In my search for the best mobile deal (for the needs I have) I’m now trying Solavei with my Nexus 4. My main phone is still my Lumia 920 on AT&T. I first set up my secondary cell phone, the nexus 4, with the great T-Mobile $30/month (unlimited data (cap at 5g, no hotspot), unlimited text, 100 minutes per month) plan, and the 100 minutes plus no official hotspot was just too restrictive. I didn’t feel like messing with Google Voice, so the next best candidate seemed Solavei’s $50/month (unlimited data (cap at 4g, includes hotspot), unlimited text, unlimited minutes). Solavei uses T-Mobile’s network, which works well for me, but there was a big hurdle before I tried it: Is this a scam?!?
Solavei: Great deal, or a pyramid scheme?
My first concern was it had the smell of a pyramid scheme about it: Clearly it was a multilevel marketing set-up. BUT, it isn’t a pyramid scheme because there is an actual service, and that was the key for me. Even if I totally ignored the whole “rope in your friends” thing, it felt like a good deal, as long as the service lives up to its billing.
If I ever do refer 3 people to get $20 off per month then yay, great, but even if that never happens it feels like a great deal, especially because hotspot is included. You have to pay $15/month on t-mo to get their hotspot working (at least officially), and that just felt like too much. Even their new $70 totally unlimited pay-per-month plan, while having no throttling limit, does NOT include hotspot. So, enter Solavei.
Does the service work?
I just got my sim card today, and there were some good things and some bad things in my set-up process. The first bad thing: their activation page was “down for maintenance” when I tried to use it. Uh ohhhhh, not a good start! But, about an hour later it was up and running, and activation after that was a breeze.
Everything seems to be running fine, and my data speeds are close if not the same as my native t-mobile speeds, so that was a big concern relieved! The only remaining minus: I couldn’t send pics via MMS! I could receive, but not send them.
Over on their support site there’s a prominent message acknowledging the issue, and from reading the topics it looks like this issue has been going on for over a week. Worrisome sign #2! BUT, after doing my own research I found a solution that worked great for me, so everything is humming along, and I’m ready to go. (If anyone is reading this and is having MMS issues on Solavei still, let me know and I can go into details on what fixed it for me!)
Morale of the story: Solavei is worth checking out if you want a low cost plan that includes mobile hotspot, BUT be ready for a bit of troubleshooting and/or patience if you do. I’ll keep updating with my ongoing experiences with them.
If after a couple months things are still going well I might try to get a few friends to check it out, but not until I’m sure it’s stable for me. But, if anyone wants to dive in, and use me as their reference, feel free to click the bold ‘Trying out Solavei’ section header at the top to get more info, or click here to actually start the enrollment process with me as your referrer.