What Is a Cellular Digital Community Operator, or MVNO?

What are some benefits of MVNOs?

Some carriers might include perks like partnerships with media distribution, such as free streaming services and the like. But we’ve asked our readers and viewers, and they tell us that while those add-ons are fun, they often aren’t the features that convince the folks in our comments to stay with the carrier, change their plan, or switch carriers.
Responding to consumer interests, the MVNO game has gotten more aggressive on price and flexibility, no-contract plans, prepaid plans, bring your own phone (BYOD) instead of leasing a phone, and lower prices for metered data instead of unlimited plans. And even some of those unlimited plans are getting really wallet friendly.
As a personal tangent over the last year, I haven’t been traveling, so I switched to a metered plan on my MVNO. That saved us a lot of money since we were mostly using Wi-Fi rather than mobile data. Now that I’m through both of my shots, though, I’m looking to venture out a little more, so we might need to revise that data plan. This is possible because of the contractual freedom offered by MVNOs.
You can take advantage of that too. Let’s say you eventually want to sign on a family plan with a Big Three carrier. You can test drive their networks really inexpensively and without signing your life away if you know which network an MVNO leases time on (again, check out those articles I listed above to see which carriers are on which network).
I’m on a prepaid plan that mostly piggybacks on T-Mobile’s network. Now I’ve got a really good idea of how T-Mobile delivers service in my neighborhood, if I ever choose to sign directly with them.
Better still because an MVNO is a front-end service, many of these carriers will lease time on multiple networks. You can often bring a phone from any other carrier, and it will probably be supported. And if you move to a different area where one MNO has stronger service, you might be able to swap out your phone for a model that better supports that other network without changing who you do business with.

Google Nest Mini vs. Amazon Echo Dot

The Echo Dot has a radical new design with its 4th generation. Instead of the traditional hockey puck look, it’s now a ball with a flat, rubber bottom to keep it from sliding.
However, it keeps its four physical buttons on top for volume up, volume down, microphone mute, and the action button to activate Alexa without having to say the wake word. On the back, you’re going to find a power port with a 3.5 millimeter auxiliary jack to connect this to an external speaker or to a better sound system.
Another new change with the Echo Dot 4 is that the action light has been moved from the top of the device, to the bottom of the device. So depending on its location, that might be a good or bad thing, but I’ll talk about that in a minute.
So the Google Next Mini looks a bit dated now. But I guess that’s to be expected, because this device did come out in 2019. It has a much cleaner look with no visible buttons. Instead, it has touch sensors under the fabric.
This is for volume up, volume down, and you can tap on the middle to play and pause music. You can also mute the mic with a physical button on the back. Also, there is a hole on the bottom of the device so you can hang this on a wall if you wanted to.
Now, unlike the Echo Dot, this device does not have a 3.5 millimeter jack. But you can connect both devices to external speakers through Bluetooth.
Now, I want to circle back to the action lights on both of these devices. Now when I initially saw that they moved the light to the bottom of the Echo Dot, I was concerned that you weren’t really going to be able to see that light at all. But, in fact, it was quite the opposite. The light now reflects off the surface, making it actually even brighter and easier to see than it was before.
Now, the Next Mini, on the other hand, actually has the lights underneath the fabric. So, from a distance, if you were trying to talk to this speaker, it’s going to be hard to see if those lights are on, and it’s actually listening to you.