Sep 21 AT 4:29 PM Taylor Wimberly 59 Comments

What if your wireless carrier paid you to sign up new customers?


Today is the nationwide launch of Solavei, but I bet most of you have never heard of it. Solavei is a new mobile virtual network operator (MVNO) that operates on T-Mobile’s network and offers “unlimited” service for only $49 per month. There are hundreds of MVNO’s out there, but Solavei has some unique features that might get your attention. Read on to see why you should pay attention to Solavei.

What is Solavei?

Solavei is a pre-paid wireless service that anyone can sign up for without a contract or any commitments. The monthly fee is $49 which will get you unlimited talk, text, and 4 GB of data before you get throttled. It works pretty much like any other pre-paid service, with one major exception.

After you sign up for Solavei, you are given a referral link that you can share with your friends. For every three friends that sign up you get a Trio that earns you $20 per month. When your friends sign up other people, the number of Trios in your personal network will continue to grow.

That means that four Trios (12 people) would pay you $50 per month, which would cover your monthly service. If you are a social networker and have a ton of friends, the earnings could start to add up. Only 20 Trios would earn you $1k per month, but it you could somehow figure out how to sign up 2000 Trios then you could be making $20k per month. For more on how the payout works, check out their compensation details.

I have already seen people referring to Solavei as a pyramid scheme, but they have the full backing of T-Mobile and their leadership team includes plenty of former C-level executives from T-Mobile, Walmart, AT&T, Target, and other high-profile companies.

What phones work on Solavei?

Solavei sells a variety of Android phones off contract.

Solavei will work with any unlocked GSM phone or T-Mobile phone. They also sell their own their own Android phones if you are coming from another carrier and need a device. Unlocked AT&T phones will also work with Solavei, but you might be limited to 2G data speeds until T-Mobile starts offering 4G HSPA+ data on the 1900 MHz band later this year.

Would you recommend Solavei to a friend?

I was invited to try out Solavei during their beta test and I have been using it for several weeks now. They shipped me a SIM card in the mail and I popped it in a T-Mobile Samsung Galaxy S III. The setup was fairly simple and I had service within minutes of putting the SIM card in.

Some might wonder if you get T-Mobile’s fast 4G HSPA+ data speeds, and in my testing I have found the answer is yes. My download speeds are 10-15 Mbps and my uploads are 1-2 Mbps.

At this point I haven’t used the service for a full month, so I’m not ready to give my full endorsement just yet. However, I don’t really have any complaints to report. I’m already a supporter of pre-paid wireless service, so Solavei was attractive to me before I even used the service.

If you have never used pre-paid wireless before, you might want to wait awhile before switching over. But if you are thinking about pre-paid service from Solavei (or Straight Talk, Simple Mobile, etc.) then you should probably port your number to Google Voice. I did this months ago and it has made swapping devices and SIM cards a breeze.

Look for a follow-up post in a couple of months because I will continue to use Solavei on my daily device. If you have any questions, just leave a comment below.

What do you think about the concept of Solavei? Do you wish your wireless carrier paid you to refer your family and friends?

Source: Solavei (My referral link)

Taylor is the founder of Android and Me. He resides in Dallas and carries the Samsung Galaxy S 4 and HTC One as his daily devices. Ask him a question on Twitter or Google+ and he is likely to respond. | Ethics statement

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