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MVNO

BYO Wireless Merging with Budget Mobile

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Today is a sad, sad day for the prepaid market. I discovered today that BYO Wireless has started hinting at what many have been speculating for months–that the company will soon be folded into Lifeline provider and parent company Budget Mobile. There isn’t a lot of information, but folks, it’s not looking too good.

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Harbor Mobile Drops T-Mobile, Jumps to AT&T

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I haven’t written a lot about MVNO Harbor Mobile for a couple of reasons, foremost of which is that the company is a business MVNO and to sign up customers must prove that they are business owners. Sole proprietors and entrepreneurs are allowed. However, the company seems to have hit a rough spot a few months ago and abruptly stopped accepting new signups, leading many to speculate that Harbor Mobile was going under. But, as it turns out, they are instead simply jumping ship from T-Mobile to AT&T.

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Prepaid Faceoff: RingPlus vs FreedomPop

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VS.

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With the massive number of prepaid MVNOs and carrier options, it’s sometimes hard to keep track of it all and even harder to compare and decide which company is the right one for you. So, every once in a while we’re going to go through and do a Face-off of two popular companies, comparing plans and services to help you better decide.

Today, we’ll look at Sprint MVNOs RingPlus, and FreedomPop, both of which offer free services with premium upgrades and wifi options.

Here’s how they compare:

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Updated: RingPlus Debuts New Promos

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RingPlus, that little Sprint MVNO that has been getting a lot of press here recently has announced that it will hosting a second round of its “Don’t Get Milked” promo which first went live last Sunday. Since I don’t generally work on Sundays, I didn’t get a chance to write about it, but it looks like this newest iteration of the promo is timed a little better.

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Ultra Mobile Ups Data, Adds New Countries

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Ultra Mobile, the T-Mobile MVNO that focuses heavily on international calling, has announced several changes to its plan lineup. Several of Ultra Mobile’s plans received an upgrade including increased minutes, more data or additional countries available for international calling.

Here are the changes:

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Pure TalkUSA Expands to Kmart, Sears

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It’s always nice to see an MVNO moving up in the world and expanding beyond an online presence. It looks like AT&T MVNO Pure TalkUSA are now available not only online but also in more than 1,600 Sears and Kmart stores nationwide.

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FAQ: What is an MVNO?

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Every single market, no matter what it is, has its own abbreviations and phrases that are used by enthusiasts and specialists alike. Many times newcomers are left on their own to decipher what all of these terms mean. In the world of prepaid phones, easily the most common and confusing term is MVNO because, generally speaking, it never comes with any context clues. Either you know it or you’re lost.

So, for those of you who have been curious about what an MVNO is and why are we always talking about it, we’ll take a quick look:

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TextNow Wireless Available at Fry’s Electronics

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It’s always nice to see an MVNO moving up in the world and it looks like Sprint MVNO TextNow Wireless is doing just that. As of yesterday, the company announced that it will have a retail presence inside of Fry’s Electronics stores nationwide and that it will be offering two new devices.

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Good2Go Adds LTE, Rollover Data, New Plans

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Good2Go Mobile, an AT&T and Sprint MVNO, did some major shakeup of its plans recently. In fact, it’s probably easier to simply say what HASN’T changed than what has, but I’ll do my best. We’ll take a look at a couple of the more important changes first, and then see what the plan lineup looks like!

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RingPlus Offers 3 Months Free Service Deal

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I’ve been writing a lot about Sprint MVNO RingPlus here recently as it has gained a lot of traction. And, in the wake of all of the new plans, free options and company changes RingPlus debuted a fantastic deal today for anyone who has been considering jumping to RingPlus but still has reservations.

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Apple Considering Joining MVNO Race

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UDATE: Apple is now saying that it has no plans to launch an MVNO, despite recent reports. I guess only time will tell.

It’s absolutely no secret that Apple is a huge fan of controlling as much of the phone experience as possible from creating their own devices, operating system and app store. Well, according to an article by Business Insider, it looks like Apple is working slowly towards launching its own MVNO service as well.

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Unified Signal Launches MyTime Wireless

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Late last month, a new MVNO entered the market. Launched by Unified Signal, the new company offers services through several of the Big Four companies and has more plan options than you can shake a stick at. It’s pretty insane. Being as they are extremely new, I haven’t tried them yet (obviously) but we’ll go over some of the major details in case you’re feeling brave and wanting to switch.

