How Exactly Does Spectrum Mobile Work?
Spectrum is a large telecommunications company that offers cable TV, internet, home phone, and mobile phone services. Currently, Spectrum Mobile is only available to existing Spectrum customers, therefore it is considered a niche brand. However, eligible customers can get great deals. Qualifying Spectrum Mobile customers can get amazing deals on data plans and mobile devices.
The thing that makes Spectrum Mobile different from other local carriers is the fact that your connection automatically transfers to a Spectrum Wi-Fi hotspot when you are in its range, enabling you to use free internet instead of spending your cellular data.
Does Spectrum Offer Free Phones?
While some large carriers tend to offer free phones to customers who switch services, add a new line, get an unlimited plan, trade-in an old phone in working condition, or buy another phone to get one free, Spectrum Mobile currently doesn’t offer any such deals on phones. However, the company does offer affordable mobile devices from some of the most reputable brands, including Apple, Samsung, Google, LG, and Motorola. You can see the full list of inexpensive Spectrum phones at spectrum.com/mobile/products/phones.
Moreover, Spectrum also offers Lifeline and Emergency Broadband Benefit government assistance programs for low-income people.
Lifeline is a permanent government assistance program by the FCC designed to help make communication services more affordable for low-income customers.
Emergency Broadband Benefit, or EBB, on the other hand, is a temporary government assistance program designed to help families struggling to afford internet service during the COVID-19 pandemic.
While Spectrum’s EBB program can help you get discounted internet prices, the company’s Lifeline program provides eligible low-income people affordable phone and internet service and/or Spectrum free phones or discounted devices, depending on the location and availability.
As such, depending on your area and Lifeline eligibility (only customers who qualify for Spectrum Lifeline can enroll in the program), you may be able to receive a Spectrum free phone or discounted device through the company’s Lifeline program.
How to Qualify for Lifeline and EBB With Spectrum?
Only Lifeline and/or EBB-eligible customers can get affordable phone and internet service and/or a Spectrum free phone or discounted device. Therefore, let’s review how to qualify for Lifeline and EBB with Spectrum.
To qualify for the Spectrum Lifeline program, you or one of your household members must be:
- A new or existing Spectrum customer.
- Located in a participating state.
- Not already getting Lifeline benefits from another carrier.
- Currently enrolled in a qualifying government program, such as SNAP, SSI, or Medicaid or meets the income eligibility requirements (your annual household income is at or below 135% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines).
Read more and apply at spectrum.net/support/voice/lifeline-phone-credit-landing.
To qualify for the Spectrum EBB program, you or one of your household members must:
- Qualify for the Lifeline program.
- Receive benefits under the free and reduced-price school lunch program, or the school breakfast program, including through the USDA Community Eligibility Provision, or did so in the 2019-2020 or 2020-2021 school year.
- Have received a Federal Pell Grant during the current award year.
- Have experienced a substantial loss of income since February 29, 2020, and the household had a total income in 2020 below $99,000 for single filers and $198,000 for joint filers.
- Meet the eligibility criteria for a participating providers’ existing low-income or COVID-19 program.
Read more and apply at spectrum.net/support/internet/emergency-broadband-benefit.
Spectrum Mobile Lifeline Areas
Currently, Spectrum Lifeline is available in the following states:
- New York
- North Carolina
Read more and apply for the California, Florida, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, or Texas Lifeline program at spectrum.net/support/voice/lifeline-phone-credit-landing.
Are There Any Spectrum Mobile Lifeline Restrictions?
Spectrum’s Lifeline program, just like any other provider’s Lifeline program, comes with a list of restrictions:
- Only eligible customers may enroll in the program.
- Lifeline is available for only one qualifying residential internet or home phone service per household (Spectrum Mobile service does not apply).
- Lifeline is non-transferable.
- You can only receive Lifeline benefits from one provider at a time, but you may qualify for other government or state programs to help subsidize the cost of service.
Spectrum Mobile Plan Details
At Spectrum Mobile, you can get two types of plans:
- By the Gig Plans
- Unlimited Plans
Currently, Spectrum’s By the Gig plan costs $14 per GB per month. It enables you to pay for the data you use, share your data to up to 10 lines, and switch to an unlimited plan at any time if you need more data.
Spectrum’s Unlimited plan, on the other hand, costs from $29.99 a month per line with 2 or more lines ($45 a month for 1 line). This plan will give you unlimited talk, text, and data, more freedom to surf and stream, and to switch to another plan at any time. Note: After 20 GB of data usage, you will have reduced speeds.
Spectrum’s Unlimited Plus plan comes with unlimited talk, text, and data (reduced speeds after 30 GB of usage per line). For 1 line only, it costs $55 per month.
Spectrum Mobile’s plans can be mixed and matched to suit your needs.
Spectrum’s plans also offer international services, which enable you to get free international texting within the United States, roaming in over 200 countries, and competitive rates for talk, text, and data use abroad.
Additionally, Spectrum allows you to add your family members to your plan, however, doing so won’t get you a discount.
There are 3 simple ways to get Spectrum Mobile service:
- You can do so by phone at 833-224-6603.
- Shop the best devices and plans online at spectrum.com/mobile/products/phones.html.
- Visit a local Spectrum store. Find the nearest Spectrum stores at spectrum.com/stores.
