In recent years, massive price increases from big cell phone providers has caused tons of people to switch to smaller, budget mobile providers. There are more companies that provide localized and affordable cell service cropping up than every before. While this is great for competition and providing consumers with a choice of service providers, it can make it difficult to choose the best phone service. This article will be a thorough and honest review of Reach Mobile, a company that uses the networks of both AT&T and Verizon.
Reach Mobile has a handful of plans for users to choose from. ‘The Basic’ plan is $35 monthly, with 3GB of data and unlimited talk and text. Next, ‘The Moderate’ plan is $45 monthly but provides 5GB of data with unlimited talk and text. ‘The People’s Choice’ plan is $60 monthly and has 10GB of data alongside unlimited talk and text. These four plans have the option of adding a line for an additional $20 per line.
The ‘All-In Unlimited’ plan is $75 a month for completely unlimited data, talk and text. Each additional line is five dollars less than the initial $75. This unlimited plan, however, differs from other unlimited plans – especially those from big providers. Reach Mobile acknowledges that there are data caps, even on unlimited plans. This is not a unique feature to Reach, rather, a feature that is present across all providers. Unlike acting as though this cap doesn’t exist, however, Reach Mobile is transparent in stating that there is a 20GB cap. After exceeding this cap, users can still access data, albeit at reduced speeds. If additional, high speed data is needed, users can purchase more GB through the app.
Like other MVNO providers, Reach Mobile has no contracts. Thus, if users want to cancel or switch their service, there are no fees or penalties. The Reach app can be used to easily change plans or as a way for customers to add and remove lines. For plans with additional lines, data can be shared between users. There is a ‘BestFit’ feature that can save users money, too. Each month, Reach Mobile only charges plan holders for the data they use. For example, if a user is paying for ‘The Moderate’ plan that provides 5GB of data, but they only use 3GB, they will only be charged for ‘The Basic.’ This a unique feature to Reach Mobile, as most cell phone service providers jump at the opportunity to make as much money from customers as possible – even if they are being charged for services they aren’t using.
What is a MVNO?
Before delving into a review, it is important to understand what an MVNO is. This acronym stands for ‘mobile virtual network operator.’ These are the smaller companies that provide mobile service in the United States; basically, the four major cell service providers. MVNOs use the cell towers of one or more of these companies, rather than building and maintaining their own. While this lowers the cost of the plans significantly, there are some considerations to be made before signing up with any MVNO company. Other than a reliable network with a lower cost, MVNO providers usually don’t require credit checks or large deposits for customers, making it easier for lower socioeconomic groups to get mobile phones. Unfortunately, with nearly all MVNOs, users may have slower data speeds, as the towers are often set to prioritize the traffic from the big companies. They also, generally, have less phone choices if they have any. Finally, the customer service may not be as good at an MVNO service, although this will vary based on the provider and region.
Reach Mobile is, as described above, an MVNO. Different from other providers, however, as Reach has a unique and charitable goal. A small portion of the company’s profits are devoted to helping people worldwide, who otherwise may not have access, get a mobile phone. In the modern era, cell phone and internet usage have become non-optional, making this a worthwhile charity cause. Thus, while providing affordable plans to Americans in lower income households, Reach is working towards bridging the digital divide.
Reach combines the AT&T and Verizon networks, which ensures mobile coverage across most of the United States. In store, however, they sell neither SIM cards nor phones. Nearly every part of the process of signing up for Reach is done online. Despite this, Reach has good customer service. Like most MVNOs, they do not require credit checks or deposits. All their five, unique plans come with unlimited talk and text, as well as mobile hotspot capabilities. Unfortunately, none of these plans extend usage areas to Mexico or Canada, which may be a deal breaker for some potential customers. Finally, Reach is not the best option for high data users.
Reach Mobile’s ‘Gigs That Give’
As mentioned previously, Reach Mobile has a philanthropic edge. Billions of people worldwide and millions in the United States don’t have reliable internet access at home. In a digitizing world, this creates an access and achievement gap. Reach Mobile uses a portion of their profits to provide data and cell phones to those who may not otherwise have access. Additionally, users of Reach Mobile can track how much they, personally, have contributed to this effort over time.
What Are People Saying?
Reach Mobile strives for an easy and painless signup process, and customers agree with this. The process is simple. New users go to the website and look through the five different plans, selecting the one that they think suits them best. Following this, they check to see that their existing phone is compatible with Reach Mobile SIM cards – most major brands are. Reach will send out all the information you need in a prompt mailing envelope. Following this, users just need to activate their service by installing the app.
Reach’s app interface is well-reviewed. It is incredibly easy to use and does a lot more than just activate new SIM cards. It allows users to change plans, cancel plans, as well as add and delete lines. These actions would normally require an extended trip to the store, but Reach Mobile makes it easy. The app also lets users track their data usage and add more GB if necessary. Finally, it allows Reach customers to track their philanthropic progress with ‘Gigs That Give,’ and the progress of the holistic movement.
Who is Reach Mobile Good For?
Reach Mobile provides plans that offer less features than bigger providers but for a lower price. Thus, it is a great service for those looking for simplicity and ease of use, without all the add-ons that come with other services. Finally, this is a great plan choice for those who use small to moderate amounts of data, although the high data plans are not the best deal for heavy users on the MVNO market.
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