How to switch to better and cheaper phone service in 2021

Tello Mobile
(Image credit: Tello)


If you're locked into a contract with a big-name phone carrier then you're probably paying over the odds for data and minutes that you're not actually using. And it's easy to fall into the trap of thinking that that's just the way things are, and that it's probably not worth the effort of jumping through a bunch of hoops to switch to another carrier that'll turn out to be much the same, or perhaps worse.

However, the mobile business has evolved over the past few years, and it's now possible to get a much cheaper and more flexible deal from an MVNO such as Tello Mobile. If you're a little reluctant to go with an MVNO because you're worried about things like coverage, bandwidth and speed, you should know that most competitive MVNOs now operate on 4G LTE/5G networks and offer all the features you're likely to need; Tello has this year moved to a new GSM network, bringing greater compatibility and technologies such as 5G and VoLTE as standard while saving you money.

Switching phone carriers can feel like a big move, but it's quicker and easier than you think and yes, you can almost certainly keep your old number. Here's everything you need to know.

How long does it take? 

Once you pop your Tello SIM into the phone and activate it at, your service will already be working on your new number - no numberless downtime.

Assuming you want to keep your old phone number, the time it'll take to port it to a low budget carrier such as Tello depends on two things: how long it takes for your old carrier to provide the necessary port-in information (more on that in a bit), and how long it takes your new carrier to activate your account and port you over. With Tello, once it has the correct information to work with, the porting process can take anywhere between two hours and two working days for a mobile phone. Bear in mind, though, that other numbers such as landline and VOIP will take longer; between five and seven working days.

How easy is it? 

Most MVNOs make it incredibly straightforward to get up and running with them. With Tello you can do it all online and remotely; you can instantly check its GSM coverage in your area before deciding on your own personal – and cheap – data and minutes plan, then decide whether you want to bring your old phone or buy an affordable new one from them complete with free standard delivery and a 30-day return window. 

What information do you need to switch? 

You'll need some information from your old carrier before you can switch, but that's not hard to get. Obviously, they'll try to convince you to stay with the offer of a better deal, but hold firm in the knowledge that you're on the way to amazing savings. Your current provider needs to provide a port-out PIN/password; you'll also need the phone number you want to transfer, your account number, your first name, last name and address as listed on the phone bill. 

How to find the right carrier for you 

There are lots of MVNOs around these days and the prospect of finding the right one for you can be a little daunting. However, if you ask the right questions you should quickly be able to find the carrier you need. The key metrics you should be looking for are: 

  • Coverage: Obviously, you need to be certain that you're going to get a signal. Tello's new GSM network means you're likely to get great coverage wherever you are. 
  • Phone compatibility: There's no point in taking your own phone if it's not going to work with your new network. With Tello, if you have a VoLTE-compatible GSM device out of contract, or a fairly recent unlocked smartphone, you should be good to go, but its online checker will be able to tell you for certain. 
  • Online reviews: What are other people saying about the carrier you're interested in? Be sure to find out. (Tello's rated Excellent at Trustpilot with 4.6 out of 5 stars) 
  • Customer support: How much help are you going to get when you need it? Nobody wants to navigate endless menus and recorded messages when trouble strikes; with Tello, there's amazing 24/7 customer service with real, friendly human beings at the other end of the line. 
  • Included freebies: It's nice to get some lovely extras with your phone service. Will your chosen MVNO give you a free mobile hotspot, free international calls to over 60 countries, free unlimited texts, and the ability to upgrade or downgrade your plan any time you like without penalties? Because Tello does. 
  • Duration and ease of port-in: Moving your phone to a new carrier shouldn't be a time-consuming chore. Tello makes it as easy as possible with a simple online system and can get you up and running in as little as two hours. 
  • Transparency of usage and billing: Getting stung by unexpected costs is one of the reasons you're switching, right? You want to choose a carrier that tells you upfront what you're going to pay, and doesn't hit you with hidden fees once you've signed on the dotted line. 

What are the benefits of switching? 

The big upfront benefit of switching to an MVNO such as Tello is that you'll get great phone service with all the modern high-end features you need, and pay less for it, too. But with Tello, you'll also get a lot more flexibility. There's no contract, and you can create a phone plan that's the perfect fit for you, with just the amount of data and minutes you need and the ability to change it whenever you like, for free.

If you're seriously on a budget you can get 1GB and unlimited talk and text for just $10 per month with Tello, while a more reasonable 4GB and unlimited talk and text will cost you a mere $19 per month. There are also fantastic-value family plans available, and as mentioned earlier, with all Tello plans you'll also get a free mobile hotspot and free international calls to over 60 countries. That free hotspot is included for every data plan all the way up to the data allowance, including for the 25GB plan, priced at $39/month.

Tello boasts awesome 4G LTE/5G coverage from coast to coast, and it even has a referral program that'll earn you and your referred friends $10 Tello Dollars when they complete a successful order.

Ready to make the big switch? Head straight to Tello Mobile today and start saving money with a better and more flexible phone service that’ll fit your needs exactly.