What is Fonus? Is it worth it?
What does Fonus offer?
Fonus Mobile is a relatively new and up & coming MVNO (mobile virtual network provider). It offers a single plan at US$30 per month, instead of the various different plans and add-ons you would usually see at other carriers.
This plan comes with unlimited data (with throttled speeds after 20GB), unlimited calls & texts to over 50 countries globally, and roaming at no extra cost in the US, Canada and Mexico. The plan is prepaid and contract-free, and renews automatically every month until the subscription is canceled.
What networks does Fonus use?
Like all MVNOs, Fonus operates on the infrastructure of existing networks. In Fonus’ case, that network is AT&T in the US. In Canada, Fonus provides service on all major networks, including Rogers, Bell, Telus, as well as regional providers such as Freedom, Videotron, and Sasktel. In Mexico, Fonus works exclusively on AT&T Mexico’s network (previously lusacell or Nextel Mexico).
How does it work?
We ordered a Fonus SIM directly from their website, and received it in 3 days (which is within the advertised shipment time frame of 2 to 6 business days). The activation process was smooth, we were able to choose a local Canadian number right after activation. Their chat support team was also very responsive and helpful, and are available 24/7. This was a much better experience than many of the other MVNOs we’ve had to deal with in Canada (such as Public Mobile, which does not provide any support at all, and instead relies on user-run forums to assist customers).
Then, we had to install the APN profile, which took about 2-3 minutes, and then off we went, data was working flawlessly! We immediately got connected to Rogers’ LTE network, and a speedtest showed speeds of over 200Mbps.
As for calling and texting, we had to download and install the Fonus app, as it is a VoIP service. This is the only part of the service that we weren’t big fans of, as call quality on VoIP is usually inferior to normal cellular calls. Though we must say that call quality on the Fonus app was noticeably better than other VoIP apps that we’ve grown accustomed to.
The advantage of the VoIP service is that it allows you to call over 50 countries worldwide, and will work wherever you are in the world, provided you have an Internet connection (through Wi-Fi or cellular data).
Is it worth it?
All in all, Fonus offers a very compelling phone plan at a low price point that will satisfy the needs of most users. With 20GB of high speed data and unlimited data afterwards at 3G speeds, unlimited calls & texts to over 50 countries, and roaming at no extra cost across North America, the Fonus plan is a bargain at US$30 when compared to other offerings on the market. We highly recommend this service, especially if you don’t mind the few downsides of using VoIP for calling.