Oct 23 AT 6:30 PM Taylor Wimberly 98 Comments

A closer look at Solavei, aka the pre-paid wireless service that pays you to refer your friends


If you are reading this blog, then you are probably a nerd. Smartphones are now mainstream, but only a small percentage of those people who own them actually visit the tech blogs on a daily basis. And if you are a nerd, then I’m guessing that your family and friends come to you when they have a technical question, or they want your free advice about their next tech purchase.

Being a nerd is a fun hobby, but it normally doesn’t earn you money on a regular basis. In fact, your tech obsession might actually put a strain on your monthly budget if you are an early adopter and you buy new gadgets several times a year. Wouldn’t it be cool then if your passion for smartphones could actually put cash back in your wallet?

Enter Solavei, the new mobile virtual network operator (MVNO) that runs on T-Mobile’s network. They offer pre-paid wireless service for $49 per month, which includes unlimited talk, text, and 4G HSPA+ data. What makes them really unique is that they follow a social commerce strategy that pays their members to refer other users.

Even if you don’t refer a single user, the $49 unlimited plan is better than most pre-paid options. Straight Talk and Simple Mobile both have “unlimited” plans for $45-50, but they don’t have a defined data policy and they could throttle you at any time if they think you abuse their service. Solavei gives you 4 GB of data per month, and then you are throttled if you exceed that.

Solavei becomes really attractive if you can get three people to sign up (they call this a Trio). A single Trio pays you $20 per month, which brings your wireless cost down to $29 per month. Earn two Trios (refer 6 people), and your monthly wireless service would only cost $9 per month. And so forth.

I’ve been a Solavei member since before they launched last month, so I’ve got to experience a full billing cycle now. No one else in the tech blogosphere is really reporting on Solavei, and I’m getting a lot of questions on it, so I figured I would detail my experience from the last couple months. Read on for the full details.

Who Should Join Solavei?

Anyone can join Solavei and try it without any long term commitments or contracts, but there are certain groups of people that I think the service appeals to. This includes people who already own compatible phones, and those that are out of contract and looking for a new wireless carrier.

  • T-Mobile customers: Solavei runs on T-Mobile’s network, so these customers already own phones that are compatible. They can order a Solavei SIM card and place it in their device to try the service.
  • AT&T customers (coming soon): T-Mobile is currently upgrading their network to support 4G HSPA+ on the 1900 MHz band, which means their network will support AT&T and global devices at full 4G HSPA+ speeds. T-Mobile plans to upgrade their Top 50 markets by the end of the year. When these go live, AT&T customers can unlock their devices and bring them over to Solavei.
  • Nexus owners: Nexus phones that are sold through the Google Play store are unlocked and work on AT&T or T-Mobile’s network. These are great devices for pre-paid wireless.
  • Customers currently off-contract: Anyone off-contract and purchase an unlocked phone and order a Solavei SIM card. Solavei also sells several phones like the HTC One S, so you can purchase your device from them if you choose.

Solavei sells phones from HTC and other manufacturers.

The Enrollment Process

Solavei requires that new members have a sponsor to sign up for service. If you don’t have a sponsor, then Solavei will automatically assign one to you. When you enroll you can either port your current number over or get a new number from Solavei. I use Google Voice to route all my calls, so I got a new Solavei number and forwarded it to my Google number.

New member charges include:

  • $49 activation fee
  • $49 first month fee
  • $29 SIM card fee (fee is waived if you purchase a phone from Solavei)

After you sign up, it takes 3-5 business days to receive your activation kit, but it may arrive sooner. If you ordered a SIM card and decided to bring your own phone, the activation process is pretty simple. All you have to do is visit the Solavei activation site and enter your SIM card number, then it automatically downloads the APN settings to your Android phone.

The Member Portal

After you enroll in Solavei and create your account, you gain access to the Solavei member portal. This site contains a mini social network for Solavei members, provides support for devices, lets you track your network, and manage account activities. The social network part is a great tool if you have basic questions for other members, but the support site can answer most of your detailed questions about the Solavei program or device support.

The member portal also includes their Outreach Manager that will let you invite other people to the service. There are a lot of helpful tools that let you send videos and invitations to potential members and then see who responds and enrolls in service.

When others enroll and join your network, you can track their progress from the portal. It will show all your Trios, the members that others enroll, and the amount you have earned during a billing cycle.

Overall the member portal is pretty decent for only having launched a couple months ago. They continue to add new features and the experience is getting better with each update.

The Android App

Most of the features found in the desktop portal site are also available in an official Android app. It’s nothing too special, but at least it allows you quick access to your account while you are on the go. I encourage you to check out the Google Play Store reviews for other’s comments on the service.


The Four Types of Compensation

When I first signed up for Solavei I knew you got paid to refer other people, but I didn’t know exactly how it worked. I understood the concept of gaining a Trio (signing up 3 people), but I didn’t realize there were multiple ways to get paid. Solavei offers two monthly sources of income (Trio Pay and Path Pay) and two limited bonuses (Fast Action Bonus and Path Bonus). At first glance, it might appear you could make some decent money, but the reality is it’s going to take a lot of hard work before you really start earning.

1. Fast Action Bonus (FAB)

Solavei offers all members a 60-day incentive program that starts upon their enrollment. It provides members an immediate bonus of up to $650 for members they directly sign up. Bonus payments include $50 for 4 Trios.

