At this point, you’re probably pretty serious about buying Wisephone, but you’re still unsure about what it takes to make the move. We understand — setting up a new device can be very confusing and time consuming, especially if you’re not what some call “techy.” We want to help ease the stress so you can buy with confidence. Below you’ll find some information that explains the complexity of choosing a carrier. We’ll also share our recommendations for a Wisephone-compatible phone plan.
Understanding Carrier Compatibility
You may have heard the term “unlocked” when talking about phones. A phone that is unlocked holds no ties to a specific mobile carrier. Companies like T-Mobile, AT&T, and Verizon sometimes sell phones to buyers at a discount, and choose to “lock” these phones to their network and form a contract to sustain the buyer/consumer relationship. For example, a locked AT&T phone cannot make phone calls, send texts, or use carrier data if you put a Verizon SIM card in it.
Fortunately, this business model seems to be going away. More and more phones are “unlocked” prior to sale, meaning you should be able to pop in a SIM card from your mobile carrier of choice and be good to go. All Wisephones come unlocked, so the likelihood that our buyers can use an existing phone plan is high, but it’s not guaranteed. There’s more that goes into determining if a specific device can interact with a specific carrier network than whether it’s unlocked or not.
Phones must also be compatible with the required networking technologies the carrier uses for communication. Each carrier has different requirements regarding frequency bands and signal types.
Below are the bands Mint Mobile publicizes they use for their service:
Required: VoLTE, Band 2 (4G LTE 1900 MHz), Band 4 (4G LTE 2100 MHz)
Recommended: Band 12 (4G LTE 700 MHz)
Optional: Band 71 (4G LTE 600 MHz), Band 5 (850 MHz), Band 66 (1700/2100MHz)
Not all carriers publicize the specifics of their compatibility requirements, but many have a “compatibility checker” that allows you to submit a device’s IMEI number in order to predict device compatibility. We have conducted our Wisephone research in this way from a sampling of our hardware, and tested calling, texting, and data services with multiple carrier plans including AT&T, Verizon, U.S. Mobile, and T-Mobile. Even still, technology is constantly evolving and so are the compatibility requirements for mobile devices on any given network. We simply can’t report on all the data out there at this time. See which carriers plans are most likely to work with Wisephone.
Location, Location, Location
Do you remember the old Verizon commercial, “Can you hear me now?” Location still matters. While we can say Wisephone is compatible with certain providers, we can’t guarantee the reliability of their network where you reside. It’s best to ask people you know about the services they have tried and which ones seem to be reliable in your area.
To data or not to data?
Definitely get a plan with some data. A minimum of 1GB of data should be enough to ensure you get phone updates and Family Portal syncing works. Also, you should have unlimited texting, as this is used when cell data isn’t available in some cases to sync content to the portal. Most carriers have an affordable data plan that should work for your needs.
If you still have questions, feel free to check out our FAQ page that covers a broad range of topics.