Most major US wireless carriers charge $50 or more for talk, text, and data plans. UppWireless charges as little as $15 per month.
You can even bring your own phone and pay just $10 for a SIM card.
The company’s secret is that it’s actually a data-only service. Phone calls and text messages are routed over the internet using a mobile data network, or preferably WiFi whenever it’s available.
In other words, UppWireless is a lot like Republic Wireless, another company that relies on WiFi when possible in order to offer cheap data service when it’s not.
There are a few things that make UppWireless different though.
- You can bring your own phone if you don’t want to buy one from the company.
- UppWireless offers 4G mobile data plans starting at $15, while Republic Wireless has 3G plans starting at $25 and 4G plans starting at $40.
- Republic Wireless operates on Sprint’s mobile network, while UppWireless uses Red Pocket Mobile, an AT&T and T-Mobile MVNO.
The coverage map looks pretty good if you live in a major metropolitan area or on the East or West Coast. It looks less good for folks in less populated areas.
But the prices are hard to beat. For $15 per month you get unlimited talk and text in the US and Canada and 1GB of data at 4G speeds.
$35 per month gets you 3GB of data at 4G speeds, after which you’ll be throttled down to slower internet connection speeds. And for $55 per month you can get an “unlimited” plan with 5GB of high-speed data.
All you need to do is take the risk that you can get by with internet-only service and VoIP calling and messaging.