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Pure TalkUSA Debuts Military Plans

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Lots of different companies have discounts and special benefits for military service veterans and current military members. And it looks like as of today, Pure TalkUSA should be added to the list. This AT&T MVNO debuted a new line of slightly discounted plans, called Serve and Save Plans. These discounts are for verified military members only and come with a couple other benefits on other partner sites. 

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H2O Makes Plan Changes

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So, apparently H2O has made some pretty major plan changes, nearly all of which I pretty completely missed. Oops. Anyway, I noticed them, finally, and wanted to give you all an update on the company and its plan changes. It looks like since we last wrote about H2O they have not only added several unlimited plans but also increased data and debuted a limited time offer with unlimited calling to Mexican landlines. Whew! The company actually is fairly competitive now and worth a look if you like AT&T’s coverage.

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Lycamobile Changes Plan Lineup

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Things are always changing in the mobile industry, and the prepaid sector sees those changes far more than just about anyone else. Continuing the host of recent changes to various prepaid carriers, Lycamobile looks like it has made some major shifts in its plan offerings of late including cutting prices and adding data or international calling minutes.

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RingPlus Debuts Minute, Text, Data Add-Ons

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RingPlus, a Sprint MVNO, has made a lot of changes in the last couple of months including debuting an entire new line of plans and adding two free plans to its lineup. Well, it looks like RingPlus has been listening to its customers yet again and has added some data, text and minute add-on buckets this week.

Here are the add-ons:

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TPO to launch on Tuesday

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Last year, UK company The People’s Operator (TPO) raised funds to expand to the United States and in January officially announced that it would be launching this year with Sprint’s network. Well, according to an article by USA Today, TPO is expected to formally launch its US offerings as soon as next Tuesday.

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RingPlus Reopens Registration, Pepper Plan

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If you were one of the dozens of people who had some issues signing up for a new RingPlus plan over the last few days, be comforted to know that you weren’t alone. And, furthermore, not only are the issues fixed, but RingPlus is offering top-up bonuses to all potential customers and all customers whose phone connections were compromised.

These are the offers that RingPlus announced on their discourse page yesterday:

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America Movil Considering Adding Roaming

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Reuters reported on Thursday that Mexican telecommunications giant America Movil is considering adding some form of international roaming between Mexico and the United States for its postpaid and eventually prepaid plans. America Movil currently owns several of the largest prepaid companies including TracFone, Straight Talk, Net10, Simple Mobile and Page Plus Wireless.

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RingPlus Announces Third Free Plan

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RingPlus has been on a kick here recently with more plan changes and new free plans than you can shake a stick at. And, it looks like soon it’ll be adding yet another free plan. There aren’t any specifics as to whether this plan will be limited time, like the Pepper plan, or available constantly like the Free plan.

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PureTalk USA Adds LTE to Plans

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AT&T has been adding LTE to its prepaid MVNOs slowly but surely over the last couple of years, with Red Pocket, H2O and Straight Talk all among the companies to already offer 4G services to their customers. Well, it looks like PureTalk USA can finally be added to that list.

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ROK Mobile Expands Reach, Adds Coverage

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Music streaming has become extremely popular in the last few years and with the recent introduction of Apple Music, I only expect that streaming will become more and more the norm. This tends to cause a problem for music lovers, as streaming anything can really eat up your data. There are a few prepaid companies that allow customers to stream music for free, and the most unusual of them is ROK Mobile.

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UBI Resurrects Helio Brand

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UBI Telecom, a company that caters to Korean speakers in the United States, has officially resurrected and relaunched former Sprint MVNO Helio. Talk about a blast from the past right? Helio, for those of you who weren’t following us then, went through a series of complicated transfers when it ran out of money. It was picked up by Virgin Mobile, then subsequently dropped when Virgin was acquired by Sprint. Now, Helio is owned by UBI Telecom and is currently signing up customers again.

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Defense Mobile Ups Data

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I hope that everyone is having a really great Independence Day!! It’s all thanks to the US Military that Americans everywhere can take the day to have a BBQ, shoot off fireworks and generally just celebrate. So, today I thought it was especially appropriate to talk a bit about Defense Mobile, a prepaid wireless company that offers service to active and former US military members.

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Lycamobile Pushing PayGo Customers to New SIMs

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T-Mobile MVNO Lycamobile has been trying to get customers to switch from its “old” SIMs to the newer LM Plus SIM cards which offer different plans and services. Many people have been hesitant to switch because of PayGo differences between the SIMs, but it looks like Lycamobile is no longer giving PayGo customers an option.

