How to Bundle Internet and Cellphone Service to Save Money

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Internet service providers (ISPs) everywhere have been launching new cellphone services — including Cox Mobile and Xfinity Mobile.

You can bundle these mobile virtual network operator (MVNO) services with your internet or TV plans to consolidate your bills and save money each month.

Are these deals worthwhile? Or should you stick with the name-brand cellphone providers?

Whether you’re getting cellphone service for yourself or your entire family, read on for everything you need to know about MVNOs and bundling cellphone service with your internet plan.

What is an MVNO?

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If you’ve recently gotten a mailer from an internet provider, you’ve probably seen MVNO services like Xfinity Mobile or Spectrum Mobile. These MVNOs are the brand name for cellphone plans from their affiliated ISP.

If you switch to an MVNO, you’ll still get standard cellphone features (5G access, mobile hotspot service, and large data caps) you’d find on larger providers.

In many cases, you’ll get nearly the same level of service — MVNOs use Verizon, AT&T, or T-Mobile’s cellphone networks, so you won’t have to worry about signal drops or coverage problems when you switch to an MVNO.

Cellphone and internet bundle prices

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Most ISP-affiliated MVNOs require you to have internet service before you sign up for a cellphone plan.

But once you set up your internet and cellphone bundle, you’ll pay less for cellphone service than you would with a larger provider.

For example, let’s compare four basic and premium cellphone plans from Xfinity Mobile and Verizon.

Each pair of plans has similar features, but Xfinity Mobile can offer lower rates because it’s exclusive to Xfinity internet customers.

Best cable ISP cellphone plans

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Here’s a quick comparison of plans with price and service type.

  • Xfinity Mobile By The Gig: $15.00/mo., Basic
  • Verizon Wireless Unlimited Welcome: $65.00/mo.*, Basic
  • Xfinity Mobile Unlimited Premium: $65.00/mo., Premium
  • Verizon Wireless Unlimited Plus: $80.00/mo.*, Premium

*With paper-free billing and Auto Pay. Plus taxes & fees.

Data effective as of publish date. Offers and availability may vary by location and are subject to change.

Cellphone and internet bundle plans

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With an MVNO, you pay less for cellphone service. But do you get more?

Let’s break down what comes with an MVNO’s cellphone service.

Data caps and ‘unlimited’ data

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All MVNO cellphone plans have data caps that work similarly to internet data caps.

Every month, your phone gets a set amount of mobile data. Once you hit this monthly cap, you pay a small overage fee or deal with slower mobile internet speeds. Your cellphone uses mobile data whenever you browse the internet without Wi-Fi.

Many MVNOs advertise “unlimited” data plans that aren’t truly unlimited. You typically get a generous 30 GB or 50 GB data cap on these plans.

With basic MVNO pay-per-gig plans, you might have a smaller 1 GB or 5 GB data cap before you hit restrictions and overage fees.

There isn’t a gigantic gap between major providers’ and MVNOs’ data caps. Major providers have unlimited plans with similar 50 GB data caps, but they often also offer plans with actually unlimited data for an additional fee.

If you simply need cellphone service, a smaller data allotment is fine. But you’ll want an unlimited plan if you’re streaming Spotify or scrolling Instagram daily.

Bringing your cellphone over

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Thankfully, you don’t need to trade in and rebuy your family’s cellphones if you switch to an MVNO.

MVNOs like Optimum Mobile are compatible with the latest Apple, Google, and Samsung smartphones.

If you’re using an older or overseas smartphone, MVNOs have compatibility tools that let you know if your device is compatible with its network.

Traffic priority on MVNOs

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MVNOs are competitive with major providers, but traffic prioritization is one of MVNOs’ main disadvantages. Traffic prioritization refers to how cellular carriers like Verizon or T-Mobile direct internet traffic.

If a cellular tower experiences high traffic, certain phones stay at the front of the line and get fast download speeds, while lower-priority phones temporarily slow down.

Unfortunately, MVNO traffic generally falls into the second category. Some MVNOs allow you to increase your traffic priority for an extra fee, but you’ll be subject to lower prioritization in most cases.

Even worse, MVNOs are often cagey about their prioritization policies.

They typically say your internet speeds may dip if you’re in a crowded arena but won’t outright say their traffic’s deprioritized.

What to know about traffic prioritization

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But is traffic prioritization something that should worry you? Well, it depends. Traffic prioritization depends on the cellular traffic in your area.

You likely have consistent internet speeds in a rural or suburban area, but if you attend basketball games or go to the airport in a major city, you’re more likely to experience prioritization issues.

Plus, traffic prioritization policies vary widely between MVNOs. If budget is your biggest concern, traffic prioritization may be something you can live with.

But if you rely on your smartphone daily, make sure you know your MVNO’s traffic prioritization policies before you sign the dotted line.

Cellphone deals

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If you’re looking for new Xfinity Mobile or Spectrum Mobile deals, you’re generally not going to have great luck.

MVNOs sometimes offer temporary line discounts or small trade-in bonuses, but in most cases, you won’t get much beyond cellphone service.

By comparison, major cellular carriers aggressively gild the lily to bring in customers.

Carriers like AT&T, Verizon, and T-Mobile regularly offer add-ons like $1,000 trade-in bonuses, free streaming service subscriptions, and gift cards.

You still pay more for cellphone service on these carriers, but if you’re already paying for streaming services or interested in add-ons, these carrier deals could move the needle.

Is bundling cellphone and internet service worth it?

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Cellphone and internet bundles are ISPs’ latest gambit to keep customers around, and there’s a lot to like about MVNOs.

MVNOs don’t have all the bells and whistles that major providers have, but they do one thing extremely well: offer basic phone service at an affordable price.

If you’re interested in cheaper cellphone service and already use an ISP with cellphone plans, we recommend giving cellphone with internet bundles a second look.

Check out our best cellphone and internet bundles guide to learn more about providers like Xfinity Mobile, Spectrum Mobile, and Optimum Mobile.

Next we’ll look at bundling cellphone and internet service FAQ.

Can you bundle cellphone service and internet with AT&T?

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You can bundle cellphone and internet service with AT&T. AT&T Internet customers can get $20 per month off of their internet bill when they add an unlimited wireless plan.

Does Verizon bundle cellphone service and internet?

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Verizon offers cellphone and internet bundle discounts of up to 50%. You can get a bundle discount with Verizon Fios or Verizon Home Internet service.

Can I bundle cellphone and internet?

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You can bundle cellphone and internet service. ISPs like Xfinity, AT&T, and Optimum offer cellphone service for an additional fee.

When you sign up for internet service, you can also add these discounted cellphone plans to your account.

Can you bundle cellphone, internet, and TV?

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You can bundle cable TV, internet, and cellphone services depending on your provider.

No providers have cable TV and cellphone bundles, but you can still add cable TV to an internet and cellphone bundle for additional savings.

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