Payment structure is as follows:

  • Pays $50 for 1st Trio
  • Pays an additional $50 for 2nd Trio
  • Pays an additional $50 for 3rd Trio
  • Pays an additional $50 for 4th Trio
  • Maxes out at $200 bonus for 4 Trios

Not everyone is going to get their full Fast Action Bonus, but every little bit helps. It can help you pay your early termination fee is you had to cancel a carrier contract to switch, or you can put the money towards a new unlocked phone.

2. Trio Pay

Trio Pay earns you $20 per month for every Trio in your Personal Network. The Trio Pay is unlimited in amount and can be built continually, but your Personal Network only goes two levels deep. That means you get credit for your Trios and the Trios of people you directly sign up, but anything deeper than two levels does not count towards Trio Pay.

3. Path Pay

Solavei’s Path Pay and Path Bonuses could add up, but only if you refer tons of people.

Path Pay is the way to get credit for Trios outside of your personal network. As members move up in rank, they receive a monthly Path Pay that is based on the total number of Trios in their network. Each level has a minimum number of Trios in your Personal Network, and then a larger number of Trios for your extended network.

4. One-time Path Bonus

Finally you have the Path Bonus, which is a one-time payment for every time you enter a new Path Band. Signing up 12 Trios could earn you a bonus of $500, netting 100 Trios (300 people!) would earn you $2000, and so on. The highest level of Path Bonus is $20k, but that would require signing up over 6000 people.

My Earnings

To date, I have earned $0 from Solavei. This month I enrolled 17 people, so I have some earnings on the way next month. If my math is correct I should have earned $650 Fast Action Bonus, $100 Trio Pay, and $50 Path Pay. I would consider that a decent payment, but most of it is a one-time bonus.

My regular monthly earnings going forward should be around $150, but I’m still paying Solavei $49 every month for my wireless service. That means my total earnings for using Solavei could be around $100 a month, which is not bad when you consider I was paying Verizon almost $100 per month earlier this year.

The PayCard

Every member gets a Solavei PayCard.

When you enroll with Solavei, they send you a Visa debit card (this might be part of the $49 activation free). On months that you have earnings, Solavei will deposit them to your PayCard. It works like any debit card and you can use the funds on whatever you want. Like I said above, I have yet to actually receive any earnings, so I’ll update this section of the post with my experiences when that has changed.

What if Solavei goes under?

Several years ago there were an endless number of mobile virtual network operators. Everyone from Disney to ESPN had their own wireless service, but most of them went out of business. Recently we have seen another wave of new MVNOs enter the market, and it appears they are here to stay.

Most MVNOs now offer monthly pre-paid plans that are cheaper than any post-paid plan from a carrier. The selection of unlocked devices has also improved, so you can now get the latest devices without having to sign a carrier contract.

Solavei has an experienced leadership team, so I don’t think they are going away anytime soon. Subscribers have an incentive to stick with the company, and I think their customer base will continue to grow as more people learn about the service.

At best, Solavei sticks around and becomes the most popular pre-paid service. If you enroll early and sign up some other members, then you earn a little extra on the side. At worst, they go away in a couple of years and you can switch to any other pre-paid service (and bring your phone with you) since you are not under any contract.

Wrapping Things Up

Regular readers of the site know that I’m a huge fan of pre-paid wireless service. I have been testing Straight Talk and Simple Mobile, but I think I prefer Solavei since they have a more clearly defined data policy. I’m currently using the Samsung Galaxy S III on Solavei, but I plan to get the Nexus 4 when it comes out. T-Mobile’s network offers the fastest 4G HSPA+ download speeds, and I think it’s the best match for a Nexus phone if you live in a metro area.

I know our audience is smart, so I would encourage you to go research Solavei before signing up. This month they are offering a special promotion that waives the first month fee and SIM card fee (a savings of $78), but they are likely to have other promotions in the future if you miss out. Given the nature of their compensation system, it will benefit you more if you sign up sooner rather than later.

If you have any further questions about the service, just leave a comment below and I’ll do my best to answer your questions. For those that want to go ahead and try out the service, here is a referral link.

Full Disclosure

As if it wasn’t already obvious, if you click my referral link and enroll in Solavei service, then I will become your sponsor and get credit for signing you up. I would be honored to be your sponsor and help you enroll other people, but I don’t want to force anyone to sign up. Do your own homework and read the compensation disclosure statement below.

  • The examples we use to describe or explain the Plan, whether on the Solavei.com web site, in videos or oral presentations, or anywhere else, are only for illustration.  They are not representative of the income, if any, that a new Social Member may earn.
  • Solavei makes no guarantee or projection of any Social Member’s potential earnings.
  • Any discussion by a Social Member about the Plan, his or her own compensation, or the amount a potential Social Member can earn under the Plan, is misleading and should be disregarded, unless it is accompanied by a written or electronic copy of this CDS.
  • Success as a Social Member depends entirely on the hard work, diligence, leadership, business sense, timing, good fortune, and other attributes and circumstances of each particular Social Member.

Compensation Disclosure Statement (pdf)

Source: Solavei (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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  • austin

    My question is do they usethe wifi calling since they are on TMobile? With out that i wouldn’t be able to use my phone at home. Delaware is nit a betray pace for Tmobile at all. But where i live No cell company has service that is one reason i have tmobile.

