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Is Target Shuttering Brightspot Mobile?

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Launched in 2013, Brightspot Mobile was a prepaid MVNO available exclusively from Target. The company didn’t really get a whole lot of press or fanfare and its plan offerings were mediocre at best. The company hung on for a couple of years, but now it looks like it, too, might go the way of the dinosaur.

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UVA Mobile Beta Launches on T-Mobile

New UVA Logo

A new MVNO has entered the market today with a Beta launch and a kind of neat plan idea. UVA Mobile, a T-Mobile MVNO, is currently letting customers sign up for the Beta testing of its service and offering a couple of promotions for customers willing to test out the service. First, though, let’s look at the plans that UVA has to offer.

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TextNow Changes Plan Pricing

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TextNow, a Wifi/cellular network MVNO hybrid, has changed around all of its plans this week. Effective immediately, all four plans now include unlimited talk, text and low speed data plus a limited amount of high speed data. Formerly, these plans only included limited high speed data and limited minutes.

This change makes TextNow a far better value than some competitors, but I’ll let you take a peek at the plans and decide for yourself. Here’s what the plans look like right now:

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PureTalk Debuts Senior Plans

puretalkUSA

PureTalk USA, an AT&T MVNO has debuted a series of new plans this week aimed at anyone over the age of 55. These senior citizen-only plans are called AddVantage and offer customers a low-cost prepaid plan with minutes that increase every month for the first six month–almost like a loyalty program.

Here’s a screenshot of how the minutes are expected to grow with each plan option over the course of the first six months:

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Giv Mobile Offers Free Month of Service

Giv

One of the select few MVNOs that allow customers to donate to chairities, Giv Mobile is a relatively new MVNO that runs on T-Mobile’s network. And now for a limited amount of time, the company is offering new customers a free month of service on select plans whenever you purchase a new phone through the company.

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Ultra Mobile Debuts Data-Centric Plans

ultramobile dataplus

Ultra Mobile, a T-Mobile MVNO focused on international calling, has introduced two new plans this week aimed at customers who want more data and fewer international calling options. These “Data Plus” plans are priced at $34 and $44 and offer limited LTE data with unlimited lower-speed data.

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Defense Mobile Loses Beta Tag, Adds Carriers

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Defense Mobile, a prepaid multi-MVNO focused exclusively for those connected to the United States military, has officially launched and removed its ‘beta’ tag this week. The company, which we talked about briefly a few months ago, includes service from three of the four major carriers—Sprint, Verizon and AT&T. According to Fierce Wireless, Defense Mobile is currently in talks with the T-Mobile as well, and that network will likely be available soon.

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Puppy Wireless Overview

phone

If you haven’t heard of Puppy Wireless, then you’re probably not alone. Launched by Page Plus reseller Kitty Wireless, Puppy Wireless is one of those hidden gems in the world of prepaid phones. The service itself is still being tweaked by Kitty Wireless, but despite the bugs I’ve seen nothing but good things about Puppy Wireless.

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Univision Includes Cuba in International Calling

Univision_Mobile_Logo

No doubt in response to the Boost Mobile plans designed for those interested in calling Cuba, Univision Mobile, a T-Mobile MVNO, has re-targeted its excellent international calling services to Latin American countries. While none of this is actually new (these changes were announced in February) the web page now officially labels Cuba as a country that users can call at the rate of roughly $2 per minute for no additional fee.

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TextNow Plan Overview

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There are so many Sprint MVNOs and so little time. One of those often-overlooked companies is TextNow, a little company that launched a few years ago. Owned by the same company that also owns Touch Mobile, TextNow offers Wifi calling through an app, and offers monthly plans that are pretty competitively priced.

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Selectel to Offer International Calling

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Selectel Wireless, a Verizon MVNO, has soft launched its own international calling program this week. Although it doesn’t show up on anywhere on the website and is only available for purchase by calling Selectel Customer Service, international calling should be available right now.

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What MVNOs Use Sprint?

sprint prepaid map

While Sprint and T-Mobile are currently vying for third largest wireless carrier, no one can deny that Sprint has way more MVNO options than pretty much everyone else. So, if you’re looking to make the switch to a Sprint network without having to deal with Sprint’s mediocre customer service, here are some of your options:

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Kitty Wireless Offers 50% off Page Plus SIMs

kitty wireless

With its excellent customer service and good prices, Kitty Wireless is a popular option for anyone who wants to switch to Page Plus’ service but doesn’t want to deal with Page Plus customer service. And now for a limited time, Kitty Wireless will be selling Page Plus 4G LTE SIMs for 50% off the normal price.

