Consumer Cellular, the leading provider of no-contract wireless services in America, has rolled out a new “unlimited” data plan. With this latest offering, the company aims to compete with big-timers by promising consumers a low-cost alternative with no surprise bills.
Unlimited Data Plan Details
The plan starts at $60 for one line and goes up to $90 for four lines, with unlimited talk, text, and high-speed data (up to 30GB, after which data speeds slow down to 128 kbps). Although Consumer Cellular is considered an Mobile Virtual Network Operator (MVNO), it runs on the AT&T and T-Mobile networks, making it an attractive option for those who use a lot of data but are not willing to spend a fortune every month. Furthermore, the company offers a 5% discount to AARP members and a risk-free trial allowing new customers to try the service for free, and if they are not happy, they can cancel it and get a refund within 30 days!
About Consumer Cellular
Consumer Cellular is an American postpaid mobile virtual network operator founded in 1995 by John Marick and Greg Pryor. The company has over 4 million subscribers and is known for its no-contract services, great customer service, and easy-to-use phones. One of the strengths of Consumer Cellular is its commitment to serving older customers, who typically do not use as much data as younger generations and prefer fewer features. Hence, the company provides a range of basic flip-phones and smartphones, as well as customized rate plans to meet the needs of seniors.
Consumer Cellular Vs. AT&T: Which Is Best For You?
There are many factors to consider when choosing a wireless carrier, such as coverage, price, data speed, and customer service. Two of the most popular carriers in the US are Consumer Cellular and AT&T. Here’s how they compare:
- Price: Consumer Cellular’s unlimited data plan starts at $60, while AT&T’s unlimited plan starts at $65. However, AT&T regularly offers promotions and discounts that can bring the price down.
- Coverage: Both Consumer Cellular and AT&T use the same networks (AT&T and T-Mobile), but because AT&T is a larger company, it has more towers and better coverage in rural areas.
- Data Speed: Consumer Cellular offers high-speed data up to 30GB, after which speed slows down to 128 kbps. AT&T does not reduce data speeds until customers exceed 100GB of data usage per month.
- Customer Service: Consumer Cellular has received high ratings for its customer service, with U.S. News & World Report ranking it as the number one carrier for customer service in 2020. AT&T’s ratings for customer service are lower.
Overall, both Consumer Cellular and AT&T have their strengths and weaknesses, and customers should weigh their options based on their individual needs and usage patterns.
Consumer Cellular Smartphone Options
Consumer Cellular offers a wide range of smartphones, from basic models to high-end devices like Apple and Samsung. Customers can buy a phone upfront or finance it over 24 months with a no-interest payment plan. Here are some of the most popular options:
- iPhone SE (2020): The entry-level iPhone offers a 4.7-inch Retina Display, an A13 Bionic chip, and a single 12MP camera. Prices start at $299.
- Samsung Galaxy S20 FE: The Galaxy S20 FE is a flagship-level smartphone with a 6.5-inch Super AMOLED screen, a Snapdragon 865 processor, 6GB of RAM, and a 4500mAh battery. Prices start at $699.99.
- Moto G Stylus: The Moto G Stylus is a mid-range smartphone with a 6.4-inch FHD+ screen, a Snapdragon 665 processor, 4GB of RAM, and a 4000mAh battery. Prices start at $219.99.
What is a mobile virtual network operator (MVNO)?
An MVNO is a company that offers wireless services but does not own or operate its own network infrastructure. Instead, it purchases access to network services from a mobile network operator (MNO) at wholesale prices and sells them to customers under its own brand. MVNOs are typically smaller and less established companies that compete with larger MNOs like Verizon, AT&T, and T-Mobile by offering lower prices and/or unique features.
What happens if I exceed the 30GB high-speed data limit in Consumer Cellular’s unlimited plan?
After you use 30GB of high-speed data in a billing cycle, your data speed will slow down to 128 kbps for the remainder of the cycle, which is significantly slower than normal 4G LTE speeds. This slow speed may be frustrating if you need to stream video or download files, so it’s recommended that you monitor your data usage and switch to a different plan if you consistently use more than 30GB per month.