Do you have an extra T-Mobile or unlocked phone laying around? Want to test out a new mobile virtual network operator (MVNO) that pays you to refer other customers? For the rest of the month, Solavei is offering a special promotion that makes it even easier to sign up by offering a free month of service.
Solavei is a pre-paid wireless service that operates on T-Mobile’s network. Anyone can sign up 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 family and friends. For every three people 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.
New members who enroll for mobile service by October 31st will receive their first month of mobile service for free, a savings of $49. If they bring their own phone, their SIM card is also free, a savings of $29. For BYOP members, that’s a total saving of $78. There is still a one-time activation fee of $49, but that is all you will pay to test out Solavei.
I’ve been using Solavei since it launched last month and I have been satisfied with the service so far. I’m using a T-Mobile Samsung Galaxy S III right now and I’m getting full 4G HSPA+ speeds. My downloads are around 10-15 Mbps and my uploads are 1-2 Mbps.
As I mentioned in my previous article 7 things you should know about pre-paid smartphone service, customer service can be hit or miss. Solavei has already reported that a couple hundred users experience problems with porting their existing numbers, which is why I always suggest moving your number to Google Voice and then forwarding whatever new number you are given.
My dad was one of the people who had issues activating his Solavei SIM card, and it took them over a week to resolve his issue. It is unacceptable that anyone should have to wait that long on a service issue, but Solavei has admitted that their customer support center was overwhelmed with calls and they are currently staffing up.
I’m still not ready to give Solavei a full recommendation, but this is a great chance to try it out if you are curious. If you have any questions about signing up or bringing your own phone, just leave a comment and I’ll do my best to answer them.