US Mobile, a GSM-based MVNO that launched services early last year, said it counts 20,000 total customers today and expects to grow that number to around 100,000 by the end of next year.
US Mobile founder Ahmed Khattak told FierceWireless the company is growing at around 20-30 percent by targeting college students and seniors with its customizable prepaid service plans. He added that the MVNO is seeing churn of around 4 percent and average revenues per user of around $20 to $25 per month.
US Mobile’s figures are noteworthy since most MVNOs in the U.S. market don’t disclose subscriber numbers or performance metrics. However, the company’s progress is behind the goals Khattak set in late 2014 prior to the launch of US Mobile. He said at that time that the company hoped to reach the 100,000 customer mark by the end of this year.
Khattak also founded GSM Nation, which launched in 2010 to sell unlocked GSM phones in the United States and elsewhere. He moved into the MVNO business with the launch of US Mobile in early 2015. US Mobile’s pricing plans are similar to those of fellow MVNO Ting, though US Mobile offers plans strictly on a prepaid basis.
Like Ting, US Mobile allows its customers to increase or decrease the amount of their voice calling minutes, text messages and data allotments at any time. US Mobile's plans allow customers to purchase monthly buckets of minutes, talking, texting and data. For example, a US Mobile customer today can purchase:
- 250 voice calling minutes per month for $5
- 500 texts per month for $4
- 500 MB of data per month for $9
Khattak declined to discuss the identity of US Mobile's wireless network partner, though it’s likely that the company's carrier partner is T-Mobile US.
US Mobile sells its offerings only online, and does not distribute its services via dealers. The company initially launched its services across colleges such as Harvard and Yale, and continues to work to target college students as well as seniors.
Khattak said US Mobile employs roughly 35 people today and expects to expand that to 45 within a year. He added that most of those employees are in the company’s customer service division—he explained that customer service is one of the things that sets US Mobile apart from its competition. For example, he said the company’s customer service agents are available around the clock, and typical response times for email and chat hover in the 10-second range. Response times for voice calls are usually 18-25 seconds.
Khattak added that fully 40 percent of the MVNO’s customers call in to the company’s customer care service—the remainder use email or chat.
“The last three quarters have been pretty amazing,” Khattak said of US Mobile’s progress, noting the company added 21,000 customers in the past 10 months and 9,000 customers in the past quarter.
US Mobile is one of a large number of MVNOs in the United States—companies that essentially piggyback on nationwide wireless networks operated by the likes of T-Mobile, Sprint and AT&T (though MVNOs typically handle all of their own billing and customer service). Other noteworthy MVNOs include Google’s Project Fi, TracFone’s various brands and Consumer Cellular. Comcast and Charter Communications have also said they expect to enter the MVNO game through partnerships with Verizon.