Best MVNO out there? Solavei or Aio?

rockitdog

macrumors 68020
Original poster
Mar 25, 2013
2,433
782
Looking for anyone who has any insights about Aio vs Solavei. T-Mobile is canceling my account for reasons I do not yet know but I need to find a replacement provider ASAP.
 

mathcolo

macrumors 6502a
Sep 14, 2008
859
16
Boston
Aio/Solavei seem stupidly expensive compared to other prepaid carriers out there, especially for what you get...

I'm on the T-Mobile $30/month plan right now, but if a Sprint acquisition this year causes that to go away, I'll probably be activating my Nexus 5 on Ting. If you do indeed have an iPhone 5S as your signature says, you might be able to use it with them. There are a bunch of models of that device though, and it may not be compatible with Ting's CDMA/LTE. You can check this page if you're curious: https://ting.com/devices/bring

Also, don't forget about Straight Talk!
 

rockitdog

macrumors 68020
Original poster
Mar 25, 2013
2,433
782
Aio/Solavei seem stupidly expensive compared to other prepaid carriers out there, especially for what you get...

I'm on the T-Mobile $30/month plan right now, but if a Sprint acquisition this year causes that to go away, I'll probably be activating my Nexus 5 on Ting. If you do indeed have an iPhone 5S as your signature says, you might be able to use it with them. There are a bunch of models of that device though, and it may not be compatible with Ting's CDMA/LTE. You can check this page if you're curious: https://ting.com/devices/bring

Also, don't forget about Straight Talk!
Straight Talk, Net10, Virgin Mobile & Ting all piggy back off of Sprint's network which is just horrendous here in Minnesota. I want nothing to do with Sprint in any capacity, people literally have about a 50% dropped call rate and data speeds hovering around 1 mbps. No Thanks!

I'll gladly pay for a some extra speed and use Solavei or Aio for a solid reliable network.
 

617aircav

Suspended
Jul 2, 2012
3,974
815
Aio/Solavei seem stupidly expensive compared to other prepaid carriers out there, especially for what you get...



I'm on the T-Mobile $30/month plan right now, but if a Sprint acquisition this year causes that to go away, I'll probably be activating my Nexus 5 on Ting. If you do indeed have an iPhone 5S as your signature says, you might be able to use it with them. There are a bunch of models of that device though, and it may not be compatible with Ting's CDMA/LTE. You can check this page if you're curious: https://ting.com/devices/bring



Also, don't forget about Straight Talk!

That $30 plan only gives you 100 minutes which is nothing. I use aio and the service has been perfect. I travel a lot and never had coverage issues from Alaska to NJ. $40 a month is perfect for me and my 5s.
 

kupkakez

macrumors 68000
Apr 4, 2011
1,841
669
Austin, TX
I had Aio for about 2 months here in central Texas and it was great. I got the same coverage with them as I did with AT&T (they piggyback off of AT&T).

I never had an issue and the data was fast, even though they cap the speed.
 

Z8beema

macrumors 6502
Sep 18, 2013
387
13
Mass.
Straight Talk, Net10, Virgin Mobile & Ting all piggy back off of Sprint's network which is just horrendous here in Minnesota. I want nothing to do with Sprint in any capacity, people literally have about a 50% dropped call rate and data speeds hovering around 1 mbps. No Thanks!

I'll gladly pay for a some extra speed and use Solavei or Aio for a solid reliable network.
Straight talk and net 10 piggy back off att
 

869639

macrumors 6502
Jan 2, 2014
327
0
Earth
Straight Talk, Net10, Virgin Mobile & Ting all piggy back off of Sprint's network which is just horrendous here in Minnesota. I want nothing to do with Sprint in any capacity, people literally have about a 50% dropped call rate and data speeds hovering around 1 mbps. No Thanks!

I'll gladly pay for a some extra speed and use Solavei or Aio for a solid reliable network.
Simplified:

AT&T MVNO's:
- AT&T GoPhone [I currently on $60 plan and its great]
- AIO Wireless [Owned by AT&T]
- Straight Talk [Owned by Tracfone which is owned by American Movil]
- Net10 [Owned by Tracfone which is owned by American Movil]
- H2O Wireless
- Go Red Pocket Mobile


T-Mobile MVNO's:
- GoSmart Mobile [Owned by T-Mobile]
- Straight Talk [Owned by Tracfone which is owned by American Movil]
- Net10 [Owned by Tracfone which is owned by American Movil]
- Simple Mobile [Owned by Tracfone which is owned by American Movil]
- Ultra Mobile
- Spot Mobile
- Solavei
- Platinum Tel
- Metro PCS
- iWireless
- Walmart Family Mobile
- 35orLess

Sprint MVNO's:
- Virgin Mobile
- Straight Talk [Owned by Tracfone which is owned by American Movil]
- Net10 [Owned by Tracfone which is owned by American Movil]

Verizon MVNO's:
- PagePlus
- Straight Talk [Owned by Tracfone which is owned by American Movil]
- Net10 [Owned by Tracfone which is owned by American Movil]

If T-Mobile gave you the boot, go with AT&T MVNO's and I recommend:
- #1 Straight Talk [Fast 4G + LTE Speeds slightly higher ping rates]
- #2 GoPhone [Fastest 4G + LTE Speeds and Lowest Ping]
- #3 AIO Wireless [Slightly cheaper than GoPhone with Fast 4G + LTE Speeds with slightly higher ping rates]


Net10 and Straight Talk = Exact same except net10 = $5 more unless you do "Auto payment"

T-Mobile MVNO's list has grown over the past couple of years maybe because its cheaper for companies to use its network vs AT&T but do note that you get LTE and much better coverage going with AT&T MVNO vs T-Mobile. Some MVNO's use all 4 networks so you have to decide which SIM/Provider you want to use.
 