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iWireless to get LTE

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Regional carriers aren’t something that we normally cover here at Prepaid Reviews, but today we’re making an exception for iWireless, a carrier that operates primarily in Iowa and some parts of the surrounding states. Why are we making an exception, you might ask? Well, because this tiny little MVNO has announced it will be offering LTE to its customers and any big step like that is worth writing about.

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What MVNOs Use T-Mobile?

tmobile coverage

T-Mobile is not only one of the smallest of the Big Four carriers, but it’s also undeniably the fastest-growing. Part of that growth is from the carrier’s unusual no contract model and its MVNOs. Because T-Mobile doesn’t have a contract on their postpaid plans, the only real difference is when you pay and the level of customer service. Still, if you’re looking to avoid the big corporations and want to take advantage of T-Mobile’s network then here are your options:

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What MVNOs Use AT&T?

ATT Prepaid Coverage

Next to Verizon, AT&T has the most complete network in the United States. Unlike Verizon, AT&T actually has a decent number of MVNOs who resell its service. So, if you’re looking to take advantage of AT&T’s awesome coverage but don’t want to deal with the carrier prices, then here are some of the more popular options:

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What MVNOs Use Verizon?

Verizon Prepaid Coverage

By far, Verizon has the fewest number of MVNOs, while Sprint has the most. This is a little interesting as both Sprint and Verizon utilize CDMA networks. However Verizon has, arguably, the best network in the United States. If you’re looking for a MVNO that uses Verizon’s network but doesn’t have Verizon’s ridiculous prices, then here are some of the more popular choices:

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Giv Mobile Lowers Prices

Giv

Giv Mobile, one of the two MVNOs that donate to charity with each monthly payment, recently slashed prices on two of its top tier plans and added data to the lower-priced plans. While not the cheapest available, Giv’s plans are far more competitive now and pretty well reflect the options offered by parent company PTel.

Here are what the plans look like right now:

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Solavei to Aim at Hispanic Market

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Despite almost a full year of next to no signs of life from Solavei, it appears that the company is still doing well and functioning. Earlier this month, the company finally announced that it would partner with Netherlands-based company ASPIDER and planned to emerge from bankruptcy by the end of April.

Well, it looks like in addition to some compensation changes and restructuring of the company overall, Solavei has also decided to set its sights on the grossly under-served Hispanic market both in the US and abroad.

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Kyocera Launches Phone Recycling Program

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Because prepaid phones are generally a little less expensive than their more expensive contract counterparts, there’s probably a good chance that you have at least one old device sitting gathering dust in a drawer somewhere. However, phone maker Kyocera wants to help consumers recycle their unused devices with a new program called ‘Take Back.’

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New Service for Seniors Launched

seniors mobile

On Monday a new Sprint MVNO launched with the goal of helping seniors and those over 55 stay in touch with the loved ones and medical services that they need. Launched by Emveno, this “telemedicine MVNO” offers pay as you go and monthly phone services as well as 24/7 access to healthcare providers.

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Solavei to Emerge from Bankruptcy in April

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More information has finally been released in regards to the Solavei bankruptcy claim that was filed last May. You might recall that we reported briefly last week that the company had signed some sort of agreement with Netherlands-based ASPIDER in order to complete the bankruptcy restructuring and relaunch, but there wasn’t a whole lot of information available.

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Possible Rate Increase for Old Lycamobile SIMs

LycaMobile

According to Dennis over at Prepaid Phone News, several Lycamobile customers have reported that their rates for outgoing calls has been increased from $0.02/minute to $0.05/minute. This rate increase seems to only be effecting those still using Lycamobile’s “old” SIMs which began to be phased out last summer. Customers on the “new” Lycamobile Plus SIMs are still receiving minutes at the regular $0.02/minute for both incoming and outgoing. However, Lycamobile has announced several times that all customers should be charged the $0.05/minute for outgoing calls so no telling how long that will last.

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Ultra Mobile Adds Mexico Calling

ultramobile international

In the last month or so it seems like most of the big MVNOs and prepaid carriers have added some form of unlimited calling to Mexico. The most recent addition to this growing club is Ultra Mobile, who made some significant changes to its international calling last week.

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BYO Wireless Offers Free SIMs, 1/2 Off First Month

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BYO Wireless, a dual MVNO that offers service through Verizon’s CDMA and T-Mobile’s GSM networks, has launched a new promotion recently that could land you with a pretty sweet deal. With the promo code FIFTYOFF you can get, you guessed it, 50% off of your first month of service. And, for customers signing up for the GSM network (powered by T-Mobile) you could even get a free SIM card.