    • Joshua

      Use google voice and groove ip… then you’ll have a standard number regardless of if you swap carriers and wifi calling through the same number

    • http://androidandme.com Taylor Wimberly

      No, they do not support T-Mobile’s WiFi calling app, but you can use other VOIP apps like Groove IP to make calls over WiFi networks.

  • humanios

    Thanks for this, I’ve been curious about it ever since it was mentioned. I’m currently with T-mobile prepaid and have been juggling whether I should try Straight Talk or Solavei. Provided it saves me some cash and I receive the same service it sounds like a great alternative.

    • http://androidandme.com Taylor Wimberly

      Only major advantage to Straight Talk is they allow you to choose AT&T’s or T-Mobile’s network. Considering you have a T-Mobile compatible device and live in a T-Mobile service area, you will get faster HSPA+ speeds on T-Mobile’s network.

      • humanios

        I considered Straight Talk quite a bit. I’m currently using a AT&T Skyrocket but flash Tmobile radios and using CM10 with TMobile. The price is more than $50 currently and they throttle after 2gigs as you know. Yourself or anyone else have any recommendations as to which network has solid speeds/reliability in Bay Area California? HSPA+ doesnt seem to be much faster in South Bay too much :/

        • Phred

          I had AT&T for years, but the monthly bill was a bit high, I tried Solavei, but in My area the 4G hype for the T Moblie service did not exhist, rarely found 3G. I was misled that I could use my AT&T phone and it would work only for vioce no text or Data. Then I went to Straight talk got a cheap android phone at Walmart and it worked fine except I did not like the touch screen keyboard, and ordered a Blackberry. I had some trouble getting it working as the Balckberry they shipped me has no SIM card, but I finally got it working and it was fine 3G always until I went about 60 or 70 miles south of my home and no service at all. What I found out was the android phone was GSM on AT&T and the Blackberry was CDMA on Verison. You have to know what coverage you will get in the areas you frequent. The $45 unlimited for a Smart Phone on Straight Talk or Track Phone is the best bet on the GSM net work (AT&T) Solavei was a hastle always trying to get me to sell the deal to others.

  • www.phonewbie.com

    hey, why are you calling me a nerd? lol

  • Sean Livingston

    Taylor, that is excellent bro. I follow your blog quite a bit, even though I don’t always make comments. Your honesty throughout the entire article is awesome man. Excellent job. I am currently a galaxy nexus owner on verizon’s network and I plan to retire them at the new year, or as soon as I have the money, and buy the LG Nexus 4. I will probably let you be my sponsor, and would love the help to sponsor other people. Even if they don’t stick around, at least I’ve only been paying 49.00 a month. Thanks for the great review on their service, I greatly appreciate it.

  • Ardrid

    I have serious reservations about signing up for this service knowing that the major selling point revolves around a pyramid scheme. Yes, the basic service fee is comparable to other MVNOs, but I just don’t have much faith that this one is going to last with their present business plan. It doesn’t help that their CEO was sued for securities fraud related to Motricity, his former mobile services outfit.

    Think I’ll stick with T-Mobile or Red Pocket for my MVNO choice at this point.

    • Douglas Hill

      I was registered with Solavei before they went public and planned on moving my lines over. After seeing there marketing material I decided to pass for this same reason. Not only is it a pyramid scheme, the emails were quite slimy.

      • Patrick

        It’s not a pyramid, it’s MLM, only two levels deep,

    • http://androidandme.com Taylor Wimberly

      I did my research on the Motricity scandal, and it didn’t look like an issue for this new company. You can read the CEO’s response on his site: http://ryanwuerch.com/about-motricity/

  • Jorge Eslava

    So I get that the FAB an the one time path bonus payments are only one time payments but do the trio pay and path pay add up? I’m about to switch my line and my wife’s to republic wireless but this also looks tempting.

    • http://androidandme.com Taylor Wimberly

      Not sure what you mean by your question. Yes, all four types of earnings are added up each month. The FAB is only offered during the first 60 days, and the Path bonus is only offered when you increase your rank to a new level.

      • Jorge Eslava

        I just read my post and I can see how it doesn’t make much sense. I read the article again and figured it out.

  • Xallies

    This is the real deal guys. I just subscribed under some one under Taylor and I have worked super hard to get the 6 trios i currently have. I super recommend this. Please feel free to check out my link solavei.com/miami

  • Antony Williams

    I wish I could get this rate ($49/mo) from T-Mobile. I don’t want anything to do with a pyramid scheme, and I definitely don’t want to be signed up for a debit card!
    Why won’t they let me just pay the $49 without this other referral nonsense!

    • Xallies

      Tony you dont need to refer any one. If you want to make some extra money u could do so if u wish.

    • GreatDay

      When you sign up, you can just select the option for “mobile service only”. You do not need to select the option that allows you to sell the “mobile service” to others. If you want to sell the service to others, Solavei needs your social security number (IRS requirement). If you want the “mobile service only” option because you have no interest in referring anyone, then you do NOT need to give them your social security number.

    • John Hunnam

      Antony, who would pay for T-Mobiles advertising if they gave you the deal for $49? If you would like a better rate then you should buy from the company with the cheapest distribution costs. It’s a very simple equation…you are buying from the seller with the highest costs, so you pay the highest price.

