The world of MVNOs got a bit more interesting this week with the launch of a new T-Mobile USA MVNO, Ready SIM, as well as the expansion of services offered by Ultra Mobile and Voyager Mobile.
All three are part of a crop of new MVNOs that have come to the fore in the past year looking to grab niches of the market based on innovative service offerings and low prices. The announcements from the companies came against the backdrop of the MVNOs Industry Summit in Dallas, which is taking place this week.
The newest of the bunch is Ready SIM, which is run by T-Mobile MVNO Roam Mobility. Unlike many MVNOs, Ready SIM will not sell phones, unlocked or otherwise. Instead it will sell a self-activating SIM card that delivers full service within minutes of purchase. The SIM cards provide three, seven, 14 or 30 days of unlimited nationwide talk and text, and data, though the company has not provided its pricing yet.
In other MVNO news, Ultra Mobile, which also runs on T-Mobile's network, introduced Call Me Free, a service that allows anyone located outside of the United States to call the company's subscribers in the United States for free. The Call Me Free feature can be added to any of Ultra Mobile's plans, which the company started offering at the end of October.
Call Me Free enables any Ultra Mobile customer to provide their family and friends in 44 countries an access number in their home country to call Ultra Mobile subscribers using any type of phone (landline, mobile, or VoIP) for the same rate as a local call. Once the call is placed, the company said it will use an interactive voice response system to answer the call and instruct the caller to dial the actual phone number of the Ultra Mobile subscriber with whom they wish to speak. Ultra Mobile then connects the call just like a typical international call.
Meanwhile, Voyager Mobile launched Project Global Voyager, which the company said will support international voice, SMS, and data worldwide on dual-GSM and CDMA devices, without any roaming charges. Voyager said the patent-pending solution is completely cloud based, with no special software residing on the individual handsets.
John Mardini, the 23-year-old president and founder of Voyager, said that to make the service work he will strike roaming deals with various carriers around the world, and will route international calls as data packets. Mardini told AllThingsD he hopes to have the service available in 20 countries--mostly in Europe--when it launches in the first half of next year.
The global Voyager service will require a world phone that works on Sprint's network and uses a SIM card for international service. Mardini said pricing for the phones and service are still being finalized.
- see this Ultra Mobile release
- see this Ready SIM release
- see this Prepaid Reviews article
- see this Voyager Mobile release
- see this AllThingsD article
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