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Solavei to Merge with ASPIDER

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After months of little to no information released about the ‘restructuring’ and reorganization of T-Mobile MVNO Solavei, Fierce Wireless reported that the company has released a press release stating that it will be merging with ASPIDER to get out of bankruptcy.

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Good2GO Adds More Data

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I read earlier this week through Prepaid Phone News that Good2Go Mobile, a AT&T and Sprint MVNO, has upped the data on all three of its monthly unlimited plans. They’re looking a lot more attractive now, although I’m not sure I can get behind the pay as you go rates quite as happily. Anyway, here’s what the monthly plan lineup looks like now:

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Expo Mobile Ups Prices

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Expo Mobile, one of the many smaller Sprint MVNOs that we don’t talk about all that much has made some unexplained and abrupt changes to their plan lineup, most notably increasing the price of their Unlimited Talk and Text plan by $5, effective immediately.

The unlimited talk and text plan formerly cost $25 a month, but is now $30. No features have been added, and no other plan prices have been changed that I’m aware of. Here is what Expo Mobile’s monthly plan lineup looks like:

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Español Mobile Overview

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A new MVNO aimed at Spanish-speaking Americans launched in the fourth quarter of 2014. Owned by Pix Wireless, Inc, the new Español Mobile uses Sprint’s prepaid network and offers some pretty standard plans for customers. The company does not seem to have any kind of international calling, so its main angle is, obviously, that the whole site is in Spanish. And since a good portion of the US speaks Spanish, maybe it’ll work.

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MVNO Rumor Roundup

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In the last few months, there have been rumors circulating that several different companies are considering wading into the prepaid MVNO market. Some of them are pretty credible, while others are not. I was originally going to do a separate post on all three of the main rumors, but since it’s all heresay, here’s a roundup of what we think we know so far:

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New MVNO, TEQfon Wireless, launched

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Unified Signal, Inc. has announced the launch of a new MVNO that claims to be aimed at the ‘underserved youth market’ which includes children ages 5 – 18. This MVNO, TEQfon Wireless, offers prepaid low-price plans starting at $10 and has options through Verizon, AT&T and Sprint. In my opinion, the website is pretty awful and doesn’t look like anything that I would associate with a children’s phone group, but most of their plans are ok, with the notable exception of the AT&T plans. What on earth are they thinking?

Anyway, here’s what the plan lineup on the website looks like, although it should be noted that this is a soft launch, and changes are likely to be made. All plans include features like three-way calling, caller ID, in-network roaming and long distance.

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Solavei Changes Rate Plans

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Well, it looks like Solavei has shifted around the prices and data on its rate plans again. I’m not really sure exactly when this happened, as I only noticed it the other day, and unlike the last change I haven’t really seen as much negative response to this shift. But, I’ll let you decide.

Here’s a list of Solavei’s plans. All plans include unlimited talk and text, and the changes are in bold.

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TracFone to Launch Total Wireless

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TracFone Wireless has quietly launched the website for a new Verizon-based MVNO this week. Called Total Wireless, this Verizon MVNO has some pretty sweet data sharing plans that are obviously meant to compete with Virgin Mobile’s “Data Done Right” plans which debuted earlier this month.

Total Wireless is expected to be available at select Walmart stores nationwide, and Phone News says that the full fanfare launch is expected sometime in the next couple of weeks. However, from what I can tell, the website is almost fully functional and a soft launch should happen soon.

As far as plans go, here’s what you can expect from the newest America Movil brand:

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PureTalk USA Overview

puretalkUSA

Originally launched in 2004, PureTalk USA isn’t a company that we write about a whole lot, mostly because its pricing isn’t anything super special. Regardless, this AT&T MVNO has a slightly different approach to plans and such, so I thought it was worth a brief look.

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Lycamobile Backtracking on Data Increase

Across the prepaid board, companies have been outdoing each other with data increases, both promotional and permanent. Data increases are awesome. Data decreases are not, especially less than a week after the initial announcement of what looked like a pretty sweet deal.

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Sprint Blacklist is Gone, Problems Remain

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There were tons of rumors circulating the web last week that Sprint was going to be removing the blacklist for their MVNOs and finally allow phones less than a year old to be activated. Well, I’m pleased to report that those rumors were true. In a blog post Sunday, Ting announced that they can now activate newer Sprint devices and eligible Boost and Virgin mobile devices.

But, there’s a catch.

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Lycamobile Ramps Up Data

LycaMobile

 

The US branch of prepaid powerhouse Lycamobile has made some changes to the data on its unlimited national plans this week, doubling and even quadrupling one plan. The new options are pretty competitive and easily make up for the holes in T-Mobile’s network, provided you have enough service to make use of it.