    • Mark Hunter

      You can pay your $49 monthly & that’s it. You’ll have awesome mobile service & you can bring your own T-Mobile phone & Your current phone #. Join at Solavei.com/MARKHUNTER

  • josegb2011

    im currently on verizon had a galaxy nexus until i dropped it on the toilet( no i was not doing what you are thinking) and i am planning to move on from verizon pay the etf and buy the lg nexus and go to t-mobile $30 pre-paid plan but i dont see solavei being better than this deal besides the pyramid effect they have going on..which makes me feel a bit unsure..

  • Antony Williams

    Can you explain customer support? Is there even a number to call if you get disconnected, or have a payment issue?

    • http://androidandme.com Taylor Wimberly

      Like other pre-paid service providers, they offer phone support for account issues. There is also live online support for device setup and other questions. I have experienced no issues, so I haven’t used the phone support yet. I browsed through their online docs for phone support, and they are surprisingly helpful and detailed.

    • GreatDay

      Customer Service is absolutely over-the-top amazing. They are still green & have a lot to learn but you get to talk with a capable, helpful and committed person on the other end of the line. I’ve had an AT&T mobile phone since 1994 and I would say that the caliber of the Solavei Customer Service Reps the same as the AT&T managers (3-4 levels higher than the AT&T Customer Service Reps). I only talked with one Solavei Customer Service Rep that was “average”– all the others have been some of the best CSRs that I have talked to in years (from any company). No joke.

      Since it’s a new company, the reps are still learning so sometimes it takes a little longer on the phone because they may have to look up the answer. But, they don’t just guess (pull answers out of the air), like a lot of CSRs have a bad habit of doing.

      There are a bunch of videos at http://www.Vimeo.com (just type in Solavei in the search field).

      • Lynn

        Customer service is now below gutter level now. At some point during 2013 it was out sourced. Updates to the tmobile system were suppose to be released via the service. Ah… didn’t happen, can’t update via USB connection… service is worse than having none.

  • Ugh

    Encouraging your readers to join a shady pyramid scheme just so you can make a few bucks? How utterly unprofessional. Imagining a post like this on The Verge, Droid-Life or Android Central is bizarre. This is the last time I use this blog as a source when writing about Android, out of principle.

    • http://androidandme.com Taylor Wimberly

      It’s not a pyramid scheme and I don’t believe it to be a shady business. As you said, not many sites have covered the launch, so that’s why I felt it was important to report on it and share my experiences. The bizarre thing is you using an anonymous name and phony IP to hide your identity.

      • Ardrid

        Taylor, let’s at least be honest about it. If you want to be politically correct you can call it multi level marketing, but it’s a pyramid scheme. 1-3-9-27-84: list each number as an individual, sequentially stack them from top to bottom, and you get a triangle shape, otherwise known as a pyramid.


        • http://androidandme.com Taylor Wimberly

          The phrase “pyramid scheme” typically refers to something that is a fraud. Solavei is a legitimate business that sells actual products and services.

        • DROID Sam

          Also, most pyramid schemes have infinite levels. This service only pays out two levels deep. I guess you could call is a two-step scheme.

          But that’s besides the point. I’m thinking about joining simply for the service and if I switch my wife’s line and got a few family members to sign up, I’ll be saving $50 and I’m already getting a steal with T-Mobile’s even more plus plan.

          • Tim C.

            You are also leaving out the fact that in a “true” pyramid scheme, the person joining directly under someone can never really make more money than the person directly above them. With Solavei I could join up, sign up only 1 person, that person signs up 50 people and they would make more than me if all I ever had was that 1 person because they(Solavei) implemented the “rule of 40″ into their compensation plan which gives a lot more credibility to their business model. Just my 2 cents…

        • Thomas Jones

          Your job is a pyramid scheme

      • Ben

        Well said Taylor.

  • Zach Green

    I’ve been looking for a prepaid carrier for awhile now. However, I have a signal booster in my house that, to my knowledge, only works for att. I assume that it is because of the frequency that att uses. Could I use solavei with my antennae?

  • NexusNYC

    Nice pitch Taylor! More than likely you will be my sponsor when Nexus 4 comes out! Come on Monday!!

  • J Reap

    Hey guys… If you think that you cannot get the great benifits without Doing the trio pay and things.. You can just be an avager mobile user for $49.00. The Social Member is just a benifit… I am a part of the Solavei Team.. So let me tell ya it isn’t a pryamid scheme, It called Social Marketing, Yes it might sound shady, but trust me …. Its 100% legit

  • awundrin

    What a nice write-up. You did an excellent job explaining. Solvaei sounds great! It’s a unique concept that seems worth looking into if you are thinking of switching carriers and think you have friends you can convince to sign up.

  • Antony Williams

    to:J Reap.
    If you’re on the Solavei Team, tell me why they won’t let you sign up at a non-social member.
    I want unlimited voice/sms and 4GB of 4G data for $49/mo. But I don’t want to be involved in whwat you call social marketing. And I DO NOT want a Solavei debit card.
    Why can’t you offer a separate signup for people who JUST WANT THE PLAN!

    • http://androidandme.com Taylor Wimberly

      Anyone can get the $49 plan with no contract. You don’t have to participate in the whole referral program if you don’t want to.

    • Jose Rojas Gonzalez

      to: Antony

      You indeed have the option to sign up as a Mobile User only. So just join for the $49 service that Taylor describes.

