The battle among the nation's MVNOs continues to heat up with T-Mobile US (NYSE:TMUS) MVNO Giv Mobile offering a free Alcatel OneTouch Android smartphone to anyone who purchases two months of service of at least $40 per month.
Giv Mobile offers unlimited talking and texting and 500 MB of high-speed data for $40 per month and unlimited talking and texting and 2 GB of high-speed data for $50 per month. The low-end Alcatel OneTouch 991S smartphone sports Android version 2.3, a 4-inch screen and a 3.2-megapixel camera.
The offer is just the latest attempt by one of the nation's MVNOs to generate interest in its services. For example, MVNO ROK Mobile launched earlier this month offering streaming music as part of its core offering. Other MVNOs also offer similar unique positions: FreedomPop offers a free bucket of data with the hope customers purchase more, while Republic Wireless offers a Wi-Fi-first offering. Ting, meanwhile, offers a sliding payment scale that adjusts to customers' usage.
Giv Mobile, for its part, donates 8 percent of its revenues to the charity of a user's choice.
Giv is a brand of PTel Mobile, an MVNO that launched in 2001. Last year PTel switched service from Sprint to T-Mobile.
América Móvil's U.S. TracFone unit remains by far the nation's largest MVNO; in the first quarter the company closed on its acquisition of 1.4 million subscribers from Page Plus Cellular, a Verizon Wireless MVNO. Absent the deal, TracFone added 452,000 customers organically in the quarter--giving the company a total subscriber count of 25.511 million wireless customers.
While some MVNOs continue to make progress in the market, others are struggling. T-Mobile MVNO Solavei--which offers a "social commerce" model that rewards subscribers with a monthly commission for the new customers they sign up to the service--filed for bankruptcy earlier this month. Solavei said it counted roughly 101,000 customers.
Solavei's CEO: Bankruptcy has caused 'very little attrition' among MVNO's 101,500 customers
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