Solavei is one of the newer providers in the ever-growing field of MVNOs providing prepaid service. For $49 per month, Solavei gives you unlimited talk and text and 4 GB of high-speed 4G data, after which 2G throttling occurs. And of course there’s no contract. Mobile service contracts are bad, and I wouldn’t recommend them to anybody. The 4 GB data allotment is higher than most other providers in the industry at a very similar price point. But that’s where things really get interesting.
At a glance
- Partner Network(s): T-Mobile
- Package Details: Unlimited voice, text, and data (data limited to 4 GB/month of high-speed 4G data, after which 2G throttling occurs)
- Monthly Fee: $49
- Sign-up Fee: $9 for the SIM card
- Perks: Referral program (see below)
The Solavei Difference
$49 per month is cheaper than what you’re likely paying if you’re still on a postpaid plan, but if $49 for unlimited talk, text, and 4 GB of high-speed 4G data wasn’t a good enough deal for you, Solavei has a unique twist: they pay you for using Solavei’s service. More accurately, you get paid for referring their service. It’s a basic referral program as with most other products, but unlike other referral programs, the payout isn’t limited to a one-time disbursement. Solavei will pay you every month for your referrals (more details on this program below).
Now, before you read any further, because I’ve had this question a lot, let me state right now that Solavei is real. Solavei is not a scam. You can completely ignore the referral program (Solavei calls it their “compensation plan”) and still use them as your wireless service provider with no difference in service.
I signed up with Solavei during their initial public launch, and while the company has experienced a few growing pains, they’re consistently making improvements to their member resources and making it easier to join by lowering the barrier to entry. They frequently add new tools and advice on how to be successful in sharing Solavei with others.
Solavei is able to pay their members because they don’t spend money on their own marketing. They believe in the power of social marketing – that is, people like you and me – to bring other people to the service. Obviously, the more customers Solavei has, the more money they have, and the more money they have, the more they can pay the people doing the work to sell their product.
Solavei’s Compensation Plan
If $49 per month is enough for you, and you have no interest in trying to share and refer others to Solavei, that’s perfectly fine. You can skip this section entirely. If you’d like to make a supplemental income from a simple referral program, however, continue reading this section for an explanation of Solavei’s pay structure.
Solavei’s pay structure consists of Trio Pay, Path Pay, and a Fast Action Bonus (FAB).
Solavei has a concept of “Trios” — a set of 3 unique referred subscribers — and each Trio you have results in a monthly stipend to you, the referrer. In other words, if you sign up 3 people with your referral link, you receive $20/month for as long as that Trio is active. Trio benefits cascade two levels upward to your sponsor (referrer), so when you fulfill a Trio and earn $20/month, so does your sponsor. This payment is called “Trio Pay”.
Fast Action Bonus
For the first 60 days of your service, Solavei will pay one-time bonuses for each completed Trio known as a Fast Action Bonus (“FAB”). For each completed Trio (up to 4, for a total of 12 people) you directly enroll during your FAB period, you receive an additional $50 one-time payment.
Solavei’s final form of payment is the “Path Pay”. As your Personal Network (the sum of your Direct Network referrals plus your Extended Network [second level referrals]) expands, Solavei will pay you an additional monthly tier-based bonus.
Path Pay begins with your fourth qualified Trio. If your network grows large enough to warrant an increase in your tier rank (see image to the right), in addition to the Trio Pay and the Path Pay, you get an additional one-time Path Bonus. At your 12th qualified Trio, you get a one-time bonus of $500 in addition to the normal Trio Pay and Path Pay.
The 40% Rule
There is a small limitation when it comes to Path Pay, and Solavei calls it the “40% Rule”: No more than 40% of the total network Trios required to advance to the next rank can come from a single individual in your direct network. It’s a simple rule, and it keeps things balanced to everyone just in case you stumble upon a wildly successful social marketer with massive social influence, and they grow an unbelievably-sized network. If they’re in your Trio, but the other two people making up that Trio either choose not to sell Solavei to others or they’re simply not as successful, only 40% of that person’s Trios are counted toward your Extended Trios for the purposes of determining Path Pay. While this sounds artificially limited, you can still earn a massive income based solely on your rockstar recruit’s efforts.
Let’s look at an example.
In this example, let’s assume Friend1, Friend2, and Friend3 are all in the same Direct Trio. Friend4 is not in a completed Trio. How much would you make each month?
- Fast Action Bonus: If Friend1, Friend2, and Friend3 were all recruited in the first 60 days of your membership, you earn a one-time payment of $50.
- Trio Pay: Friend1, Friend2, and Friend3 make up a single Trio. If this is your only Trio, you earn $20/month. However, you also have 52 Trios paying you from Friend1, 4 Trios paying you from Friend2, and 3 Trios paying you from Friend3, for a total of 60 Trios in your Personal Network. Friend4’s 1 Trio does not count toward your Personal Trios because they are not in a completed Trio. 60 * $20 = $1200/month.
- Path Pay: In this example, you have 12 Trios in your Personal Network (1 Direct, 11 second-level Trios). This qualifies you as a Social Connector, earning you a Path Pay of $200/month. If this is your first payment at this level, you also earn a one-time payment of $500.
- Total One-Time Pay: $550
- Total Monthly Pay: $1220
This example is not very typical, but it was chosen explicitly to demonstrate the different rules of Solavei’s Compensation Plan. You can read all the details of Solavei’s Compensation Plan along with their Compensation Disclosure Statement on their website.
Conclusion: You get what you put into it, but even at zero effort, it’s a good choice
So is Solavei worth the effort? I vote yes. I don’t personally go out of my way to actively recruit people because I have a day job and other responsibilities – not the least of which includes running this blog – and as a result, it’s not a huge form of income for me. However, I’m in contact with other Solavei members who put forth significantly more effort and they make considerably more, including a select few who make an unbelievable $1000+ per month! In the worst-case, you get no referrals, and you still pay less per month than you would from a traditional postpaid plan. It’s still a win.
Full Disclosure: I am not a Solavei employee. I am a Solavei Social Member since September 2012.