QLink Wireless: Services, Plans, Eligibility & More

QLink Wireless is a wireless service provider that offers free and discounted no-contract cell phone service to qualifying low-income Americans. The company was founded in 1996 and is based in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. QLink focuses on providing wireless service to the Lifeline Assistance program, which is part of the Universal Service Fund and subsidized by the federal government to provide discounts on phone service. The Lifeline program helps make communications services more affordable for low-income consumers.

QLink Wireless provides subsidized and free cell phone service, free minutes, texts, and data to eligible customers. They offer a selection of basic phones and smartphones with plans that include a monthly allotment of talk minutes, texts, and data. According to their website, QLink has over 1.7 million subscribers nationwide. The company services all 50 states including Puerto Rico and the District of Columbia.

Eligibility Requirements

To qualify for QLink Wireless services, customers must meet certain eligibility requirements related to income thresholds, participation in government assistance programs, and family size. According to the QLink Wireless website, “Lifeline Phone Program Eligibility”, eligibility varies by state but generally falls into one of two categories:

Income Thresholds: Your household income must be at or below 135% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines. For example, for a family of 4 in the lower 48 states, the income threshold would be $36,620.

Government Assistance Programs: You can qualify if you or someone in your household participates in certain government assistance programs like Medicaid, SNAP, SSI, Federal Public Housing Assistance, Veterans Pension or Survivors Benefit, Tribal Programs, or Lifeline. The specific qualifying programs vary by state.

Family Size: Your family size also determines the income thresholds. Larger families can qualify at higher income levels. The government assistance programs you participate in can also depend on number of dependents.

To check eligibility requirements specific to your state, you can use the eligibility pre-check tool on the QLink Wireless website. This will help you determine if you meet the criteria based on your location, income, household size, and participation in government programs.

Coverage Area

QLink Wireless provides coverage across all 50 U.S. states, with a focus on urban and suburban areas. According to their coverage map, QLink uses the T-Mobile network to deliver service in most regions. This provides access to T-Mobile’s 5G and LTE networks, covering over 99% of Americans.

While coverage extends nationwide, it appears most robust in heavily populated metro areas and along major interstate highways. Rural areas, small towns, and more remote locations may have limited connectivity. QLink states their coverage focuses on the 99% of Americans located in urban and suburban regions. Before signing up, you can enter your zip code on their website to view the coverage map and confirm if your area is included.

Overall, QLink provides reliable nationwide coverage focused on major metropolitan and suburban regions across the country. Those in rural locales may experience limited connectivity. Check their coverage map to confirm your area is included.



Where can I check the coverage in my area?

Bring Your Own Phone

QLink Wireless allows customers to bring their own compatible phone to use on their network rather than requiring a specific device. This is known as BYOP or “Bring Your Own Phone.” To activate a used or existing phone on QLink, there are a few key steps.

First, it’s important to make sure your device is compatible with QLink’s network. According to the QLink Wireless website, most unlocked GSM devices will work [1]. However, certain LTE bands may be required for the fastest speeds, so be sure to check the LTE band compatibility. The QLink blog also has a list of some popular compatible devices like various iPhone, Samsung Galaxy, LG and Motorola models [2].

Once you have a compatible device, you’ll need to activate it on the QLink network. This involves contacting QLink customer support and providing the IMEI number of your phone. They will then provision your existing phone number and SIM card to work on the QLink network [2]. You may need to get a replacement QLink SIM card shipped to you for free.

BYOP allows you to keep your existing phone number when you transition to QLink for service. It’s an excellent option if you already have a compatible device and want to avoid buying a totally new phone.

Phone Selection

Q Link Wireless offers a variety of free phone options for eligible customers, including both smartphones and basic phones (Qlink 2022b). On the smartphone side, Q Link carries popular models from brands like Apple, Samsung, LG, and ZTE. As of November 2022, free smartphone choices include the iPhone SE, Samsung Galaxy A03s, and LG K31 Rebel among others (Qlink 2022b). These phones run on 4G LTE networks.

For customers who don’t need an advanced smartphone, Q Link also offers basic flip phones and bar phones. Options here include the LG Journey and Kyocera Cadence (Qlink 2022a). These basic phones provide calling and texting capabilities on 3G networks. They have user-friendly interfaces, long battery life, and durability.

