Tuesday, August 06, 2013

TextNow unveils 100 percent IP-based mobile phone service, at $18.99 monthly

On Tuesdat, Enflick, the company behind TextNow, the free texting and calling app for Android, iOS, and Windows Phone, launched the TextNow mobile phone service. The company bills itself as the first all-IP mobile operator, meaning that it uses VOIP and text-over-IP for both voice and texting, instead of standard cellular service.

How mobile can you be if you need to be tied to wi-fi? Well, you aren't. Instead, in areas without wi-fi, TextNow uses the data connection from Sprint's 3G and 4G network. We assume, as TextNow isn't 100 percent clear, that means that it will use LTE where that is available and WiMax otherwise -- or at the very least, WiMax.

Those who already have TextNow numbers can keep them and use them for the mobile phone service.

Using a Starbucks-type formula that could possibly draw legal interest, TextNow has the following plans:
  • TALL $18.99 500 MB of data, 750 roll-over minutes, Unlimited texting & incoming calls
  • GRANDE $26.99 1 GB of data, 1250 roll-over minutes, Unlimited texting & incoming calls
  • VENTI $39.99, 2 GB of data, 2000 roll-over minutes, Unlimited texting & incoming calls
Device choices are limited to a couple of really old devices: a Nexus S for $90 and a Galaxy S II for $120. However, for those on a budget, TextNow might make sense.

Here's the company's press release:

New TextNow Mobile Phone Service Empowers Users to Take Control of Ballooning Phone Costs, Delivers Services for Less than $20/Month

Integrated with Leading Free Texting and Calling App, New Offering Zaps Expensive Calling Plans, Redefines Existing Carrier Pricing Model

WATERLOO, Ontario – August, 6 2013 – Enflick, the company that developed TextNow, the leading application to provide free phone service over WiFi used by more than 20 million users worldwide, today introduced the TextNow mobile phone service. Running on top of its existing IP-based SMS and voice infrastructure and using Sprint's nationwide 3G network in areas without WiFi connectivity, the new phone service makes TextNow the world's first all-IP mobile operator. TextNow's all-IP model gives users the most affordable phone services available in the market today compared with the skyrocketing monthly calling plans and fees of traditional carrier offerings. Using hardware compatible with the Android OS, the TextNow mobile phone service is available now – including visual voicemail, call forwarding and call display – at no additional charge.

The introduction of TextNow mobile phone service comes on the heels of Enflick's release of its MiFi service, a MiFi solution for reliable wireless broadband connectivity – from absolutely any location – that also uniquely enables mobile devices, such as an iPad or iPod, to deliver phone services. With the announcement of TextNow mobile phone service, Enflick now offers a complete family of affordable connectivity solutions, including: free calling and texting; voice mail; MiFi; and now – the handset itself – all without the high price tag that comes with traditional carrier offerings.

"From Day One, our biggest priority has been to make smartphone service better and more affordable for everyone," said Derek Ting, co-founder and CEO, Enflick. "The announcement of TextNow mobile phone service – combined with our recent launch of MiFi – marks a big milestone toward accomplishing this mission and making it affordable for every person to have a cell phone in his or her pocket."

Existing Carrier Pricing Slashed with Smartphone Services for Less than $20/Month

In a compilation of existing data, the website AccountingDegree.com reports that the average smartphone bill is 90 percent higher than the average non-smartphone bill. [Read Your Smartphone or Your Dinner here.] With TextNow mobile phone service, users are no longer tied to an expensive carrier plan for their smartphone services.
With all phone services provisioned on the TextNow cloud, customers can easily interchange services across their mobile devices and platforms.

TextNow phone service is available immediately starting as low as $18.99 per month. The monthly fee includes:
  • 500mb data 
  • Unlimited texting
  • Unlimited incoming calls
  • Call forwarding, visual voicemail and call display
  • 750 minutes of calling per month
For more information or to order TextNow mobile phone service, go to: http://www.textnow.com/phone.

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