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What Network Does Optimum Mobile Use?

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Although the vast majority of cell phone users in the United States have a plan with one of the Big Three carriers (AT&T, Verizon, and T-Mobile), smaller wireless providers called MVNOs like Optimum Mobile are gaining popularity—and for good reason. 

The big not-so-secret secret is that Optimum Mobile and other comparable MVNOs like Spectrum Mobile, Xfinity Mobile, and Cox Mobile rely on the infrastructure of the Big Three networks. More on MVNOs later. For now, we’ll cut to the chase because we know what you really want to find out is what network Optimum Mobile uses. The answer is simple: Optimum Mobile uses T-Mobile’s network.

What Towers Does Optimum Mobile Use — and Why?

Optimum Mobile uses T-Mobile’s towers to keep customers connected wherever they are with super-fast, nationwide 5G and 4G LTE coverage.

Building and maintaining mobile network infrastructure is incredibly expensive. By renting from T-Mobile’s network, Optimum Mobile can save on those operating costs and pass the savings on to customers by offering lower-priced plans. That’s the beauty of an MVNO. Short for mobile virtual network operator, an MVNO can provide the same great coverage as major carriers at reduced prices because they lease access to a major wireless carrier’s network instead of owning and operating their own. 

For budget-conscious consumers who don’t care about some of the extra bells and whistles offered by traditional wireless carriers, going with an MVNO can be a best-of-both-worlds solution. After all, T-Mobile’s 5G network is strong and growing. While the upside of MVNOs can be lower plan costs, there are some drawbacks depending on what you’re looking for in a phone plan. For example, with an MVNO, once you run out of premium data, your data speeds can be slowed. MVNOs also offer fewer perks. Meanwhile, the major carriers are known for including extras like streaming subscriptions, phone upgrade deals, and more.

One additional note: while it’s possible to get Optimum Mobile without Optimum home Internet, it’s not optimal (wordplay intended). That’s because if you’re not an Optimum Internet customer, you’ll have to pay an additional monthly fee on top of your cell phone plan price to use Optimum Mobile, which significantly increases the cost.

If you’re considering switching cell phone carriers, read on for everything you need to know about Optimum Mobile, including plans, price, coverage, and competitors. 

Want to quickly compare cell phone plans from top wireless carriers including the big three, plus MVNOs like Optimum Mobile? Check out our free, unbiased Plan Finder below. It sorts through thousands of plan options to help you find the best cell phone plans based on your criteria in seconds.

What Is Optimum Mobile?

Optimum Mobile is the mobile phone division of US-based Altice USA. Prior to 2019, Altice USA was primarily a provider of cable television and Internet services. In 2019, the company launched a mobile service branded as Altice Mobile, which has since rebranded to Optimum Mobile. Though they initially had an MVNO agreement with Sprint, Optimum Mobile has used T-Mobile’s network since Sprint was purchased by T-Mobile in 2020.

Is Optimum Mobile Good?

Basically, Optimum Mobile offers the same coverage as T-Mobile. Where T-Mobile has strong coverage, Optimum Mobile has strong coverage. Where T-Mobile coverage is spotty, Optimum Mobile coverage will be spotty. You get the picture. Essentially, you can expect the same nationwide coverage from Optimum Mobile that you get from T-Mobile. 

Refer to the Optimum Mobile coverage map to check for cell towers in your area, and be sure to ask nearby friends and neighbors with T-Mobile or Optimum Mobile if they are satisfied with their service.

Optimum Mobile Plans

Now let’s take a closer look at Optimum Mobile cell phone plans. Reminder: you must be an Optimum home Internet subscriber to enjoy the Optimum Mobile plan prices featured on Navi. You can become an Optimum Mobile customer if you don’t use their Internet service, but there’s a pretty sizable monthly surcharge to do so.

As is becoming more common among wireless carriers these days, Optimum Mobile phone plans do not require an annual contract. 

The entry-level Optimum Mobile plan, Optimum Mobile Unlimited, offers a decent amount of premium data and unlimited deprioritized data (translation: data that can be slowed down during busy times on the T-Mobile network). It also offers enough hotspot data to create a mobile hotspot around one or two times per week. 

If you have higher data needs, the Optimum Mobile Unlimited Max plan offers more than double the amount of premium data, plus more hotspot data. 

Optimum Mobile also offers two ultra-affordable capped data phone plans for users who don’t use much data at all. Their 1 GB and 3 GB plans offer just that — 1 GB or 3 GB per month, respectively. These plans also allow you to buy data top-ups for an additional fee, and they still offer unlimited talk and text, so they could be a great option for someone who doesn’t use much data or spends a lot of time using WiFi.

When it comes to phones compatible with Optimum Mobile, your options are as good as those of any carrier. Optimum Mobile works with the latest Apple iPhone models, including the iPhone 15 series, and the latest phones from Samsung, like the Galaxy S24 and the Galaxy Z Flip5. You can also BYOD (bring your own device to Optimum — you just have to make sure it’s compatible and install an Optimum Mobile SIM card.

Want to find the best deals on a new phone? Try our free, unbiased Phone Deal Finder. After you answer a few questions, including what phone model you’re looking for and what your current phone is, we’ll search thousands of phone deals and show you the best offers in a matter of seconds.

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The Bottom Line

Optimum Mobile uses T-Mobile’s network to provide mobile phone services to its customers at a more affordable price than major mobile carriers. Although their “unlimited” data plans come with an asterisk, most users find the allotment of premium data Optimum Mobile offers is more than enough for their day-to-day cell phone usage. And by leveraging T-Mobile’s network, Optimum Mobile can provide their customers with T-Mobile’s unmatched 5G coverage, too.

If you’re an Optimum Internet customer looking for an affordable, no-contract phone plan that utilizes the reliable T-Mobile network, Optimum Mobile may be a great choice for you. To quickly and easily compare cell phone plans from Optimum to other major wireless providers, use our free, unbiased Plan Finder.

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