All phones offered by Q Link Wireless are provided free of charge with an eligible service plan. Customers simply need to choose the device that best fits their needs and usage. Q Link aims to make modern communication accessible by offering both smartphone and basic phone choices.

Data Plans

QLink offers several data plan options depending on your usage needs. Their monthly smartphone data plans include:

  • 1GB high-speed data for $0 per month (https://qlinkwireless.com/hotspot-plans)
  • 3GB high-speed data for $20 per month
  • Unlimited talk, text, and data for $20 per month with speeds reduced after 1GB (https://qlinkwireless.com/members/cart/quickpurchase.aspx)

You can also purchase data add-ons if you need additional high-speed data during your billing cycle:

  • 1GB for $25 (https://qlinkwireless.com/customer/shop/topups/minutes-data)
  • 3GB for $35

For mobile hotspot usage, QLink offers the following standalone hotspot data plans:

  • 2GB high-speed data for $0.99/month or $9.99/year (https://qlinkwireless.com/hotspot-plans)
  • 6GB high-speed data for $36.99/month

The maximum LTE download speeds range from 5-12Mbps depending on your location. Upload speeds max out at 2Mbps. Streaming video is limited to 480p resolution.

Messaging and Minutes

Q Link Wireless offers plans with unlimited text messaging to any mobile number in the U.S. Customers can send and receive unlimited texts without worrying about going over a limit (Q Link Wireless).

The plans also include a set number of monthly voice minutes that can be used for calls within the U.S. The basic Lifeline plan includes 1000 nationwide talk minutes. Upgrades are available that offer more minutes, such as the 1500 minute or unlimited minute plans (Q Link Wireless Enrollment).

For international calling, rates start at 1¢ per minute to Canada and 7¢ per minute to Mexico and China. International calling bundles are available starting at $5 for 100 minutes to over 80 countries (Q Link Wireless). So Q Link does provide options for affordable international calling to stay connected overseas.

Customer Service

Q Link Wireless offers several ways to contact their customer service team. Customers can call 1-855-754-6543 or dial 611 from their Q Link phone for free support. The call center is open 24/7. There is also an online chat portal on their website that is available during business hours from 9am-6pm ET Monday through Friday.

For in-person support, Q Link Wireless has over 60 authorized retail locations across the United States. Customers can visit a store to activate a new line of service, get help with their phone, or make account changes. Locations can be found using the store locator tool on their website.

Account management is easy through the Q Link Wireless website or mobile app. Customers can check data usage, make payments, change plans, and more. Support articles and FAQs are also available online to help customers troubleshoot issues and optimize their wireless service.

Additional Services

Qlink Wireless offers various additional services beyond just talk, text, and data. Some of the key additional services include:


Voicemail is included for free with all Qlink Wireless plans. Customers can access and manage voicemail by dialing *86 from their Qlink phone or calling their phone number and pressing * when prompted [1]. Voicemail helps customers stay connected by letting them retrieve messages when a call is missed.

411 Directory Assistance

Qlink Wireless offers 411 Directory Assistance to help customers find phone numbers, businesses, addresses and more. 411 calls are $1.75 per call [2]. Directory assistance provides a helpful way for Qlink users to get information.

Other Features

Qlink Wireless has additional features like call waiting, caller ID, call forwarding, and more. Customers can manage these phone features by dialing designated access codes [1]. These extra phone capabilities help improve the calling experience.

Pros and Cons of QLink Wireless

One of the biggest benefits of QLink Wireless is that it provides free cell phone service for qualifying low-income individuals and families. As reported on the QLink Wireless website, to be eligible you must participate in certain government assistance programs like SNAP, Medicaid, or SSI [1]. This makes it very accessible for those who can’t otherwise afford cell phone service.

QLink offers both a Bring Your Own Phone option if you already have a compatible device, as well as various discounted Android smartphones you can purchase through their site [2]. Their plans include unlimited talk and text, voicemail, nationwide coverage, and up to 1GB of monthly data.

One potential drawback mentioned in customer reviews is QLink’s customer service. While they provide customer support channels like live chat, phone, and online ticketing, some customers have complained of long wait times and unhelpful experiences trying to get issues resolved [3]. Additionally, their free service only includes 1GB of high-speed data per month, after which speeds are throttled, so heavier mobile data users may want to consider other low-cost options.

Overall, QLink Wireless does provide an invaluable service for low-income individuals who need access to a cell phone and service they might not otherwise be able to afford. However, some aspects like data limits and customer service could be improved.

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