Remember ringback tones? They're making a comeback, at least with Sprint (NYSE: S) MVNO RingPlus, which said it will launch a free cell phone plan that will be supported by advertising in the form of ringback tones.
On Saturday at 6 p.m. Eastern time, RingPlus will start offering what it calls "content sponsored" service plans. The plans will include 200 voice minutes, 50 text messages and 10 MB of LTE data (with overages billed at two cents per each minute, text, and MB).
RingPlus will also offer reduced price paid plans for its higher-usage members. In addition to network access, the content sponsored plans will use Sprint's Wholesale Mobile Integration connection in combination with RingPlus' ringback tone media channel technology to "create a new content rich media channel for its members."
What that means in practice, according to PhoneScoop, is that the ads will take the form of ringback tones that RingPlus customers will hear on outbound voice calls after dialing but before the other party picks up. There are no ads associated with text and data usage, according to PhoneScoop.
"We are thrilled that Sprint is supporting RingPlus in this innovative business. This truly opens a new chapter in the history of telecommunications," RingPlus CEO Karl Seelig said in a statement. "Sprint has once again showed its true and extraordinary commitment to the success of its MVNOs with its enablement of the content sponsored Free Cell Phone Plan service project."
RingPlus is also changing and simplifying the pricing of its paid plans, which offer more voice, texting and data. According to Prepaid Reviews, the new plans are:
- Joy: $2 for 200 minutes, 200 texts and 50 MB of data
- Mint: $5 for 300 minutes, 500 texts and 100 MB
- Bella: $10 for 400 minutes, 400 texts, 300 MB, 200 minutes of Wi-Fi calling
- Harmony: $20 for unlimited voice and texting and 1 GB
- Revel: $30 for voice and texting and 2 GB
- Hiper: $40 for unlimited voice and texting and 3 GB
- Bliss: $50 for unlimited voice and texting and 5 GB
- see this RingPlus announcement
- see this RingPlus page
- see this Prepaid Reviews article
- see this PhoneScoop article
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