What to know about Tello Mobile's GSM Transition

Tello Imore Gsm Tower
Tello Imore Gsm Tower (Image credit: Shutterstock)

Too many mobile carriers seem to view their customers as walking sales leads. They lock clients into restrictive contracts laden with hidden fees at every turn, hide even basic functionality behind price gouging, and make canceling — or even changing — one's plan an utter ordeal. Tello Mobile is not such a carrier.

Founded on the principles of flexibility, affordability, and customer service, Tello has for years offered pay-as-you-go plans at downright unbeatable prices. These plans start at $5 per month for unlimited talk & text and cost up to $39 per month for unlimited talk, text, and data. There are no hidden fees, no contracts or obligations, and customers can change their plan at any time.

All plans also include access to free hotspot WiFi and the option to upgrade to a family plan with multiple phone lines with no additional fees.

Sounds pretty great, right? We haven't even gotten to the best part yet. From now through March, Tello is rolling out a new GSM network.

Migrating to this network from its old CDMA network will allow Tello to provide improved 4G LTE coverage, faster data speeds, and vastly-improved stability and reliability. New customers will be enrolled in the network immediately while existing customers will be migrated in batches starting with Q1 2021. Support for the CDMA network will continue until at least June.

How does this impact new customers?

Tello Smartphone User

Tello Smartphone User (Image credit: Shutterstock)

If you're new to Tello, you'll automatically be enrolled in their GSM network, provided you have a compatible device. The carrier has helpfully provided a way to check device compatibility via its Bring Your Own Device Page, and you'll also want to ensure you live within one of Tello's service areas. If you don't own a compatible device, you can purchase one through either Tello or directly from a smartphone manufacturer — note that carrier-locked devices are not compatible with Tello.

As part of the signup process, you'll need to purchase a Tello-branded GSM SIM, at which point you'll be able to activate it per Tello's instructions. Note that Tello's plans are offered exclusively online. Additionally, until the migration is complete, you'll be able to check coverage for both Tello's CDMA and GSM networks.

What changes for existing customers?

Tello Smiling Hipster

Tello Smiling Hipster (Image credit: Shutterstock)

Over the course of the migration, you'll receive personalized instructions and tools in your My Account section. Tello will also send you emails and/or push notifications if you've signed up for them. Once you've been selected to migrate to the new network, the process is relatively simple.

  1. Once you're eligible for migration, you'll be notified and Tello will send you a branded GSM SIM kit at no cost.
  2. If you're on a device that lacks compatibility with Tello's new network, you'll be given several opportunities to upgrade.
  3. Once the GSM SIM kit arrives, all you need to do is follow Tello's instructions to activate it and get your phone up and running with all the benefits of the new network. Note that you need to use Tello's GSM SIM card; GSM cards from other carriers won't work.

This migration also won't impact anything about your plan. You'll be able to keep your existing phone number and services at the same price you were paying before. This migration is a move by Tello to provide better service to its customers.

Charging extra would defeat the purpose of the new network.

The coverage you deserve

Tello Happy Customer

Tello Happy Customer (Image credit: Shutterstock)

Too many carriers treat their customers as walking wallets rather than people. Tello isn't one of those. Instead, it's a carrier that prides itself on its superior customer service, and on the fact that it's affordable without sacrificing quality.

The new GSM plan is just another step in that direction, allowing Tello to offer the same unbeatable plans with better coverage, speed, and reliability.

Learn more about Tello's offerings.

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