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RingPlus Announces New Free Plan

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Sprint MVNO RingPlus has made several big changes in the last month or so including overhauling its entire plan lineup and introducing a new free plan that grants customers a limited amount of minutes, texts and MB for the monthly cycle. Yesterday, the company announced that it would be adding a secondary free plan as a promotional offering. Then, about two hours later, pulled the plan from the site and stated it would no longer be accepting new customers under that plan.

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GoSmart Adds $30 Unlimited Facebook Plan

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Like the highly-advertised MetroPCS, GoSmart Mobile uses T-Mobile’s network and is actually also owned by the Uncarrier. It’s easy to forget about GoSmart, as the company doesn’t have any particularly good deals or really all that many promotions and such for customers. In fact, we hardly ever write about it at all. However, it has come to my attention that GoSmart recently added a new plan to its lineup which might interest some Facebook users.

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US Mobile Plan Overview

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Launched in September 2014, US Mobile has a rather unusual plan structure which lets customers tailor the plans to their own needs. The company operates on the idea that customers shouldn’t have to pay for things they don’t’ really need (no matter how much we’ve been trained to think we do) and so aside from texting, there are no unlimited options. The company is owned by GSM Nation and runs on T-Mobile’s network. The company is actually set up pretty similar to Ting, except it is fully prepaid instead of postpaid.

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RingPlus Debuts New June Promotions

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RingPlus has debuted a number of changes and such in the last few weeks including a new plan lineup and the debut of a free plan for users. Now through the end of June, there are two different promotions aimed at new and current customers looking to make the most out of RingPlus.

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UVA Mobile Officially Launches from Beta

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If you’re looking for a T-Mobile prepaid carrier, then you have absolutely no shortage of options. However, very few MVNOs offer any kind of line sharing, and 2-line plans are hard to come by for the most part. Fortunately, if you’re looking for an affordable 2-line prepaid option, UVA Mobile has finally announced its commercial launch this month.

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MVNO vs. MNO : What’s the Difference?

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If you’re getting into the prepaid market, then you have two primary kinds of companies to deal with: MVNOs and MNOs. But, what are they, and which one is better?

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Puppy Wireless Gets LTE

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Puppy Wireless, the Verizon MVNO owned by Page Plus reseller Kitty Wireless, has been working on LTE for several months and recently announced the pricing to customers. Well, as of last week, it looks like Puppy supports Verizon LTE devices, albeit with a few kinks.

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RingPlus Debuts New Plans; Offers Free Service

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There have been lots of big announcements from Sprint MVNO RingPlus this week including the debuting of several new plans and a free service which will be available to everyone. The plans were first released Tuesday and RingPlus asked for (and acted on) customer responses to make the plans fairly competitive.

All of the changes are expected to go live this Saturday, June 13, 2015. Here’s a quick look at what to expect:

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Brightspot Pushes Customers to T-Mobile

 

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Last week, T-Mobile MVNO Brightspot Mobile announced that it would be closing at the end of 2015. There wasn’t a whole lot of information as to exactly what would happen to current customers, although we suspected that customers would be encouraged to make the switch to T-Mobile to avoid interrupted service. As it turns out, we were right. Here’s what you need to know:

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BYO Makes Major Plan Changes

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BYO Wireless, a Verizon and T-Mobile MVNO, made some major shifts to a its plan lineup late last week, including retiring two plans and adding two additional plans. Interestingly enough, all of this was done with absolutely zero fanfare.

Here are some of BYO’s changes and their current plan lineup:

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Proven Wireless to Add LTE to Verizon Plans

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While Verizon MVNOs can easily boast having access to the largest network in the United States, Verizon has a history of being a little stingy with its MVNOs in terms of offerings and LTE access. In the last couple of weeks several companies have added LTE, including all Tracfone companies and Selectel. And, I heard a rumor that Proven Wireless might be soon added to that list.

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Selectel Wireless Gets LTE

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LTE has been spreading across the various MVNOs in the last few months like wildfire, and the most recent addition has been Selectel Wireless, which as of June 1 supports Verizon’s LTE speeds. This is pretty big news, as this will make Selectel the first non-America Movil company to get Verizon LTE.

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Brightspot Mobile Shutting Down in Dec

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Last month, we talked about some rumors that Target was planning on shutting down its T-Mobile prepaid wireless company, Brightspot Mobile. Well, it looks like the rumors were true and Brightspot will indeed be shutting down by December 31, 2015. Current Brightspot Mobile customers are being encouraged to switch to T-Mobile prepaid instead.