To get a Spectrum plan, follow the simple steps below:
- Step 1: Get Spectrum internet. You can do so at spectrum.com/internet.
- Step 2: Select your device. Purchase a new device at spectrum.com/mobile/products/phones.html or bring your own phone.
- Step 3: Customize your plan.
When it comes to Spectrum plans, certain restrictions may apply. For example, service is not available in all areas. There is an activation fee per line. Also, Spectrum internet and Auto-pay are both required. To access 5G, you will need a 5G-compatible phone.
You can find out more about Spectrum’s plans at spectrum.com/mobile/plans.
Spectrum Mobile Coverage Area
Spectrum Mobile is a mobile virtual network operator (MVNO) that doesn’t have its own network but uses Verizon’s nationwide network and towers instead. Verizon offers the largest 4G LTE network in the country, plus, it now offers a 5G network as well. Verizon’s LTE network covers over 70% of the area and connects over 99% of the entire U.S. population.
In addition to providing customers access to Verizon’s nationwide coverage, Spectrum also enables users to connect to Spectrum’s Wi-Fi hotspots all over the country to reduce their monthly data usage.
You can check Spectrum’s 4G and 5G availability in your area at spectrum.com/mobile/coverage-map by simply zooming in to your location or by entering your home address in the provided search box.
Read more about Spectrum Mobile coverage area at spectrum.com/mobile/coverage-map.
Spectrum Mobile Customer Support
Spectrum Mobile is an award-winning MVNO. It has been named number 1 in customer satisfaction with the wireless purchase experience among MVNOs (mobile virtual network operators).
However, Spectrum Mobile’s customer support service seems to get mixed reviews from the customers.
Customers tend to be satisfied with the Spectrum Mobile app, which enables users to check their data usage, pay their bills, and make basic changes to their accounts.
Billing and customer service representatives available by the phone, on the other hand, are some of the things customers seem to be dissatisfied with.
If you need support, you can go to mobile.spectrum.com/support, review the most popular topics, and see the frequently asked questions section.
You can contact Spectrum Mobile’s customer support service by phone at (833) 224-6603 (international: +1 (704) 731-3001), chat with them on their official website, or visit a Spectrum store near you.
Things to Know Before You Sign Up for Spectrum Mobile
Before you sign up for Spectrum Mobile, there are certain things you should consider and know.
- Eligibility requirement. To qualify for Spectrum Mobile, you must have Spectrum internet service, sign up for auto-pay and meet credit requirements.
- Network coverage. Before you sign up, make sure Spectrum Mobile offers great coverage in your area. You can do so at spectrum.com/mobile/coverage-map. However, great coverage shouldn’t be a problem, since Spectrum offers Verizon’s nationwide coverage and lots of Wi-Fi hotspots.
- Plans and prices. Before signing up, check out Spectrum’s plans and prices and find a plan that best suits your needs. You can do so above or at spectrum.com/mobile/plans.
- Phone selection or BYOD. Decide if you wish to bring your own phone or if you wish to buy a new one from Spectrum. If you choose to do the latter, you can do so at spectrum.com/mobile/products/phones.
- Mobile hotspot. Check out Spectrum’s mobile hotspot options. Mobile hotspot is included at no extra cost, however, normal data rates apply to mobile hotspot data usage.
- Video streaming. Spectrum Mobile’s plans support DVD-quality streaming, generally at 480p. To watch HD-quality video, you can always connect to Wi-Fi.
- Customer service. In case you have any questions or concerns, you can contact Spectrum’s customer service at (833) 224-6603, chat with them on their official website, or visit a Spectrum store near you.
Spectrum Offer Free Phones Others Thing You Should Know
Is Spectrum Mobile Right for You?
It depends on your preferences. However, Spectrum Mobile does offer two types of plans, both of which are affordable. Spectrum also allows you to add your family members to your plan, however, doing so won’t get you a discount. Spectrum allows you to bring your own phone or to purchase a new one from them. In addition, at Spectrum, you will get access to Verizon’s nationwide coverage.
Where to Buy Spectrum Mobile Service Plans and SIM Cards?
What Phones Work With Spectrum Mobile?
Spectrum Mobile allows you to bring your own phone. However, to do so, your mobile device must be compatible with Spectrum services. Spectrum currently supports Apple, Samsung, and Google phones. LG phones previously purchased from Spectrum Mobile are also supported.
Are Spectrum Mobile Phones Locked?
Yes, Spectrum Mobile phones are locked. To request an unlock code from the provider, the device must be purchased from Spectrum and activated on a Spectrum line, it must be paid off in full, and must not be reported lost, stolen, or linked to fraudulent activity. In addition, your Spectrum account must be active for 60 days and in good standing, with no outstanding payments. Read more at mobile.spectrum.com/support/article/360001999688/unlock-your-phone.
Can I Bring My Own Phone When I Switch Spectrum Mobile?
Yes, Spectrum Mobile offers a Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) option, which allows you to bring your own compatible unlocked phone to their services. You can find out more at spectrum.com/mobile/byod.
Can I Keep My Current Phone Number With Spectrum Mobile?
Yes, you can. However, to do so, you must not cancel your service with your current carrier until you’ve successfully transferred your phone number to Spectrum Mobile, otherwise, you may lose your phone number. To transfer your phone number to Spectrum Mobile, you’ll need account information from your previous carrier, such as your account number and PIN.