A new MVNO launched this week targeting people of faith looking to contribute to their church through their wireless bills.
Faith Wireless offers five plans—branded as “Helpful,” “Devoted,” “Righteous,” “Virtuous” and “Blessed”—starting at $20 a month for feature phones and $36 a month for smartphones. Its high-end plan includes unlimited talk, text and 7 GB of data for $56 a month.
The company donates 10% of each customer’s payments to the subscriber’s church. Faith reportedly uses Sprint’s network, as do many other U.S. MVNOs.
Faith also sells nine handsets starting with the iPhone 6 for $210.67 and topping out with the iPhone 7 at $602.47, and activating the phones requires a $10 SIM card. The handsets are provided by Glyde, a vendor of used phones.
“We believe that the church is the most important part of every community,” Faith President and co-founder Ian Durant said in a press release announcing the launch. “Future sustainability and the ability to expand its missions are real concerns for churches. We’ve seen too many churches fall short of funding important outreach efforts in the communities that they service. Worse, many are closing their doors every year due to lack of funding. That’s why we started Faith Wireless.”
Faith is the latest example of an MVNO targeting specific niches in an effort to differentiate their offerings. Other companies target military personnel, families with young children, ethnic groups and the elderly, for instance.
The MVNO market is a brutal one in the U.S., though, and smaller players sometimes seem to disappear overnight. RingPlus, which appeared to be gaining traction with a free, ad-subsidized service, said just a few days ago that it will kill its offering by the end of the week, and its 80,000 subscribers will have a chance to migrate to Ting Mobile.
“With so many choices out there for cell phone service, we want to be a different type of provider,” Faith Vice President Christian Massi said in the release. “We believe that our purpose to help your church is the best reason to choose Faith Wireless.”