Mast Mobile launched today with an MVNO service that enables customers to use two numbers -- one for work and another for personal use -- on a single phone.
The New York-based company uses Sprint's network and allows customers to port an existing number and get a new one, or launch service with two new numbers. It markets its service as an affordable and convenient alternative for users who either carry two phones or use a call-forwarding service to differentiate between work and play. Mast specifically targets freelancers, enabling them to market their business with one number and keep another for personal use.
But just as important is Mast's strategy to target enterprises: Mast uses Oracle's billing and revenue management platform, which the company said provides a way for employers to implement automated split billing for voice, messaging and data, charging the business for both lines as well as additional usage it has agreed to, and charging the employee for other personal use. It integrates with Salesforce and automatically loads information such as sales calls, resulting in more comprehensive reporting. And it includes security features such as passwords, remote wipe and encrypted backups.
Mast, which launched service in New York this week before rolling out nationwide, also hopes to encourage cord-cutting in the enterprise by positioning its platform as a way for businesses to move away from landlines and other legacy services.
"Companies want to reinvent their work-spaces to enable employees to be more collaborative, but their existing communication systems are broken and do not support this new environment," co-founder and CEO David Messenger said in a Goldman Sachs report posted on Mast's site. "Companies have to deal with fragmented services from multiple vendors -- desk phones, PBX, mobile network operators, mobile device management, and telecom expense managers…. Mast consolidates those relationships and capabilities on one platform."
Mast said its service is available on most existing phones, or users can trade in their handset and lease an iPhone 6, 6S, or 6S Plus starting at $20 a month. Plans start at $60 per employee per month.
The company reportedly is looking to secure a deal with an additional network operator.
Both Messenger and Chief Business Officer Peter Lurie are former executives at Virgin Mobile USA, which powers Mast's offering. The new MVNO has raised $12.4 million through two rounds of funding including a $7 million round announced in October 2015.
- see Mast Mobile's site
More vendors offer split-billing to enable firms to reimburse for mobile work expenses
What's next for the nation's roughly four dozen MVNOs?