Short Answer: Mint Mobile piggybacks off of T-mobile. However, Mint Mobile users are susceptible to some downsides.
We know that one of the biggest deciding factors when looking at mobile service providers is their network.
What network do they use? What kind of coverage do they have? How fast is their network speed?
It’s questions like these that are likely plaguing your mind as you look into various mobile providers.
If you’ve found your way here, then you must be wondering, “what network does mint mobile use?”
Along with the other questions associated with that big one
Let’s answer those for you.
A brief look at Mint Mobile
First, let’s take a moment to review just what kind of mobile provider we’re dealing with here.
Mint Mobile is what you’d call an MVNO. AKA mobile virtual network operator. This means two primary things.
One, they have no physical stores and run their operations entirely online.
Second, they lease their network access from an already established network and provide that access to their subscribers.
It’s a common misconception that networks like this are cheap or somehow worse, but it’s just that — a misconception.
Something that makes Mint Mobile stand out from the crowd is how they package their mobile plans.
If you want, you can take a look at our full Mint Mobile Review and find out more details about this unique mobile provider.
Couldn’t hurt to know your options even better, right?
Mint Mobile rides on the back of a big network
Earlier, we stated that Mint Mobile leases network access from an already-in-place network.
That network is T-Mobile.
T-Mobile boasts one of the largest networks and is one of the biggest mobile providers out there, so you can rest easy knowing that Mint Mobile will be bringing you some solid service.
However, there are some things worth noting about this model.
Firstly, T-Mobile will prioritize its customers over Mint Mobile users. For example, if the network is bottlenecked and there are T-Mobile and Mint Mobile customers in the area, then T-Mobile is going to give their primary customers access instead of the Mint users.
It’s one of the prices Mint Mobile has to pay to bring its users a robust and reliable network.
Secondly, there are some requirements to be aware of when bringing a phone over to Mint Mobile. The T-Mobile network will only support GSM-unlocked devices. This means Mint Mobile is a GSM device carrier as well. Find out whether your phone is going to be compatible with their network with Mint’s compatibility checker.
Mint Mobile speed and coverage
When it comes to mobile phones, data speed and network coverage are some of the most important aspects to users.
Let’s look at speed first.
To be blunt, Mint Mobile isn’t the fastest provider in the race. Tutela found that Mint Mobile’s median download and upload speeds were 10 Mbps and 7.1 Mbps, respectively.
It’s nothing record-breaking, but it’s certainly not bad. As a user, you should have no issues doing what you would typically do on your smartphone whenever you have coverage.
That’s the next thing we need to discuss: Coverage.
Mint Mobile’s network only covers within the United States. Sorry to our international folks, but you’ll have to find a different mobile provider.
If you live in or near a major city center, then you should have no issues with your coverage on Mint Mobile.
But you don’t need us to tell you where the gaps are. If you live in any of those gapped out areas, then it might be better to consider a different provider.
Overall, Mint Mobile will offer you pretty decent speed and coverage with their service. After all, it is a budget provider, but the service is by no means poor.
A quick recap
Okay, let’s review.
Mint Mobile is an MVNO that leases network access from the T-Mobile network. This allows them to provide you with a budget-friendly service that is still solid.
Downsides to this model include T-Mobile customer prioritization, and only GSM-unlocked devices being supported.
You still get decent coverage and reliable data speeds despite those downsides.
If you’re still hungry for more, then give our full Mint Mobile review a look and answer more of your burning questions.