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Giv Mobile Lowers Prices

Giv

Giv Mobile, one of the two MVNOs that donate to charity with each monthly payment, recently slashed prices on two of its top tier plans and added data to the lower-priced plans. While not the cheapest available, Giv’s plans are far more competitive now and pretty well reflect the options offered by parent company PTel.

Here are what the plans look like right now:

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Solavei to Aim at Hispanic Market

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Despite almost a full year of next to no signs of life from Solavei, it appears that the company is still doing well and functioning. Earlier this month, the company finally announced that it would partner with Netherlands-based company ASPIDER and planned to emerge from bankruptcy by the end of April.

Well, it looks like in addition to some compensation changes and restructuring of the company overall, Solavei has also decided to set its sights on the grossly under-served Hispanic market both in the US and abroad.

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Kyocera Launches Phone Recycling Program

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Because prepaid phones are generally a little less expensive than their more expensive contract counterparts, there’s probably a good chance that you have at least one old device sitting gathering dust in a drawer somewhere. However, phone maker Kyocera wants to help consumers recycle their unused devices with a new program called ‘Take Back.’

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New Service for Seniors Launched

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On Monday a new Sprint MVNO launched with the goal of helping seniors and those over 55 stay in touch with the loved ones and medical services that they need. Launched by Emveno, this “telemedicine MVNO” offers pay as you go and monthly phone services as well as 24/7 access to healthcare providers.

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Solavei to Emerge from Bankruptcy in April

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More information has finally been released in regards to the Solavei bankruptcy claim that was filed last May. You might recall that we reported briefly last week that the company had signed some sort of agreement with Netherlands-based ASPIDER in order to complete the bankruptcy restructuring and relaunch, but there wasn’t a whole lot of information available.

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Possible Rate Increase for Old Lycamobile SIMs

LycaMobile

According to Dennis over at Prepaid Phone News, several Lycamobile customers have reported that their rates for outgoing calls has been increased from $0.02/minute to $0.05/minute. This rate increase seems to only be effecting those still using Lycamobile’s “old” SIMs which began to be phased out last summer. Customers on the “new” Lycamobile Plus SIMs are still receiving minutes at the regular $0.02/minute for both incoming and outgoing. However, Lycamobile has announced several times that all customers should be charged the $0.05/minute for outgoing calls so no telling how long that will last.

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Ultra Mobile Adds Mexico Calling

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In the last month or so it seems like most of the big MVNOs and prepaid carriers have added some form of unlimited calling to Mexico. The most recent addition to this growing club is Ultra Mobile, who made some significant changes to its international calling last week.

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BYO Wireless Offers Free SIMs, 1/2 Off First Month

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BYO Wireless, a dual MVNO that offers service through Verizon’s CDMA and T-Mobile’s GSM networks, has launched a new promotion recently that could land you with a pretty sweet deal. With the promo code FIFTYOFF you can get, you guessed it, 50% off of your first month of service. And, for customers signing up for the GSM network (powered by T-Mobile) you could even get a free SIM card.

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Solavei to Merge with ASPIDER

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After months of little to no information released about the ‘restructuring’ and reorganization of T-Mobile MVNO Solavei, Fierce Wireless reported that the company has released a press release stating that it will be merging with ASPIDER to get out of bankruptcy.

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Good2GO Adds More Data

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I read earlier this week through Prepaid Phone News that Good2Go Mobile, a AT&T and Sprint MVNO, has upped the data on all three of its monthly unlimited plans. They’re looking a lot more attractive now, although I’m not sure I can get behind the pay as you go rates quite as happily. Anyway, here’s what the monthly plan lineup looks like now:

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Expo Mobile Ups Prices

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Expo Mobile, one of the many smaller Sprint MVNOs that we don’t talk about all that much has made some unexplained and abrupt changes to their plan lineup, most notably increasing the price of their Unlimited Talk and Text plan by $5, effective immediately.

The unlimited talk and text plan formerly cost $25 a month, but is now $30. No features have been added, and no other plan prices have been changed that I’m aware of. Here is what Expo Mobile’s monthly plan lineup looks like:

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Español Mobile Overview

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A new MVNO aimed at Spanish-speaking Americans launched in the fourth quarter of 2014. Owned by Pix Wireless, Inc, the new Español Mobile uses Sprint’s prepaid network and offers some pretty standard plans for customers. The company does not seem to have any kind of international calling, so its main angle is, obviously, that the whole site is in Spanish. And since a good portion of the US speaks Spanish, maybe it’ll work.

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MVNO Rumor Roundup

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In the last few months, there have been rumors circulating that several different companies are considering wading into the prepaid MVNO market. Some of them are pretty credible, while others are not. I was originally going to do a separate post on all three of the main rumors, but since it’s all heresay, here’s a roundup of what we think we know so far:

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New MVNO, TEQfon Wireless, launched

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Unified Signal, Inc. has announced the launch of a new MVNO that claims to be aimed at the ‘underserved youth market’ which includes children ages 5 – 18. This MVNO, TEQfon Wireless, offers prepaid low-price plans starting at $10 and has options through Verizon, AT&T and Sprint. In my opinion, the website is pretty awful and doesn’t look like anything that I would associate with a children’s phone group, but most of their plans are ok, with the notable exception of the AT&T plans. What on earth are they thinking?

Anyway, here’s what the plan lineup on the website looks like, although it should be noted that this is a soft launch, and changes are likely to be made. All plans include features like three-way calling, caller ID, in-network roaming and long distance.

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Solavei Changes Rate Plans

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Well, it looks like Solavei has shifted around the prices and data on its rate plans again. I’m not really sure exactly when this happened, as I only noticed it the other day, and unlike the last change I haven’t really seen as much negative response to this shift. But, I’ll let you decide.

