Optimum Mobile Review 2022

Optimum Mobile struggles when it comes to pricing, but it may work well for specific customers

Optimum
Optimum Mobile
2.5 out of 5 stars
2.5
  • con
    Price: $14–$60/mo.
  • pro
    Great network
  • pro
    Discounts for bundling with internet service
  • con
    Pricier than other T-Mobile MVNOs
Easton Smith
Mobile, TV, & Moving Expert
Read More
February 10, 2022
6 min read

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We’re not going to sugar-coat it: Optimum Mobile (formerly Altice Mobile) is not the best cell phone carrier out there. There’s really only one decent plan that it offers (the $45 Unlimited Everything Plan), and that plan is only available to existing Optimum cable TV or internet customers.

Whether you’re an existing customer or not, if you’re considering Optimum Mobile, then you should probably read this review first.

Is Optimum Mobile right for you?

As you can probably tell from our introduction, we’re not thrilled by Optimum Mobile overall. But, that said, there may be a select few customers who fit right into the company’s niche market.

Optimum Mobile is an MVNO that used to be called Altice Mobile, and the company is still owned by Altice USA.

What’s an MVNO?
Light Bulb

Mobile virtual network operators (MVNOs) are cell phone companies that use another carrier’s cellular network to provide service. MVNOs tend to be cheaper than standard carriers, but they also have slower data speeds and fewer perks.

All of Altice USA’s services (internet, cable, landline telephone, and mobile) are based in just three states: New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut. If you live outside of the company’s service area in these states, you can’t get on Optimum Mobile, even if you want to.

If you do live in these areas, you can sign up for Optimum Mobile, but it’s really only a good deal price-wise if you’re also signed up for another Optimum service.

So, the long story short is: existing Optimum internet and TV customers may find Optimum’s cell phone service to be a good deal. Everyone else should skip it.

pro
Pros
pro Great 5G nationwide coverage
pro Discounts for bundling with internet service
con
Cons
con Pricey for an MVNO
con Only available to customers in three states

We recommend the Unlimited Everything Plan

Optimum Mobile’s best cell phone plan is definitely the Unlimited Everything Plan for existing customers. It gives you unlimited talk and text, plus 20 GB of full-speed data and unlimited data at slower speeds.

This plan gives you access to all of Optimum’s Wi-Fi hotspots, so you can get super fast internet speeds without sacrificing your limited data (when you’re in the right area). It also allows you to use your phone as a mobile hotspot device.

Optimum’s Unlimited Everything Plan for existing customers

At $45, this plan isn’t as cheap as we’d like it to be. But it’s still a lot cheaper than Optimum’s $60 unlimited plan for those who aren’t already customers.

Optimum Mobile cell phone plans

Optimum’s offers three different plans: 1 GB, 3 GB, and Unlimited Everything. Each plan has a “normal” price and then a discounted price for existing customers. You can see these prices in the chart below.

Optimum Mobile cell phone plans

All three of Optimum’s plans come with unlimited talk and text. And all of them will get you access to T-Mobile’s 4G LTE and 5G networks (we’ll talk about this network more below).

Even on the highest tier plan (Unlimited Everything), your data speeds will take a huge dip after you hit your data cap. You’ll have a hard time streaming video, using your mobile hotspot, playing games, and even playing your favorite podcast on Spotify after you reach your high-speed data limit.

Even when you’re using your high-speed data, your video streaming will be throttled to 480p. This is pretty standard for MVNO carriers to do, but we still don’t like it, especially when you’re already paying so much for just 20 GB of high-speed data.

What’s with this $20 fee?
Bullhorn

As if Optimum didn’t have enough problems, there’s a $20 fee for every new line you add to your account. Why? We don’t know. They call it an “activation fee.” Whatever that means.

How does Optimum Mobile compare to other cell phone plans?

Here’s a little breakdown of how the best T-Mobile MVNOs compare to Optimum Mobile.

Optimum Mobile comparison chart

As you can see, Optimum is not only the most expensive carrier out of these six (even with an existing customer discount), but it also offers the least amount of full speed data. So you get less for more.

Optimum Mobile family cell phone plans

One of the best ways to get more bang for your buck with your cell phone plan is to add new lines for your family members. Family plans often come with amazing price-per-line savings, extra perks, and the ease of merging multiple bills into one.

Unfortunately, Optimum Mobile doesn’t have much to offer in this department. Maybe the company had a family plan deal back when it was still called Altice Mobile, but right now it offers no cost savings or perks for adding additional lines.

Info Box
Use the Altice One app to stream entertainment on your phone.

If you also have internet or TV service through Optimum online, you can use the Altice One app to stream entertainment anywhere you have a cell phone signal. That’s one small perk of bundling your multiple services together.

