Mint Mobile is looking to keep its customers connected through the ongoing coronavirus pandemic with unlimited data. The offer is available now, as of March 15 and will remain in place through April 14. But it will work somewhat differently from other carriers. Because of how Mint Mobile is set up to work, the carrier is offering its data via an unlimited number of "free" high-speed data add-ons.
The process here is a bit more convoluted than is implied
Likely because it's driven by the current coronavirus outbreak, Mint Mobile's unlimited data offering here is available for both current and new customers. So it isn't limited to existing users on the network. But that doesn't mean it's necessarily as straightforward as other carriers. That's because Mint Mobile is set up in a way that gives 4G users data at cost and in increments.
That also means it comes with a reasonable caveat. For starters, users need to be at 95-percent of their current allotment to get the extra data for free. From there, they'll need to open up the Mint app and navigate to settings before tapping the "Buy more data" option. Mint Mobile presents two options. Either the $20 or $10 option can be selected.
That will add an additional 1GB or 3GB of 4G LTE data. That data will have to be purchased at the listed price on the proceeding checkout page. Once users purchase the data, Mint Mobile will send out a refund within the next 24 hours. That refund could be held up longer, depending on the user's bank.
Since that process can be repeated as needed until 11:59 pm on April 14, users effectively have access to as much data as they need. That's not quite the same thing as offering true "unlimited" data since users will still need that extra expendable cash to put toward data initially. But Mint Mobile's offering here seems reasonable with consideration for its size and the circumstances.
Mint joins a growing list of carriers offering free data in response to coronavirus fears
At least a couple of carriers are also shuttering their stores in response to COVID-19 and coronavirus. But Mint Mobile's decision here falls in line with some bigger competitors in the market. Nearly every major carrier in the US is offering some concessions to customers to address the increased communications that will be needed to encourage social distancing guidelines.
Each carrier is, for example, waiving overages and certain other fees to ensure customers don't lose connectivity. In particular, the service providers are working to ensure that inability to pay because of coronavirus — whether because of direct illness or inability to work — isn't cutting off communication.
But while companies such as Verizon, AT&T, and Sprint are offering to waive fees, T-Mobile took that a bit further. It was the first nationwide provider to offer unlimited data access to consumers for a period of 60 days from March 13. The much larger carrier is also working to offer up 20GB of high-speed hotspot data. That will let consumers keep other devices connected as well.