When it comes to mobile live streaming (as only we know), data transfer is the number one concern in a crowded field of number one concerns. Here at Pixel Reboot are MGU needs a cellular provider who can not only deliver the bandwidth necessary to down-link two class-A games at the same time while streaming multiple camera feeds, video and audio sources. We need reliably at a cost that won’t drain our meager war chest. We found the perfect match in the cute little animated green Super Hero know as Mint Mobile.
We found our perfect match in one of the newest cellular service providers to hit the market: Mint Mobile, owned by everyone’s favorite Free Guy Ryan Reynolds. Mint is technically a mobile virtual network operator, or MVNO, operating over the T-Mobile network. But this little-known cellular service provider could hold the secret to affordable remote live-streaming not just for us, but for any professional gamer/influencer/creator/auteur with big dreams and a little up-front cash.
In the beginning we tried several other CSPs who will remain unnamed, and those of you who were around during those first months might remember more than a few streams ending abruptly when the pre-purchased data cards ran out. Our biggest challenge bifar was finding a sustainable plan: An 8-gig card cost us over $300 and barely lasted a weekend. It made sense for us that a long-term contract would provide the best value.
The night of Discovery
Then late one night Havoc was in his lair browsing YouTube videos, and happened to catch an ad for this hip, new cellular company called Mint Mobile. Beneath the cutsie, toothpaste motif, Mint’s bulk data plans seemed unintentionally tailored to suit our voracious needs. Each plan’s monthly calculated cost decreases depending on the length of your commitment—and baby were we ready to commit.
By locking down one year’s worth of data we end up paying significantly(!) less than any comparable plan offered by Mint’s competitors. Our current plan gives us four 15-gig data cards totaling 60 gigs per month for a fraction (a fraction!) of what we were paying under our previous scheme.
When you consider the savings, the up-front payment structure is ideal for small businesses, entrepreneurs and performers able to make a one-year commitment for the most cost-effective plan. With little more than a cellphone you can take your show anywhere covered by the T-Mobile network—with a small caveat.
Looking at Mint Mobiles services map
We can only conclude that for whatever reason, Ryan Reynolds hates Nebraska. What did you do, Nebraska? (jk– Mint probably just doesn’t have service agreements with T-Mobile’s partners there, unfortunately.)
For our purposes, Mint Mobile’s service has been nothing but rock solid. We’ve experienced a fair amount of stutters and stream dropping on other networks. Mint gives us a stable connection at 100 Mb download/ 35 Mb upload speeds—more than enough for us to stream top-tier games. Like Warframe, Apex Legends, Lost Ark. Sometimes we discuss Leisure Suit Larry III: Passionate Patty in Pursuit of the Pulsating Pectorals. While some guy does skateboard tricks.
Support services have been frustration-free thus far.
They mostly involved an instant messaging system that was quick to respond to our questions. There appeared to be an actual person on the other end of the chat, not some AI bot. (Ed. Note: I for one welcome our AI chatbot overlords.)
The MGU’s specialized cellular receiver was not eligible for Mint’s unlimited data plan. But cellphone users can have unlimited access to T-Mobile’s superior 5G network for just $30 a month. Like with all “unlimited” plans offered by any CSP, Mint throttles connection speeds when a subscriber surpasses 35 gigs of data in a month. This is why a combination of fixed data plans might be better suited for data-heavy streams such as ours.
It should be noted that we haven’t received a single cent or perk from Mint Mobile for this review (unless you want to…), but we’ve had enough personal experience in the field to confidently recommend Mint to other professional live-streamers—whether they stream from their home office, a trail in the woods, or the center of the world—Times Square.
See you there!