The HTC One S is one of a trio of phones sold by Solavei.
Solavei, the mobile virtual network operator founded by former Motricity CEO Ryan Wuerch, launched today with a $49 unlimited voice, text and data plan. The MVNO, which rides on T-Mobile's GSM network, said it has more than 25,000 customers who will promote the service to their friends, family and colleagues and earn cash in the process.
Solavei customers must pay a $49 startup fee and then $49 per month for service. They can use their existing unlocked GSM smartphones or purchase a new unsubsidized device from the company. Those devices include the HTC One S, HTC Wildfire or ZTE Origin, which range in price from $160 to $500.
Solavei's business model calls for the company to reduce customer care costs and customer acquisition costs by not paying for phone subsidies and instead paying customers to sell the service to their friends. Because the company relies on customers to sign up other customers, Solavei will pay each customer $20 for each "trio" or three customers that they sign up. Customers will also get paid when the people they sign up then sign up others.
Besides Wuerch, Solavei has a high-profile board of advisors including David Limp, vice president of Amazon; John Miller, chief digital officer at News Corp.; and Sue Nokes, the former COO of T-Mobile USA.
Solavei is one of a slew of new MVNOs launching on T-Mobile's network. Earlier this month UltraMobile, which is offering prepaid unlimited talk and text and 1 GB of high-speed data for $49 per month, also announced it was preparing to launch on T-Mobile's network.
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