“Who is my service provider for my phone?”
You’d think that, as the owner of your mobile device, you’d be well aware who was providing the cellular connection to your phone.
But, no judgment here!
Why is it so important to know who your cell phone carrier is?
Well, knowing who your service provider is will help you to easily distinguish between valid and invalid numbers. You will also be able to distinguish between landlines and cell phone numbers.
Often finding out who your service provider is an important step in ensuring that you are safe and protected when you make and receive calls and text messages.
Knowing who your service provider is will also allow you to discover what kind of packages are available for your phone.
Finally, you’ll also be able to find out if and when you will be able to switch service providers from an MVNO to a major phone carrier.
There are many benefits, but how exactly do you find out who your service provider is?
If you want to discover who your service provider is, simply dial 611 from your phone.
Then, put your number in when prompted. By doing this you will be able to find out if your phone is connected to a reseller or to a mobile virtual network operator (MVNO).
An alternative method is to go to freecarrierlookup.com to access a carrier lookup service.
Mobile Resellers and MVNOs rent the network or wireless cell phone towers from the Major carriers.
- Boost Mobile (Sprint)
- Consumer Cellular (AT&T, T-Mobile)
- Cricket Wireless (AT&T)
- FreedomPop (Sprint)
- H2O Wireless (AT&T)
- MetroPCS (T-Mobile)
- Net10 (Verizon, Sprint, AT&T, T-Mobile)
- Page Plus Cellular (Verizon)
- Republic Wireless (Sprint)
- RingPlus Mobile (Sprint)
- ROK Mobile (Verizon, Sprint, T-Mobile)
- Straight Talk (Verizon, Sprint, AT&T, T-Mobile)
- TextNow Wireless (Sprint)
- Ting (Sprint)
- Ultra Mobile (T-Mobile)
- Virgin Mobile (Sprint)
Mobile phone carriers obtain permission from the United States government for operation rights.
This permission allows them to operate in all parts of the country. Major mobile carriers operate on a national level and from any ZIP code.
Mobile carriers often own a majority of the infrastructure, and are responsible for most of the phone networks throughout the country.
If you do not see your phone listed under one of the major carriers, you are probably listed under an MVNO!
Mobile virtual network operators often partner with more than one major carrier in order to have a more extensive access to the market.
Mobile virtual network operators do not own any of the infrastructure themselves; they simply rent from one of the licensed major carriers in their area.
They will most often operate in regions rather than on a national basis. Mobile virtual network operators usually provide services to small sections of the American population.
Generally, their plans are very cost-effective and offer month-to-month arrangements.
Mobile virtual network operators also often offer prepaid plans as opposed to contracts.
Sometimes you may find that their service quality and data speed are not as good as the major carriers.
This lower quality service is because they rent from the carriers, and do not always have full access to the network tower.
The mobile virtual network operator might also be capped at a certain usage point by the major carrier.
If you stay in their operation area, it is an easy process to move your current phone number to a mobile virtual network operator.
There are, however, a few limitations.
For example GSM and CDMA phones do not work on the same networks. That being said, if you have an unlocked phone you will not be subject to these restrictions.
A drawback is that mobile virtual network operators often have slower data speed because the major carriers prioritize their customers over the MVNOs customers.
To compensate, you usually can get lower prices with more diverse plans from mobile virtual network operators than major carriers.
You might find that Mobile virtual network operators are the only option available in more rural areas.
Federal law prohibits the state and local governments from regulating entry into the market.
The federal government also cannot regulate the prices charged by commercial wireless or major carriers.
Federal law does allow the states to regulate specific “terms and conditions of commercial mobile services.” These include wireless contracts and their terms and exclusions.
Many of these federal laws have been put in place to protect our personal information.
The laws are also there to protect us from being taken advantage of by service providers.
Most of us do not read the terms and conditions of our contracts, and as such we rely heavily on federal laws to protect us- especially when it comes to sensitive information.
It is important to note that despite the fact that mobile virtual network operators can provide a slower service, they do still offer great packages with cheaper rates.
To make any changes, you will first need to find out which service provider operates in your area. Then, you’ll need to find out what kind of package you want, as well as how much you want to pay for it.
Rest assured that the federal government has powers which can keep the phone service providers in check, regardless of who you’re with!