Visible – Unlimited Data for 40$/month?

[Update July 3rd, 2018]

I’ve been using visible for over a month now and I am impressed with the evolution of the service so far. Initially I complained to them about the frequent No Service issues. They still happen, but they have become rarer. They also put me into a cohort of users called “Early Access” and refunded me for the first month, and provided me 2 additional months for free, and I’ve been using the opportunity to really test out the service and provide them with feedback. The access to customer service is very easy, within their app they have a chat built in that has always been very fast, and each time I converse with customer service they resolve my issue quickly.  I think they support chat via FaceBook Messenger and SMS as well. They also added Wi-Fi hotspot sharing which is awesome. In the coming months I think they plan to add Wi-Fi calling. I’d like to be able to put their SIM into my Android device too, and hopefully in the near future they will support Android as well. For now, I’m loving unlimited (free) data, and take every opportunity to steam network TV and News outlets on my commute to and from work, without worrying about overages.

[Original Post from May 18th, 2018]

This is a financial blog, but I am a techie at heart, so pardon if I go too deep into technical details and apps at times. Most phone plans are fairly reasonable these days if you hunt, but 40$/month for unlimited call, text, and internet sounded good so I had to check it out. I usually carry 2 phones, but only pay for single sim which is in my Android  device. I enjoy periodically activating my secondary iPhone 6 for a weekend, but eventually one of my kids will get the sim card in their phone.  Visible is supposedly  a secret invite-only Verizon cell phone service for millennials that is supposed to be 40 bucks a month for unlimited data. (The catch is that it’s limited to 5 Mbps which is 5 megabtes per second. That is plenty for normal use.) They are an MVNO (Mobile Virtual Network Operator). You can signup using their app, and then have a SIM card FedEx’d to your address. Obviously this is for those that already have a phone that is unlocked. Here’s my invite code if interested: https://bevisible.com/invite/148d3

So here’s how it worked out for me in the real world.

1. I ordered a sim card from the app, and synced it up with my venmo account. It arrived in a fedex envelope a couple of days later. To me that seemed really fast, and I didn’t expect it via FedEx, so that was nice.

It even came with the tool which I never can seem to find when I need one.

2. Put the sim into my phone and opened the app.

3. Venmo charge made, and good to go, all activated.

I didn’t really believe it was 5/Mbps so I used speedtest.net to test. Here are my results: http://www.speedtest.net/my-result/i/2648080652, 6.09/Mbps, so that was better than promised.

At a baseball game though the speed was much worse, and about 2-3 times this weekend I’d check the phone and have no service. It returned shortly after, but that was a bit concerning to make it a primary phone.  When it did have no service, I whipped out my other Verizon post-paid phone and got 10 Mbps at the same time.

You also can’t tether a computer’s wifi signal to it, which is understandable because they are looking for users that don’t need a lot of data. The worst a customer could do is to stream YouTube at 1080p for 24×7 on their network.

Overall, less than a week in, I can say I’m impressed but wish the network quality were a bit better in my area and wish it was even cheaper than 40 bucks/month, since I can get Simple with 3GB for 25$/month. Is the amount of data I’ll use over 3GB/month worth the 15 dollar premium? Will I be more inclined to listen to a YouTube video on a commute to work if I know I have unlimited data plan? And in a real life commute will the data be there for me when I need it?

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