      When you enroll, it is your choice to choose the Solavei PayCard or not. It is at this point that you may choose to accept the terms and conditions of the social commerce side.

      This gives you the ability and not any obligation to share this with your friends and family.

      • Antony Williams

        Hmm… I wish the article had stated that. Are you sure? Taylor hints that the paycard is required, and that my only option would be to simply not use it, or sign anyone up under me. He doesn’t state that you can actually choose to not be a social member, and not receive the card.

  • That Guy

    You are getting unlimited t-mobile service and the added benefit of extra money if you sign other people up.

    My question is….

    How long is the port process?

    • LaNsLyDe

      Port process has been ducky for my mom. She had cricket. Its been about 36 hours so far, cricket said they released the number and solavei talked with cricket…it needs to hurry up tho!

    • Thomas Jones

      3-5 mind for me

  • Bryan

    I have a family plan (4 lines) right now that I am thinking of moving (away from Sprint). If I sign up myself and then create 3 more accounts for the rest of my family, is that considered a Trio for myself? Can you only build Trios from people that have different billing info?

    • DROID Sam

      It should count as a trio as long as each account is in a different name from yours.

    • GreatDay

      Yes, you can get three phones for your family members and that will be considered a “Trio”. You will be paid $20 per month per Trio. If you sign up 12 people in your first 60 days, you will receive a $650 bonus. I’ve only been a member for about 20 days and I’ve signed up 18 people (and I already received my $650 bonus).

  • Jorge Eslava

    Do all trios count towards the fast action bonus or is it only the direct ones?

  • JadoJodo

    It is incredibly disappointing that my previous comment was not approved, given the serious discussion it brought up. My hopes were that it would spur a dialogue and perhaps an informed response from Taylor. As this has not happened, and my concerns have simply been “swept under the rug”, I will no longer be frequenting this site, and I will do my very best to inform others of the same.

  • Amit

    Just like ‘humanois’ said, I was also very curious about Solavei, when I heard about it. I’m in the U.K, it would totally blow up like crazy here, I would ensure that hehe. Hope it comes to the U.K soon.

  • Zarani Barrow

    I like this a lot. I’ll probably move to prepaid in the near future. Is there any word on if Solavei or someone else will offer a data only package for $25-30? Maybe their contract with T-mobile doesn’t allow them to separate the services.

  • t

    Sounds a lot like Giff Gaff in the UK which is, oddly enough, offering far better rates and products than the host network (o2).

    Unlimited data for £5 per month, no problem. And it’s actually unlimited.

  • LaNsLyDe

    Wanted to move to pre-paid anyway, now is a good time since i got the sim card fee waived. Let’s see how this turns out.

  • JS_215

    Multi level marketing scheme. Yeah they pay you 20 bucks but they also make 130 from the 3 people you referred…So they are only taking a 20 dollar hit a month, which probably means nothing at all to them.

    It’s cool, but still.

    • Rick

      Actually Solavei pays out $20 to the person who signed that trio and another $20 to the person who signed that person as well as path pay to a number of people in the network and fast start bonuses too. The bottom line is payout is equal to $75 for every $150 taken in and constitutes their advertizing budget no differently then the other big three cell phone companies. You think all those billboards, commercials, stores, employees are free? And last NO scheme, everyone is getting what they are paying for and being compensated for what they are doing. A scheme is Social Security TRUST FUND and I would be willing to bet you don’t fight paying into that or post comments about it being a scheme, yet if any of us managed a trust fund like that one is being done we would go straight to jail. Solavei is just a better way of doing things. I am glad some one is taking initiative to change what is wrong with the way everything is done in America, waiting on the leaders is futile.

      [email protected]

  • Rick

    I think this article was very complete and honest and I really appreciate you talking about the 4GB then throttle back as I feel Solavei is a bit deceptive about that. It’s okay to say “unlimited talk/text/data on 4G network” but it leads you to believe it’s unlimited 4G data. Only other thing you didn’t include is the “local license fee” and taxes. My bill with Solavei is $59.13 after $4.45 “local license fee” and $5.68 in taxes. The fee includes a disclaimer that it is a fee they “CHOOSE” to collect but “are not required by law” to collect. So truthfully service is $49+$4.45+tax. I wish they weren’t doing that but still they are offering their advertising budget to the members instead of wasting it on ad campaigns and marketing firms, a nice change. I was on Simple Mobile $40 unlimited plan and hooked up at least a hundred of my friends and family and Simple Mobile never gave me so much as a thank you. I do that on Solavei and it will be over $1,000.00 a month residual income. That is pretty sweet change. They have much to work out in the process of building a company with this business model, but to call it a “pyramid scheme” is a far cry from truth. Social security is a “pyramid scheme”, there is nothing being sold or created, it is a segregated trust account that has been robbed blind and mismanaged and the only reason trust account holders who reach “retirement” age get checks is because others pay in who will never get anything. Solavei members all pay $49 ($59.13) and get 1 month of talk/text/data, then the half of that revenue that would have/could have been spent on advertising is instead given to the members who recruit other members. This is just a better way of doing things not a scheme. I last want to ad that the pay card (Solavei Visa Debit card) is in no way required to be a “service member” only a “social member” if you just want service sign up for service and pay your bill end of story. It is still a pretty good deal at $59.13 for unlimited talk/text and data (1st 4GB being 4G) and so far service has been as good as Simple Mobile or T-Mobile ever was in last 10 years and now they pay me.

