T, T-Mobile||$15 (250 min / no data) AARP members can get 15% discount.||International direct dial||Good||Anytime||-|
|Cricket||AT&T||$25 (Unlimited Talk / Text Plan)||Smart / Pro Plans only||Fair||2x per billing cycle||No|
|Gen Mobile||Sprint||$5 (Unlimited text)||Yes (over 101 countries)||Good||Yes||Yes|
|Republic Wireless||Sprint, T-Mobile||$15 (Unlimited talk / text), + $5/GB||No||Fair (Most CS logged to community)||2x per billing cycle||Yes|
|Straight Talk Wireless||AT&T, T-Mobile, Sprint, Verizon||$35 (Unlimited text/talk + 2GB)||Add-on||Good||Anytime||No|
|Tello||Sprint||$5 (100 min / Unlimited text)||Yes (texts and MMS only)||Good||Anytime||Yes|
|Ting||Sprint, T-Mobile||$15 (100 min / MB / text. Plans based on what you use). Offers $50 credit upon signup||Yes||Good||Okay||Yes|
|TracFone||Verizon Wireless, AT&T, T-Mobile US, Sprint Corporation, and U.S. Cellular||$14.25 for auto-renew (200 min / 500 texts / 500mb)||No||Fair||Okay||No|
|Twigby||Sprint, Verizon||$9.00 (Text + 300min + WiFi only)||Yes (and China)||Good||Yes||Yes|
|UNREAL||Sprint||$10 (Unlimited text + talk + data - up to 1GB)||No||Fair||Yes||No|
|Visible||Verizon (Visible is not considered a traditional MVNO)||$40 (unlimited talk,text and data)||No||Good||Only one plan offered||Yes|