It wasn’t that long ago that smartphones, and mobile services in general, were considered a luxury. But they’ve become one of the most important necessities for daily life in almost no time at all.
Smartphones and consistent data connections are often needed for everything ranging from utility payments, social media interactions, answering emails and so much more.
However, the cost for Internet-enabled phone plans really hasn’t changed that much from the early days when it was considered a luxury rather than a necessity.
So, people tend to perk up when companies like Spectrum Mobile offer extremely competitive plans that even include theoretically unlimited Internet access.
But does Spectrum Mobile live up to the hype? Read on to discover the company’s true pros and cons.
Main Pros of Spectrum Mobile
There’s a lot to love about Spectrum Mobile. It’s true that some of the claims are a little exaggerated. But the following features are just as good, or even better than you might expect.
1) Savings when you subscribe to Spectrum One service
Spectrum Mobile is working hard to grow within a notoriously competitive market. And one way they’re accomplishing this is by offering some great deals to new users.
If you’re signing up with Spectrum for the first time you can lock yourself into a $49.99 plan that’s good for the next 12 months.
That’s a great price for a mobile plan with Spectrum Mobile’s features. But that also covers all of the other Spectrum One perks.
In addition to Spectrum Mobile, Spectrum One also includes Spectrum Internet and Advanced WiFi.
Altogether it comes out to a savings of around $420 over the already low standard cost for a Spectrum One subscription.
2) Access to 5G at no extra cost
5G is the next big thing in mobile Internet technologies. It offers better speed, reliability, and advanced connectivity capabilities. In short, it’s a huge step up from 4G or LTE connections.
The 5G rollout is still an ongoing process for most companies. And it’s not unusual to find yourself needing to pay extra cash to take advantage of 5G’s extra speed.
But Spectrum Mobile gives you 5G access by default. There aren’t any extra plans or fees associated with 5G. You simply get it by using Spectrum Mobile (and if you have a 5G capable device of course).
3) Very good coverage since it uses Verizon mobile network infrastructure
One of the reasons why it’s hard for new mobile companies to compete in the modern market is the prohibitive cost of mobile infrastructure.
A company needs to have a national presence in every town and city to really compete within today’s market.
Spectrum Mobile gets around this problem by working within Verizon’s existing infrastructure.
Spectrum Mobile operates as an MVNO (Mobile Virtual Network Operator) through a subset of Verizon’s network. It’s a bit akin to renting out and using digital and wireless space inside of Verizon’s cellular network infrastructure.
As such, Spectrum Mobile is able to offer a similar level of cellular coverage and scope of service like Verizon while still providing exceptional additional features.
4) WiFi calling available for free
Spectrum Mobile uses a number of new technologies besides 5G. Another notable, and free, addition is WiFi calling.
It’s a feature that allows you to receive and make calls over WiFi networks even if you’re in an area with limited cellular connectivity.
You can even place calls from within a cellular dead zone as long as you have an active WiFi connection.
The service can be manually initiated from a phone’s dialer app. But Spectrum Mobile has put some extra polish into making it even easier to use.
Spectrum users will find a WiFi calling option in their phone’s settings. And when that function is turned on the phone will automatically switch to WiFi calling when it’s in an area with limited cellular reception.
5) No contracts and no added taxes or fees
Cellphone companies are notorious for locking you into their service and making it difficult to ever quit if you feel the need. Not so with Spectrum Mobile.
The company goes out of its way to make sure that you know what you’re paying for and can opt out at any time. The company simply works to provide a service so good that you’d never want to leave.
6) Reasonable price
You’ve already seen how many advanced technologies Spectrum Mobile provides at no extra cost. And that concept can be found across the company’s service as a whole.
Spectrum Mobile is extremely cost competitive when compared to other mobile telecommunications companies.
Spectrum Mobile generally provides more features, at a lower price, than the competition. Though the extent of that is always going to vary on a case-by-case basis.
Mobile providers in general tend to have a lot of special deals, plans, and time-locked discounts. But as a general rule, you can expect to almost always pay less with Spectrum Mobile than major networks like T-Mobile or AT&T.
Part of this also links back to the fact that Spectrum Mobile doesn’t force you into contracts or hide unexpected fees within them.
It’s quite common for the major mobile networks to offer plans that seem like a great deal at first glance. And they may in fact be a great deal for a while.
Until a clause in your contract that you were unaware of kicks in and starts to incur previously hidden fees.
Part of Spectrum Mobile’s appeal over the competition is the fact that you get what you pay for. And you know what you’re paying for at all times.
7) Access to Spectrum Mobile WiFi Access Points
Think back to two of Spectrum Mobile’s previously mentioned features – WiFi calling and support for Verizon’s network.
One of Spectrum Mobile’s biggest strengths comes from the fact that it can use a wide variety of different networks.
For example, it can use both traditional cell-based and WiFi-based networks to place and receive calls.
That’s only the tip of the iceberg though. You can also access WiFi points that are located all across the nation. It’s an especially useful feature when paired with the previously mentioned WiFi calling.
