LAS VEGAS--MVNO Truphone said it will begin selling the new Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL) iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus starting Sept. 26. The MVNO began selling the iPhone 5s in May after it became an Apple authorized partner.
Truphone's iPhone 6 announcement indicates additional momentum behind the company. Truphone launched in 2006 and in the past few years has worked to build a global MVNO network using custom SIM cards. Specifically, the company sells SIM cards that can register themselves as up to eight different local numbers (in the United States, the United Kingdom, Australia, Hong Kong, the Netherlands, Germany, Poland or Spain), and those SIMs can be updated over the air. The company's technology can also route calls over the cheapest and most efficient path. The result is that Truphone customers who travel to different countries are then able to make and receive calls via local numbers and local rates. Truphone's technology automatically selects the best number for a customer to use in any given location.
"We've built the world's first global network without country borders," said Pascal de Hesselle, VP of marketing for Truphone's U.S. operations, adding that the company's service is targeted primarily at business customers who often travel internationally. "As a user, you just land in the market and it works. We take bill shock off the table."
Truphone offers a range of pricing plans. For customers who want to share data, texts and voice calling minutes, the company's plans start at $500 for 5,000 minutes, 5,000 text messages and 1 GB of data globally. Individual plans start at $50 for 300 minutes, 300 text messages and 300 MB of data. Truphone-to-Truphone calls can be placed at no extra charge.
Truphone also offers a flat rate of $0.09 per minute, text or megabyte in the United States, the United Kingdom, Australia, Hong Kong, the Netherlands, Germany, Poland and Spain, and "preferential" rates in over 200 countries around the world.
De Hesselle declined to name Truphone's carrier partners but said they include the two largest GSM operators in the United States. The two largest operators are AT&T Mobility (NYSE: T) and T-Mobile US (NYSE:TMUS). De Hesselle declined to say how many customers the company counts. Truphone has around 850 employees in 10 countries.
Truphone said that in a survey of 2,500 of its customers, the average cost of customers' wireless-service bills declined 49 percent after the customer joined Truphone. In that same time, customers' voice usage doubled and their data use tripled.
Truphone's customers include businesses such as Booking.com, Harley Davidson and BlackRock.
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