    [email protected]

  • Kieron Quinn

    In Soviet Russia, carrier pay you!

  • Amme

    I am trying to join but every password I try keeps rejecting it.

  • Ardrid

    Thinking about giving Solavei a try when I get my Nexus 4. I was going to go with T-Mobile’s Monthly4G $30 plan but I don’t think I can swing 100 minutes. The next best plan after that is the $60 plan. Solavei’s plan is $11 less and has a larger allotment for data. Considering that they’re waiving the activation fee and SIM card fee until 11/31, I figure I might as well give it a shot. I’m going to be strictly a service member though; Solavei has no business having my SSN and I don’t want their debit card. Quick question for anyone who knows: does the $49 fee include taxes and fees like other MVNOs?

    • Jaime

      According to Rick (a couple of comment posts above you), there IS in fact taxes and it adds up to be $59.13 a month:
      “Only other thing you didn’t include is the “local license fee” and taxes. My bill with Solavei is $59.13 after $4.45 “local license fee” and $5.68 in taxes. The fee includes a disclaimer that it is a fee they “CHOOSE” to collect but “are not required by law” to collect. So truthfully service is $49+$4.45+tax.”

      Also if you really want to stick with Tmo’s $30/mo plan, why not just port your phone number to Google Voice and use the GrooVe IP app to make VoIP phone calls? That way you won’t use any of your minutes as long as you have a data connection. :)

      • GreatDay

        That’s interesting. I just signed up a few weeks ago so I haven’t received my bill yet but many others that i know have said their bills are $54, $55, or $56. I haven’t heard of anyone with a bill like $59. I’ll do some investigation & report back.

      • Ardrid

        I don’t want to screw around with forwarding calls to and from my main number. Groove IP is primarily used for outgoing calls; the majority of the minutes I use come from incoming calls.

        As an aside, I just ordered my SIM card with Solavei for my Nexus 4. I selected Taylor as my sponsor after the fact (didn’t use a referral link). I’d rather he get credit, since I read about Solavei on Android and Me, than some random stranger.

  • Alistair

    I also found out from a reliable source at their HQ that their whole business plan was thoroughly check by the FTC/federal government. Which makes sense because the whole cell phone industry and communications is governed by them. You can’t do something like this not check it against the FTC.. Also they have been taking out patents, patenting their business plan and other future parts of it to protect their business. So they are making steps to create a lasting brand. They will also be launching in Europe next Spring and globally soon after. And they will be getting into the cable industry, utilities, and other product lines. The cell phone product line is only the beginning. So this is a really great time to get in on Solavei and what it has to offer. Ultimately to save money, whether one wants to build an income or not.

  • Sebastian

    How to setup your Nexus 4 with Solavei or get a sim card ahead of time

  • teesand66

    Solavei is Legit and going viral. I have the service and love it. Best decision I made in YEARS! Taylor, your article is very informative, honest and exactly in line with my experience so far (since 9/21). I wish you the best of luck and will be tuning into your blog going forward.

  • Andy Leon

    i found this great article on checking phone compatibility using GSMArena before buying a phone for Solavei network. Solavei’s IMEI checker is useful if you have the phone present, but what happens when you don’t have it in your hand and are looking to buy a phone but aren’t sure if it will work with Solavei? http://www.lyfewin.com had an article a week ago about checking compability before buying phones online. just remember, Solavei runs 850mhz and 1700mhz. by end of year, tmobile’s network would had been upgrade to be compatible with at&t phones. Huge plus for Solavei member! :)

  • Chris


  • Mari

    Pyramid??? If you would like to know a real pyramid – look at the corporate set up with only guys at the top making big bucks and your chances zero to nil! This commerce networking is the way of the future changing the work a day paradigm in favor of a member of the masses who has the guts and ingenuity to work for himself – go Taylor! Your onto something! People helping people and everyone getting a piece of the pie is a the most ethical way to earn a living – who subscribes to your site, Man? Republicans asking Mommy and Daddy for college money?

  • Dave

    Let me just wrap this up for everyone. Almost 30 years I have been in the wireless industry. Carriers and MVNO’s both consult with me before releasing a new plan or service for advice. The payouts that Solavei is offerring does not make any sense. There is no way they can pay that much and make any money. It seems to me like they are Circulating and Re-Circulating funds that come in from referrals. And one day they will cash out via bank loans, lumps sums, or any of the other ways other MVNO’s have cashed out at the end and and the consumer will one day have no service, and in this case, a bad relationship with whoever referred them.

    At the end of the day, you, as a consumer is the one who gets screwed.

    Dont get me wrong though, there are reliable MVNO’s out there, like H2O, Simple Mobile, Pageplus, etc…..Net 10 and Ultra Mobile also seem pretty solid….to name a few……

    Just be careful with any type of referral, multi-level, or as people keep saying, social marketing……because the people you refer will come to you and complain to you when and if their phone service gets cutoff one day, and they lose thier business number that they have been using for more than 10 years.