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Caesars

macrumors 6502
May 16, 2013
252
94
If I was forced to leave T-Mobile, I would pick up aio, mainly because it's a decent copy of atts network which works good around my area.
 

dickdaney

macrumors regular
Dec 10, 2009
153
1
I'm on the AIO $55 plan. Canceled my $94/mo VZW contract to switch. AIO works fine. ping times are high due to their proxy server (150-350ms). you definitely won't be playing any first person shooter mutiplayer games of 3g/4g. ST/Net 10/H2O are all a few $ cheaper once you add in tax. No tax with AIO.
 

PsstGreek

macrumors 68040
Oct 21, 2010
3,772
58
Tampa Bay
I'm on T-Mobile's $30 prepaid right now and I'm debating on switching. 100 minutes just doesn't seem to be enough anymore.

Thought about AIO but I don't know.
 

617aircav

Suspended
Jul 2, 2012
3,974
815
I'm on T-Mobile's $30 prepaid right now and I'm debating on switching. 100 minutes just doesn't seem to be enough anymore.

Thought about AIO but I don't know.

Using aio to me is like using AT&T, so it will work in much more places than tmobile.
 

dictoresno

macrumors 601
Apr 30, 2012
4,196
465
NJ
Solavei's whole pyramid marketing thing sounds fishy to me. when they first came out, one of the initial "backers" made a website blog "inform" people about it and answer peoples questions. people asked things on the public blog, but the guys only response was to "call mefor details and i'll get you in under me". he never wanted to answer questions publically, and had the whole salesman plan of trying to rope em in once he got them on the phone routine, just so he made a buck. sounded like a true pyramid or get rich quick scam. now i know you dont need to participate in that whole side of the deal, but the fact it was an option and you can get other people under you to practically pay for your service just seemed too shady. i would never bother with them.
 

869639

macrumors 6502
Jan 2, 2014
327
0
Earth
I'm on the AIO $55 plan. Canceled my $94/mo VZW contract to switch. AIO works fine. ping times are high due to their proxy server (150-350ms). you definitely won't be playing any first person shooter mutiplayer games of 3g/4g. ST/Net 10/H2O are all a few $ cheaper once you add in tax. No tax with AIO.
Nice, I'm on AT&T GoPhone $60 Plan [Total/No Tax] and the main advantage is that the Ping is always less than 80 [Generally 40-60]. AT&T GoPhone Prepaid is not capped or slowed like MVNO's and even AT&T's own AIO Wireless.
 

PsstGreek

macrumors 68040
Oct 21, 2010
3,772
58
Tampa Bay
Nice, I'm on AT&T GoPhone $60 Plan [Total/No Tax] and the main advantage is that the Ping is always less than 80 [Generally 40-60]. AT&T GoPhone Prepaid is not capped or slowed like MVNO's and even AT&T's own AIO Wireless.
Can you sign up for the GoPhone plan in the store, or is it just online?
 

enthusiastic

macrumors regular
Nov 1, 2013
148
103
You register for Google Voice which is free. This has free unlimited calling within US and Canada. You will have a number also. You can use any Google Voice app on your iPhone and make and receive calls.

Whenever someone asks your number, you give them your Google Voice number. If they call you at that number, the app on your phone will alert you and you can pick up the call just like a normal call; only over the internet (VoIP).

Many of my friends are doing this and they say it is pretty great. Another advantage is that if you change your SIM, you don't have to tell it to everyone since the Google number that they have will remain the same.
 

869639

macrumors 6502
Jan 2, 2014
327
0
Earth
I have not. Excuse by ignorance, but how would it work?
Pass on it, as amazing as it sounds using google voice can be hectic, why go that route when you can pay just $5-$10 more and have an actual working phone that doesn't require you to go through VoIP. As good as VoIP sounds, things just don't work out in our favor always.
 

