Free Government Phones

Tello No Contract Phone Plans

Tello, a no-contract, prepaid cellular service provider. As a prepaid provider there’s no contract, no early termination fees, and no activation fee. TelloTello offers a variety of plan options. They operate on the T-Mobile network, providing nationwide 5G & 4G LTE coverage. One of the notable features of Tello's plans is the flexibility it offers; you can build your own custom plan or choose from preset options and adjust data, minutes, and text allowances to suit your needs.

The unbelievably inexpensive phone plans range in price from $5 to $29. With each plan, you get free unlimited text, wi-fi calling, free tethering (aka hotspot), and free calls to over 60 countries.

Tello offers ready-made deals or you can configure your own plan. As of this writing, there are four ready-made deals as follows:

  • Economy: 2GB data for $10/month
  • Value: 5GB data for $14/month
  • Smart: 10GB data for $19/month
  • Data: Unlimited data for $25/month

All four plans come with unlimited minutes and unlimited text.

Tello’s Build Your Own Plan

You can customize your plan to have as little as no data (that's where the $5 monthly plan comes into play) to unlimited. Similarly, the minutes and text range from no minutes to unlimited. The beauty of customizing the plan is you can modify it to meet your needs on the fly. If you know you’ll need a lot of data for a particular month with only a limited amount of talk minutes, you can make the necessary changes without being penalized. Conversely, you can lower the data and increase the minutes the following month. Only pay for what you need. You can upgrade, downgrade, or cancel at any time.

Be aware, however, that plans automatically renew every 30 days. Also, once you reach your data limit, the speed is throttled down to 2G. With the Unlimited plan, the throttle occurs after you reach 25GB.

Hotspots and International Calling

When it comes to hotspots, Tello does not charge for tethering or mobile hotspot usage. This is particularly attractive if you want to share your mobile data connection with other devices, such as laptops or tablets.

Additionally, prepaid plans from Tello come with some attractive features such as free international calls to over 60 countries. This is a nice feature for those with family and friends abroad. However, the downside is there is no international roaming option available, this may not be attractive for travelers.

Activating Tello’s Service

The activation process for Tello is straightforward. Users can either purchase a new Tello phone, bring their own compatible device, or opt for an eSIM if their phone supports it. The eSIM offers instant activation. The eSIM option adds flexibility and ease to the activation process, allowing users to get started with their service quickly.

Tello does not offer family plans in the traditional sense, where multiple lines are discounted. However, they do allow multiple lines under one account with individual data and minute allocations.


What I find a bit interesting about the family plans is that it’s possible to separate billing dates if you don’t add all family members at the same time. For example, as a new customer, if you add 3 family members on the same day, you’ll get an invoice covering all three. However, if on a later date, you decide to add another family member that family member’s invoice date will be different.

If you want the same billing date, you must add that fourth member on the morning of your monthly billing date. Doing so will ensure a common bill date.

If you choose to upgrade/downgrade your plan mid-month, you will be billed for the change immediately. Your old plan will be canceled and replaced with the new plan. As a result, your monthly billing will now be 30 days from the date you changed the plan. If you don’t want to change your billing date, then make plan changes on your current billing date.

Tello’s Referral Program

With the Tello referral program, if you refer a friend and your friend signs up, you both get $10 Tello Dollars (not regular dollars, but Tello Dollars to apply to an outstanding balance.

Tello Customer Service

Tello seems to have a good reputation, with many users noting the provider’s responsive and helpful support team. Tello's transparency is also a plus, with clear pricing and no hidden fees. They have received an excellent score on Trustpilot, which speaks to the overall customer satisfaction.

It's important to note that while Tello provides these features and benefits, they may not be the best for everyone. The absence of international roaming and multi-line discounts can be drawbacks for some users.

Did you know?: If you meet the Lifeline criteria, you may qualify to receive a free device (smartphone or tablet) along with discounted or free wireless service (plans vary by state).

About the Author: LaForey is a person who was fed up with contract phone plans and opted for something more practical.

Last Modified: 5 March 2024

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