  • One Voice Mobile

    Here is a really good review of the Nexus 4 on Solavei: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C9hT-DItJmA&feature=plcp

  • Lisa

    Well, I’m not getting too stirred up about all the social marketing hoop-la. I don’t market Verizon now, and I probably won’t market Solavei either. However, I am paying Verizon over $200 per month for two talk/text/data lines. When my contract is up, I will be happy to pay Solavei ~$110 per month for the same thing. I don’t have to market. I don’t have to give out my ss number. I don’t have to carry their debitcard. (which by the way is JUST like a prepaid gift visa card. Strange that people are worried about that!) But…what I WILL do is save $100 per month! And who really cares if they go under??? I am going to transfer my phone number to Solavei, and IF they don’t make it…well…I’ll transfer it again! Whoop-tee-doo. It is my personal opinion that the people who come up with these lame reasons not to switch to Solavei when out of contract, are the exact people who have an investiment in you NOT going to Solavei…just sayin :) Because Solavei offers no throttling until 4GB, it is clearly above all other no contract carriers for data users, and that’s just speaking strictly from a service perspective.

  • angiehoney

    What about the $150 to sign up to refer… explain that to me please Thanks

  • Robin Kay

    That $149 is the fee to refer IF you are not actually using the solavei mobile service. It’s called a Social Member Only situation. If you DO use the service, becoming a referrer is free to you.

  • Tim Lucas

    Sorry – this very day I tried to sign up a person that had a Galaxy s3 and Solavei told me that device WAS NOT compatible with their network. I now seriously question your honesty.

    • http://androidandme.com Taylor Wimberly

      What version of the GS3 was it? Carrier locked or global version?

  • Jason

    If I have T-mobile already, do I need to unlock phone for it to work with Solavei?

    • http://androidandme.com Taylor Wimberly

      You shouldn’t have to, but it’s still recommended. Some locked phones will not allow you to change APN settings, so you could have problems with picture messages (MMS).

  • Dierk Dubois

    One of the best reviews from solavei, It really explains what this company is all about.

    It help me with my decision to join solavei…1 month with their service…no complains at all.


    Thank you

  • Rena F

    Great article. I really enjoyed the comments, specifically the labeling our customer service as great. I’m also part of the solavei team and am currently commenting on My Solavei HTC One S.

  • Michael Shulman

    I signed up, not being swayed negatively by the direct selling part of things, although I am getting the local fee of $5 or so. Not sure what’s up with that, I’m going to try to figure that out.

    The reason I didn’t want to sign up to market it was that I don’t have enough confidence on how long the company will last. I mean, your customers all have to stay with this service forever to keep making money… I get that it could work for av while, but I don’t think I’m going to work so hard if I don’t know how long it’s going to last.

    See, market something more long term, that could work. I’m looking into something like that right now, actually, and it looks really promising. Electricity! I figure that we’ll all be using that for a really long time :-) Sell electricity at good rates, people sign up and stay signed up, seems like a wonderful idea.

    If anyone else wants to see something about it, or keep in touch with me as I explore it, so that they can decide if it’s something that might interest them, be my guest. You can find me on gTalk at michael.shulman3, and you can check out a 5 minute intro (that does it better than I can at this point!) at michaelshulman.energygoldrush.com

  • 1qutieND757

    I think I’d much rather be throttled at 4g then 1.5 with NET10, 2.0g with Simple mobile, 2.0 Red Pocket any day. I’m sure I don’t use over 2.5g per billing cycle according to my previous coverage with Sprint and my phone is definitely compatible already being an ATT Factory unlocked phone I checked my IMEI number and I’m going to be a customer come April 1st BYE BYE NET10

  • Michael Byars

    I see a lot of skeptical people on here about the service. I actually signed up through Taylor Wimberly after carefully looking into the whole thing. I would like to point out a few facts I learned about the whole system that actually make the whole thing come to light and not so unbelievable.

    It is not really a pyramid scheme. Pyramids pay forever down the line until its bloated and nothing is left for anyone, they eventually die because once core customers stop buying there services/products, its eventually all falls down. Most likely the original’s move onto a new pyramid.

    This does have a cap limit of two trios deep. Trios you directly sign up pay $20 per month. Trios that your direct signup’s recruit payout $10. Lets say you signed up 3 people and they signed up a set of 3 in there as well, You would receive $30 per month – however you and 6 other people (and any incomplete trios) are also paying $49. So you receive $30, the person you signed up that got a trio receives $20, leaving Solavei to pay out $50. However Solavei is receiving 7 x $49 = $343 (or more if there are uncompleted trios, in this case a maximum of 7 people only getting 2 signups which would be $686, grand totaling a possible $1029 in revenue for Solavei).

    If that doesn’t strike a bell, also remember that Solavei doesn’t advertise, on TV, magazines, radio, newspaper, or anything at all, they use the satisfied customers as advertising and pay them instead of wasting it on media advertising.

    Now take Verizon or AT&T, how many ad’s do you see from them? So many its normal, you don’t even think about walking past a huge billboard in the mall or seeing a commercial, or even something outrageously expensive like the Super Bowl. These guys spend MILLIONS, and where does that money come from? Us, the customers. We don’t get any credit for spreading the word or signing up.

    Take all that and think it really. I give these guys credit for the strides they are taking to make happy customers and use that power to advertise and pay back, its actually a genius idea.