RickZeien

macrumors newbie
Jan 23, 2014
1
0
I have been a Solivei member since the started in September of 2012. The cpverage is great and the 4g speed is fast. I get download speeds up to 12 mbs. The ping is generally 50 to 80. We do get referral fees for recommending the service but that does not make it a pyramid and referring is voluntary. There are no contracts and you can cancel anytime. The service will work with your T-Mobile phone. Drop me an email at rick@4gatm.com and I will get you your first month free just to try. You can always get it somewhere else if you are not satisfied with the service. Full disclosure. I will receive referral fees if you decide to keep the service. Thanks
 

doboy

macrumors 68020
Jul 6, 2007
2,436
896
Simplified:

AT&T MVNO's:
- AT&T GoPhone [I currently on $60 plan and its great]
- AIO Wireless [Owned by AT&T]
- Straight Talk [Owned by Tracfone which is owned by American Movil]
- Net10 [Owned by Tracfone which is owned by American Movil]
- H2O Wireless
- Go Red Pocket Mobile


T-Mobile MVNO's:
- GoSmart Mobile [Owned by T-Mobile]
- Straight Talk [Owned by Tracfone which is owned by American Movil]
- Net10 [Owned by Tracfone which is owned by American Movil]
- Simple Mobile [Owned by Tracfone which is owned by American Movil]
- Ultra Mobile
- Spot Mobile
- Solavei
- Platinum Tel
- Metro PCS
- iWireless
- Walmart Family Mobile

Sprint MVNO's:
- Virgin Mobile
- Straight Talk [Owned by Tracfone which is owned by American Movil]
- Net10 [Owned by Tracfone which is owned by American Movil]

Verizon MVNO's:
- PagePlus
- Straight Talk [Owned by Tracfone which is owned by American Movil]
- Net10 [Owned by Tracfone which is owned by American Movil]

If T-Mobile gave you the boot, go with AT&T MVNO's and I recommend:
- #1 Straight Talk [Fast 4G + LTE Speeds slightly higher ping rates]
- #2 GoPhone [Fastest 4G + LTE Speeds and Lowest Ping]
- #3 AIO Wireless [Slightly cheaper than GoPhone with Fast 4G + LTE Speeds with slightly higher ping rates]


Net10 and Straight Talk = Exact same except net10 = $5 more unless you do "Auto payment"

T-Mobile MVNO's list has grown over the past couple of years maybe because its cheaper for companies to use its network vs AT&T but do note that you get LTE and much better coverage going with AT&T MVNO vs T-Mobile. Some MVNO's use all 4 networks so you have to decide which SIM/Provider you want to use.
You can add 35orless for T-Mo MVNO

http://35orless.com/
 

mathcolo

macrumors 6502a
Sep 14, 2008
859
16
Boston
That $30 plan only gives you 100 minutes which is nothing.
I'm on T-Mobile's $30 prepaid right now and I'm debating on switching. 100 minutes just doesn't seem to be enough anymore.
Pass on it, as amazing as it sounds using google voice can be hectic, why go that route when you can pay just $5-$10 more and have an actual working phone that doesn't require you to go through VoIP. As good as VoIP sounds, things just don't work out in our favor always.
I've actually been having a fine time using a plan with such few minutes. Yes, I admittedly am not a heavy caller, although I certainly still spend more than 500 minutes on the phone each month. To do this with my limited plan from T-Mobile, I use the Hangouts and FaceTime audio apps on my iPad to make calls to standard telephone numbers or iPhone users. If I'm out and about with only my phone, I make and receive short calls, telling others that I'll get back to them later in the day if I expect the conversation to be long.

In reality one of the reasons I appreciate this so much is that calls made from Google's Hangouts app on iOS (or Gmail on computers) come from my Google Voice number, not "Unknown Name" or something of that sort. Those long conversations that I mentioned earlier tend to be with mostly the same people, and they actively recognize that I have two phone numbers :) I know not everyone can expect others to recognize two numbers, but having an iPhone and being able to make FaceTime audio calls to other iPhone users over WiFi must be a splendid blessing (I cannot take advantage of that with my Nexus 5).
 

617aircav

Suspended
Jul 2, 2012
3,974
815
I've actually been having a fine time using a plan with such few minutes. Yes, I admittedly am not a heavy caller, although I certainly still spend more than 500 minutes on the phone each month. To do this with my limited plan from T-Mobile, I use the Hangouts and FaceTime audio apps on my iPad to make calls to standard telephone numbers or iPhone users. If I'm out and about with only my phone, I make and receive short calls, telling others that I'll get back to them later in the day if I expect the conversation to be long.



In reality one of the reasons I appreciate this so much is that calls made from Google's Hangouts app on iOS (or Gmail on computers) come from my Google Voice number, not "Unknown Name" or something of that sort. Those long conversations that I mentioned earlier tend to be with mostly the same people, and they actively recognize that I have two phone numbers :) I know not everyone can expect others to recognize two numbers, but having an iPhone and being able to make FaceTime audio calls to other iPhone users over WiFi must be a splendid blessing (I cannot take advantage of that with my Nexus 5).

I used to do that when I was on a $450 min plan. Still not as reliable as regular minutes. Places with weak or no data reception limit its use. If you rely on calls as part of your job, it wont work. If you are a student etc it could.
 

serega

macrumors regular
Nov 19, 2007
185
2
Seattle
Can you sign up for the GoPhone plan in the store, or is it just online?
Just a couple days ago I helped friend to close regular service with ATT at their corporate store, pay ETF and sign for GoPhone. The gave us sim that we scanned at their "kiosk" that looks like cash machine, scanned credit card and went home to swap sim cards, After rebooting phone it all worked as usual.