As you can see in this chart, the price of an Unlimited Everything Plan with four lines (for existing customers) is $180 a month. That’s exactly the same as it would be if you had four separate lines at $45.

Optimum Mobile family plans

Fortunately, if you’re looking for an affordable and powerful family plan, there are plenty of other carriers that are willing to help you out. You can see some of our favorites in the next section.

How does Optimum Mobile compare to other family plans?

To give you an idea of just how expensive Optimum is, we’ve compiled some of the very best family plans in the chart below. All of them—including plans from premium carriers like T-Mobile, AT&T, and Verizon—are cheaper than Optimum.

Family plan comparison chart

You can save a full $80 a month by choosing Visible Wireless over Optimum. Or you can save $75 and get onto T-Mobile’s network directly through the company. In short, there’s really no reason to choose an Optimum family plan when the alternatives are so much better.

Optimum Mobile coverage

Although you have to live in certain parts of New York, New Jersey, or Connecticut to sign up for Optimum Mobile, the carrier does have nationwide cell phone coverage. Optimum uses T-Mobile’s network, and you can see an accurate coverage map right here.

T-Mobile (Optimum Mobile) coverage map

T-Mobile’s nationwide coverage is really great in most metropolitan areas, though there are some gaps in rural areas. It makes up for these gaps by having the best download speeds and most robust 5G network in the country.

Want to get more from the T-Mobile network?
Megaphone

Did you know that you can also get T-Mobile home internet? This service uses T-Mobile’s fast 5G network to provide high-speed internet to all of your home devices. Pretty cool, eh?

Optimum’s customers should be relatively happy with their coverage, although their data speeds may be slowed down at certain times due to data deprioritization. This means that, when T-Mobile’s network is busy, Optimum users may find it hard to stream high-quality video, play games, or do other high-demand activities through the network.

Optimum Mobile cell phones and devices

The best time to score a great price on a new phone is when you’re signing up for a new plan. You can take advantage of all kinds of promo deals and limited time offers. So, what are Optimum’s cell phone deals like?

Here’s a look at the prices for three most popular devices that the carrier is selling right now.

Optimum’s prices are not particularly great, especially when you compare them to buy-one-get-one deals and free phone offers that major carriers like Verizon and T-Mobile sometimes offer. But, Optimum’s prices aren’t necessarily inflated, either.

Optimum Mobile customer service

It’s not really a secret that cell phone companies are actually kind of terrible at picking up their own phones. Optimum Mobile certainly doesn’t do much to buck that trend. In fact, Altice it is one of the lowest ranked companies in latest Telecommunications Study from the American Customer Satisfaction Index.1

You could spend hours reading complaints on online forums from frustrated Optimum Mobile customers. People often mention getting incomplete or false information about pricing and service. It really isn’t a great look.

Recap: Is Optimum Mobile a good mobile provider?

We try to stay positive in our reviews. But that doesn’t mean we won’t tell hard truths when it’s necessary.

One hard truth is that Optimum Mobile just isn’t that great. It may work well for a select group of people who want to combine their internet and cell phone services in a single bill, but even those people could probably find a better deal elsewhere.

For those who want a quick recap of this review, here’s the play-by-play.

  • Cell phone plans: Optimum offers three different plans with 1-20 GB of data. The prices are cheaper for existing Optimum/Altice customers, but they're still too high to be appealing to most customers.
  • Family cell phone plans: There’s not much to say about Optimum’s family plans besides this: they’re too expensive and don’t offer anything special.
  • Cell phones and devices: You can get a new phone when you sign up with Optimum, like an Apple iPhone or a Samsung Galaxy. The prices are nothing to write home about, but they aren’t outrageous either.
  • Customer service: Feedback from Optimum customers is definitely more in the “needs improvement” category than the “satisfactory” category.

Methodology

We used a number of resources to inform this Optimum Mobile review, including online customer reviews, price comparison tools, proprietary mobile speed data from over 100,000 customers, and third-party evaluators.

Ultimately, we ranked this cell phone carrier based on the following criteria:

  1. Pricing
  2. Data speeds (upload and download)
  3. Perks and promotional deals
  4. Network coverage
  5. Customer service

Thank you for trusting us. We hope that we’ve helped you find the perfect phone plan.

Sources

  1. American Customer Satisfaction Index, “Telecommunications Study 2020-2021
Easton Smith
Written by
Easton Smith
Easton has worked as a freelance writer and researcher for several years, reviewing health, lifestyle, and technology products. He has probably read more Terms of Use contracts than any human alive. When he’s not sitting in front of a computer, Easton spends his time camping, climbing, and volunteering with humanitarian aid organizations.

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