These days, there are not only a million different cell phones and smartphones out there, but just as many carriers to go with it. Without even a basic understanding of the providers and what they can offer, it might just seem like another bunch of companies all trying to make a buck.
The fact of the matter is that there is a major difference between AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile, and Verizon from the “alternative carriers” out there like Mint Mobile, Cricket Wireless, and others. That major difference is in infrastructure.
What is the difference between Mint Mobile and the Big Four?
Instead of going into Mint Mobile vs Cricket and other alternative carriers, it is important to know the major difference between those carriers and the big four of cell phone providers. Everyone knows the big four because they spend the most money on marketing and they are massive, billion-dollar entities that loom over the industry.
The difference between those four companies and the alternative carriers is in infrastructure. What does this mean exactly? Well, it means that the big four have built their own networks. These are encompassed in those cell towers that you may see driving around town.
Because of the costs associated with not only building a wireless network but maintaining it, it is only expected that those incurred costs get passed down to the customer. That is a major reason why plans for the big four tend to be far more expensive than those of alternative carriers.
What Mint Mobile Does Differently
Where Mint Mobile and other carriers differ is that the Mint Mobile network operates off the towers that T-Mobile has built. This means that instead of creating their own expensive network, Mint Mobile pays a fee to T-Mobile in order to use their cell towers.
This works for a few reasons. The first is that it saves the provider a massive amount of dollars not having to construct and maintain their own cell towers and networks. Those costs can be in the hundreds of millions of dollars and that is a tall task to undertake.
The second is that it passes savings down to the customer. Because the carrier does not have to incur those massive costs, they don’t have any additional fees to cover at the user expense. This means getting the same great reliable service that you get with the big four for a far lesser price.
Of course, the caveat here is that Mint Mobile users get less priority from the towers than those actual T-Mobile users, so speeds can drop at times. But that is a fair trade-off to make for the far lower costs incurred when using a service like Mint Mobile.