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Best Verizon Prepaid MVNO Plans

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Verizon has, undoubtedly, the best coverage in the United States with the largest nationwide network. However, it also boasts some of the highest prices for both prepaid and postpaid. A lot of people interested in taking advantage of Verizon’s coverage turn to MVNOs, but options are pretty limited.

If you’re looking to get on Verizon’s network but want to leave the high prices behind, we’ve gathered some of the best plan options available right now, depending on your needs:

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Univision, GoSmart Available at Target

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Two prepaid T-Mobile MVNO companies recently announced that they would be offering their services through Target stores nationwide soon. Univision Mobile and GoSmart Mobile are similarly priced and will join T-Mobile prepaid on the shelves of electronic departments in various Target stores in the United States.

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Will Total Wireless Get LTE?

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Tracfone’s recently launched Verizon MVNO, Total Wireless, has been available in Walmart stores nationwide for several weeks now. The service doesn’t currently offer LTE and according to our reader comments, has not had the best track record for customer service. But, there might be a small chance that it will be offering 4G services sometime soon.

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PTel, Giv Increase Top Data Cap to 10 GB

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T-Mobile MVNO PTel Mobile recently increased the data cap on its topmost tier for both itself and its charitable prepaid subsidary company, Giv Mobile. Effective immediately, customers on the $60/month plans will receive an additional 6 GB of data each month to a total of 10 GB.

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Puppy Wireless Releases LTE Pricing

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Puppy Wireless, a relatively new Verizon MVNO run by Page Plus reseller Kitty Wireless, recently announced that it would support Verizon’s LTE as of June 1, 2015, but didn’t have any ideas on exactly what the pricing would look like. Well, it looks like Puppy has formally released its LTE plan list, and for light users, it looks pretty nice.

Here’s the LTE plan lineup:

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Pure Talk Lowers Prices

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Pure Talk USA is an AT&T MVNO which uses a slightly unusual model. For a majority of its plan options, customers purchase a set amount of ‘minutes’ which are used for both minutes and sending text messages. Minutes are charged at a normal rate, but text messages are 3 for 1 minute, or 1/3 of a minute per text. Data is an add-on. Overall, the company is a pretty good deal for light users and with the recent lowering of several of its plans, the company’s model looks even better.

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More Verizon MVNOs to get 4G LTE

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Verizon’s list of MVNOs is pretty slim compared to the other four main carriers. And, while Verizon’s gigantic network has had 4G LTE speeds for quite a while, the only Verizon MVNOs that could access it were America Movil brands including Tracfone, Page Plus, Net10 and StraightTalk. However, according to Prepaid Phone News, two additional MVNOs may soon be getting this capability as well.

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Giv Mobile Reduces $35 Plan

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Giv Mobile, a T-Mobile MVNO, has lowered the price of one of its more popular plans this month in order to be more competitive versus other T-Mobile prepaid plan. The $35 plan, which includes 1 GB of high speed data with unlimited talk, text and low speed data, has been reduced to $30.

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Scratch Debuts New Smartphone

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Wifi calling plans are a great way to save money, but if you aren’t always covered by Wifi, then it’s nice to have a backup. That’s where Wifi first companies like Republic wireless and Scratch wireless come into play. These companies both offer specific phones that allow consumers to make calls, texts and browse the web for free when connected to wifi, but provide cellular connections as backups as well. There is, however, a catch.

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Scratch Wireless Drops Unlimited Offering

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Scratch Wireless is a Wifi-first prepaid company with a model very similar to the slightly more popular Republic Wireless. Customers can use services for free when connected to Wifi but the company also sells monthly or daily passes to access Sprint’s network as needed. However, it looks like Scratch has run into some trouble and will soon be changing the pass options available.

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Kitty Wireless Limited Time Discounted Device

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I received a notification this morning that Kitty Wireless has a limited time, limited quantity order for new Kitty Wireless customers looking to get both a new number and a new phone. Available immediately, consumers can purchase the LG VS840 4G LTE for $79.95 which includes both the device and one month service on Kitty Wireless’ $55 monthly plan.

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TextNow Offers Discounted Moto G, LG Optimus F3

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TextNow, an MVNO that uses both Sprint’s network and wifi coverage to provide service to its users, has discounted two mid or entry-level phones and I wanted to share it with you! I’m not sure how long these discounts will continue, but since the devices are refurbished it is probably safe to assume that it will only be for as long as supplies last.

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