You might be familiar with something similar within your home Internet package.
Some Internet providers let you connect your phone to wireless networks out in the wild if you use their service at home.
Spectrum Mobile takes that idea a step further by partnering with a wide variety of different Internet services.
In practical terms that means that as you’re walking around an area you’ll typically be able to connect to secured WiFi points.
In doing so you’ll be able to get faster Internet speeds and better responsiveness. All without having to worry about putting a dent into your data plan’s allotment.
Spectrum Mobile is currently partnered with AlticeWiFi, XFINITY, and Passpoint Secure.
In addition to those WiFi services, Spectrum Mobile users will also be able to use the company’s own dedicated WiFi points. These are Spectrum Mobile, Spectrum, and Spectrum Free Trial.
Some Cons of Spectrum Mobile
It’s safe to assume at this point that you’re pretty impressed with Spectrum Mobile. However, if any company seems perfect then it typically just means that you haven’t looked hard enough for cracks in the veneer.
And despite some impressive pros, Spectrum Mobile does have some cons as well. Whether those cons are important enough to chip away at the significance of the pros is up to you. But it’s important to consider the following cons just as closely as you did the pros.
1) The “Unlimited Data Plan” is not actually unlimited
The biggest downside for most people is the exact nature of the “unlimited” data plan.
Spectrum Mobile fixes a lot of the problems you’ll typically find in the world of wireless telecommunication companies. But it still has the same problem with unlimited data as most of its competitors.
If you see any mobile company talking about unlimited data you should take it with a grain of salt.
What the term “unlimited data” typically means is that you’ll always be able to use the Internet. But that’s very different than the suggestion that you’ll be able to always use full-speed Internet connections.
Most mobile companies will throttle your Internet speed once you reach a certain amount of data used in a single billing period.
Spectrum Mobile will typically enact that cap once you reach around 20 GB to 30 GB of data in a single month (depending on the plan). After you reach that point your Internet speeds will be far slower than normal until the next billing period.
30 GB might seem like an immense amount of data. But keep in mind that a single streaming of an HD movie will typically weigh in at about 3 GB.
At the same time though, this is where the WiFi access points come in handy. If you’re using WiFi points then you’ll typically switch to WiFi on a regular basis when you’re in highly populated areas. And the WiFi use doesn’t contribute to your data cap.
2) Since Spectrum Mobile is an MVNO, it may suffer from deprioritization from Verizon
The fact that Spectrum Mobile runs on the Verizon network was listed as a pro. But there’s a flip side to that fact which also earns it a place in the con list.
Using an established mobile network automatically provides Spectrum Mobile with an expansive infrastructure.
But the fact that the network isn’t owned by Spectrum Mobile can be a problem. Verizon is, rather understandably, most concerned about users who are subscribed to Verizon itself.
A Mobile Virtual Network Operator (MVNO) like Spectrum Mobile can and often is deprioritized when there aren’t enough free resources on the network.
The problem is further compounded by the fact that Spectrum Mobile doesn’t disclose which areas tend to be most at risk of frequent deprioritization.
Some areas are far more prone to it than others. And whether you’re in such an area will often only be revealed by talking to people in your area who are already using Spectrum Mobile.
3) Cost increases by $10/m if you stop your Spectrum Internet service
Spectrum Mobile is generally quite good about disclosing how its billing system works. In fact, you’ll note that this fact came up more than a few times in the pros category.
There is one big exception to that rule though. If you stop your Spectrum Internet Service or Spectrum Business High-Speed Internet Service you’ll end up with an additional price hike of $10 per month. This fee covers the mandated additional Unlimited or Unlimited Plus plan.
4) Available only to existing Spectrum customers
You might have noticed the mention of Spectrum Internet Service in the prior con. And you might have thought to yourself that it wouldn’t be an issue because you don’t even have Spectrum Internet Service.
And if that’s the case, there might be a problem with any intent to use Spectrum Mobile. Because at the moment Spectrum Mobile is primarily targeted toward people who are already Spectrum customers or who are interested in Spectrum One.
That means that if you’re not already with Spectrum you might find yourself needing to jump through some additional hoops in order to become eligible.
Pro #1 “If you’re signing up with Spectrum for the first time you can lock yourself into a $49.99 plan that’s good for the next 12 months”. seems to conflict with Con #3. Are you saying the $49.00 deal would cost me $59.99 because I currently have no Spectrum Internet service? If yes, what other “hoops” might I encounter trying to sign up for Spectrum Mobile One?
I am currently using “Spectrum Free Trial” WIFI which for some unknown reason just showed up on my phone. The best signal strength my phone registers is somewhere between “fair” & “good” which ends up being mostly fair when I’m in the more comfortable part of my apartment. Can I expect this to get better if I sign up for Spectrum’s new customer $49.99/mo./1yr. plan? How much gb would this plan give me per month?
Harris Andrea says
Chuck, the signal strength on your phone will not get better if you sign up for Spectrum’s new customer plan.
The signal strength depends on several factors such as environment conditions, physical obstacles, distance etc, so it will not improve by just subscribing to their service.