Here are the plans that have been upgraded:

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Univision Mobile Changes International Options

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Univision Mobile, an MVNO created by Univision Communications and T-Mobile, has made some changes to their international calling and texting options. This Hispanic-centric MVNO previously included 100 international minutes with all of their plans, but these international minutes were only good in select Spanish speaking countries. Now, customers will automatically get unlimited international texting and an International Allowance that can be used for international roaming and to make calls to more than 200 international locations.

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RingPlus Adds Plans, Changes Prices

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RingPlus is a Sprint MVNO that we don’t talk about much–there are just far too many companies to write about them all frequently. But, this lower-priced company has made a few changes to their plan lineup this week, including the addition of three new plans and dropping prices on two higher-priced plans.

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Alaska Communication Drops Wireless Business

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Alaska Communications, a postpaid and prepaid wireless and broadband carrier in the Alaska region, has officially closed the sale of all of its wireless assets to General Communication, Inc (GCI). No action is required on the part of customers, and no immediate changes to service and pricing is expected.

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Frawg Wireless Gets LTE

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NTelos is one of those companies that we don’t talk about very much because their prepaid brand, Frawg Wireless, is not really all that exciting. However, nTelos recently expanded their LTE to cover several new areas and is now allowing 4G speeds for their prepaid as well as postpaid customers, which finally makes it noteworthy.

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Ultra Mobile Increases Data

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Let the data increasing wars commence! This week, Ultra Mobile has followed the suit of several other carriers who have permanently increased the data that prepaid subscribers can get without raising the price. Don’t you just love a good price war?

The plans that are effected include the $29 and $39 plans. Current customers on these plans can expect to see the increased data when their plan renews, while new customers can sign up for the increased data immediately.

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GoSmart Makes Double Data Permanent

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T-Mobile’s GoSmart MVNO launched a double data promotion in November that echoed Boost Mobile’s very successful promotion. The promotion was originally expected to end on Feb. 1 but Prepaid Phone News has reported that GoSmart will be making the promotion permanent, with one small change to the $35 plan.

Here is what the data for the plan lineup will look like:

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Simple Mobile Offers Phone Upgrades

Simple-Mobile-Logo

Simple Mobile, a Tracfone-owned T-Mobile MVNO has announced the launch of a new program that will give customers credit towards the purchase of a new phone every 18, 12 or 6 months. The way it works is that you sign up for one of three special “Phone Upgrade Unlimited Plans” and with every top-up, you gain points. Once you’ve accumulated 18 points, you can get $200 -$300 towards the price of a new phone purchased from Simple Mobile’s partner company.

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PureTalk USA Adds Data, Lowers Price

puretalkUSA

PureTalk USA is an AT&T MVNO that launched in 2004. I don’t write about them a whole lot because, well, they’re not super notable. Their prices aren’t any lower or better than anyone else’s but they have a pretty good customer service reputation. And, more recently, they changed up some of their prices and data on a few of their plans.

Here are some of the changes, which are in effect immediately:

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Introducing Envie Mobile

envie

Today I wanted to take a moment and talk about a newcomer to the MVNO market, Envie Mobile. Owned by AT&T MVNO H2O Wireless, this mobile company uses Verizon’s prepaid network instead of AT&T. They don’t offer any 4G options, unfortunately, but their prices are pretty competitive.

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Kitty Wireless Promotions

kitty wireless

Well, Kitty Wireless is back with some great new promotions for new Page Plus customers in 2015! If you’ve ever thought about switching to Page Plus, but didn’t want to deal with their customer service, or wanted something more based in the United States, then Kitty Wireless is definitely worth a look.

Now through the end of January, the following promotions are available at Kitty Wireless:

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Use Any Phone With TextNow MiFi

textnow logo

In the United States, there are two different mobile networks: CDMA and GSM, and they are not only incompatible, but evenly split between the four main carriers. Verizon and Sprint offer CDMA while AT&T and T-Mobile offer GSM. While neither network is really ‘better’ than the other (they both have their pros and cons) the biggest issue is that carrying a phone from one network to the other is a hassle at best, which limits the carriers that you can use with a given phone. But, what if it didn’t matter?

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TextNow Wireless After Christmas Deals

textnow holiday sale

TextNow Wireless, a Sprint MVNO, is one of those companies that I tend to overlook for one reason or another. However, it was brought to my attention that they have some awesome deals going on as part of their After Christmas Sale. Check it out:

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NetZero Wireless Service Offers Free Phone

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NetZero, a fixed and mobile broadband internet provider since 1998, launched its own no-contract MVNO service through Sprint in 2012 and is running a promotion that could land you a free phone if you prepay for six months of service. Depending on which plan you want, it could be a little pricey, but is a great deal if you like Sprint’s network.

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