    AND THERE IS NO LONGER A SIGNUP FEE. You pay for your $9 Sim and your first month of $49 and the service begins when you activate your phone. I ordered mine and its running strong now, with no extra fee’s. The service works great, the 4G is fast, and I am now a happy promoter. Hopefully I shed some light and please take a moment to sign up using my link, the worst that can happen is you don’t feel like doing heavy promoting and still get a great service at $49 a month.

  • Michael Byars

    Forgot the link lol -

  • Steve Braddock

    This is for real. I use it and love it. I would love to help someone get start with Solavei. I have an HTC One S cell phone I will sell for $250 when you sign up through: http://www.solavei.com/sbraddo

  • carolezoom

    Taylor, Does the sim/phone work in Europe or other countries? I have travels coming up. Not permanent, just couple of months.

  • Joseph

    Yes. Solavei is a social marketing and trade system that allows users to share, connect, and capitalize on the ability of social systems. Solavei’s mission would be to make marketing more affordable by empowering people to earn income to the services and products and services they enjoy and use everyday. Solavei’s original product offering is affordable, no-contract, infinite speech, text, and data services through the United States Of America.

  • Yolanda

    I signed up with the intention of just referring it to my friends, but the service is not even worth mentioning to my friends, who thinks that I am their personal tech gal. I have had T-Mobile on my current phone along with Simple Mobile before Solavei and my service is so bad it is crazy: 1. I can no longer talk and surf at the same time, 2. my phone rarely get 4G service!, 3. I no longer can receive picture messages and last but not least the service cost $58! I can pre-pay T-Mobile for $60 and get everything that is not working on Solavei. I have had a T-mobile sim card in my phone to verify that it is not my phone that is the problem. I tried reseting the MMS settings on my phone and was able to get MMS working for a day! now it is back to giving me errors on my MMS’s. Some of the free sms messages like Paypal msg won’t authenticate. I am having a hard time referring people to such crappy service.

  • Cara

    I see this post is relatively outdated. I am hoping your review of Solavei stands current? I am currently with AT&T and paying stupid money. Looking to save. I have the iPhone 4S and am no longer under contract –

    1) Any additional cons I need to be aware of since this review of Solavei?

    2) Data amount is 4GB – what is speed of data? AT&T boasts 4G and I like it – Is Solavei comparable?

    3) Any reviews from customers on using AT&T network since it wasn’t up and running yet at the time of your review.

    Thanks and looking forward to hearing from you!!

  • Robert

    This service is great, not only I am I a user but, I as well distribute this product as well. Want to learn more information or enroll visit http://www.pay4lesswireless.com

  • Robert

    The current information that is presnted on this blog is currently outdated. Please visit our site for updated information about Solavie/T-mobile service. $49 Unlimited No contract Talk-Text-Data 4G Nationwide oh and no contract! Now if you choose to spread the word then yes there is compensation. Who doesn’t want a free phone bill right! Visit our site today for updated info on Solavie/T-mobile phone service.

  • ag9812.

    Question about coverage & towers? Using http://opensignal.com and my zipcode,

    Network Overall Signal Download Reliability Towers
    AT&T 100% 4.2 6.67 Mbps 96.77% 0
    Verizon 90% 3 7.4 Mbps 92.73% 59
    Sprint 89% 3.8 4.22 Mbps 94.44% 6
    T-Mobile 50% 3.2 1.39 Mbps 91.18% 7

    Does T-Mobile have enough signal strength and coverage and towers?

    Why does AT&T have 0 towers?

  • C.Osman

    I just signed up. I could care less about the MLM crap; that’s not what I’m here for. I’m here because I’m sick of paying 75+ a month for AT&T service. 49 a month is just fine for me – I don’t even care about the 4G service, blah blah. I need a phone so my family can call and text me when they need to, and maybe to occasionally check social media. That’s it. No more than that. If there were a cheaper plan than this, I’d go for it, but this is the best thing I’ve seen yet.

    I don’t care about “making money”. I have a perfectly fine job that I’m really happy with. What I do care about is not getting gouged by the cellular carriers, which all of them seem to do.

    Will report in 3 months when my service needs to be renewed, but for 13 dollars a month (promo deal)? It’s a no-brainer just to try.

  • KDM

    Leaving Solavei. I gave it a good try and the benefit of the doubt, but after 9 months I have had it with the terrible coverage and the dropped calls. The speed was unreasonably slow (speedtest.net) and often calls took over 2 minutes to connect to the phone I was calling to. I was not in a remote or rural area, but in various areas of Phoenix. Nothing was reliable.

    • MG

      KDM- does T-Mobile not cover your area? I’m not sure if Solavei has been opened to the LTE network or if that would effect your coverage. 35orless.com is T-Mobile partner with access to the LTE network. LIVE Plan has Guarantees even more aggressive rates as well. NOT an MLM, if your into that though

  • OscarM

    Solavei does not stand out anymore since the introduction of the new solavei plans. I’ve been a member for over 9 months now and have no issues, I’m still saving money with them vs T-Mobile which I had prior to joining. I think they still have a good package though: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X8FSMa15HsA

  • Mark Hunter

    I’m a member of Solavei mobile service & I absolutely love Solavei & my BLU Studio 5.5S phone. I’m saving $30 off of my plan just referring Family / Friends & now I’ve started my own PrePaid Cellphone business at ATLTEKK.teamsolavei.com thanks to Solavei and YOU SHOULD TOO. Everyone pays a cellphone bill & you actually SAVE money with ATLTEKK.teamsolavei.com