Here’s a list of Solavei’s plans. All plans include unlimited talk and text, and the changes are in bold.

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TracFone to Launch Total Wireless

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TracFone Wireless has quietly launched the website for a new Verizon-based MVNO this week. Called Total Wireless, this Verizon MVNO has some pretty sweet data sharing plans that are obviously meant to compete with Virgin Mobile’s “Data Done Right” plans which debuted earlier this month.

Total Wireless is expected to be available at select Walmart stores nationwide, and Phone News says that the full fanfare launch is expected sometime in the next couple of weeks. However, from what I can tell, the website is almost fully functional and a soft launch should happen soon.

As far as plans go, here’s what you can expect from the newest America Movil brand:

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PureTalk USA Overview

puretalkUSA

Originally launched in 2004, PureTalk USA isn’t a company that we write about a whole lot, mostly because its pricing isn’t anything super special. Regardless, this AT&T MVNO has a slightly different approach to plans and such, so I thought it was worth a brief look.

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Lycamobile Backtracking on Data Increase

Across the prepaid board, companies have been outdoing each other with data increases, both promotional and permanent. Data increases are awesome. Data decreases are not, especially less than a week after the initial announcement of what looked like a pretty sweet deal.

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Sprint Blacklist is Gone, Problems Remain

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There were tons of rumors circulating the web last week that Sprint was going to be removing the blacklist for their MVNOs and finally allow phones less than a year old to be activated. Well, I’m pleased to report that those rumors were true. In a blog post Sunday, Ting announced that they can now activate newer Sprint devices and eligible Boost and Virgin mobile devices.

But, there’s a catch.

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Lycamobile Ramps Up Data

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The US branch of prepaid powerhouse Lycamobile has made some changes to the data on its unlimited national plans this week, doubling and even quadrupling one plan. The new options are pretty competitive and easily make up for the holes in T-Mobile’s network, provided you have enough service to make use of it.

Here are the plans that have been upgraded:

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Univision Mobile Changes International Options

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Univision Mobile, an MVNO created by Univision Communications and T-Mobile, has made some changes to their international calling and texting options. This Hispanic-centric MVNO previously included 100 international minutes with all of their plans, but these international minutes were only good in select Spanish speaking countries. Now, customers will automatically get unlimited international texting and an International Allowance that can be used for international roaming and to make calls to more than 200 international locations.

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RingPlus Adds Plans, Changes Prices

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RingPlus is a Sprint MVNO that we don’t talk about much–there are just far too many companies to write about them all frequently. But, this lower-priced company has made a few changes to their plan lineup this week, including the addition of three new plans and dropping prices on two higher-priced plans.

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Alaska Communication Drops Wireless Business

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Alaska Communications, a postpaid and prepaid wireless and broadband carrier in the Alaska region, has officially closed the sale of all of its wireless assets to General Communication, Inc (GCI). No action is required on the part of customers, and no immediate changes to service and pricing is expected.

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Frawg Wireless Gets LTE

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NTelos is one of those companies that we don’t talk about very much because their prepaid brand, Frawg Wireless, is not really all that exciting. However, nTelos recently expanded their LTE to cover several new areas and is now allowing 4G speeds for their prepaid as well as postpaid customers, which finally makes it noteworthy.

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Ultra Mobile Increases Data

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Let the data increasing wars commence! This week, Ultra Mobile has followed the suit of several other carriers who have permanently increased the data that prepaid subscribers can get without raising the price. Don’t you just love a good price war?

The plans that are effected include the $29 and $39 plans. Current customers on these plans can expect to see the increased data when their plan renews, while new customers can sign up for the increased data immediately.

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GoSmart Makes Double Data Permanent

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T-Mobile’s GoSmart MVNO launched a double data promotion in November that echoed Boost Mobile’s very successful promotion. The promotion was originally expected to end on Feb. 1 but Prepaid Phone News has reported that GoSmart will be making the promotion permanent, with one small change to the $35 plan.

Here is what the data for the plan lineup will look like:

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Simple Mobile Offers Phone Upgrades

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Simple Mobile, a Tracfone-owned T-Mobile MVNO has announced the launch of a new program that will give customers credit towards the purchase of a new phone every 18, 12 or 6 months. The way it works is that you sign up for one of three special “Phone Upgrade Unlimited Plans” and with every top-up, you gain points. Once you’ve accumulated 18 points, you can get $200 -$300 towards the price of a new phone purchased from Simple Mobile’s partner company.

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PureTalk USA Adds Data, Lowers Price

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PureTalk USA is an AT&T MVNO that launched in 2004. I don’t write about them a whole lot because, well, they’re not super notable. Their prices aren’t any lower or better than anyone else’s but they have a pretty good customer service reputation. And, more recently, they changed up some of their prices and data on a few of their plans.

Here are some of the changes, which are in effect immediately:

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Introducing Envie Mobile

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Today I wanted to take a moment and talk about a newcomer to the MVNO market, Envie Mobile. Owned by AT&T MVNO H2O Wireless, this mobile company uses Verizon’s prepaid network instead of AT&T. They don’t offer any 4G options, unfortunately, but their prices are pretty competitive.

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Kitty Wireless Promotions

kitty wireless

Well, Kitty Wireless is back with some great new promotions for new Page Plus customers in 2015! If you’ve ever thought about switching to Page Plus, but didn’t want to deal with their customer service, or wanted something more based in the United States, then Kitty Wireless is definitely worth a look.

Now through the end of January, the following promotions are available at Kitty Wireless:

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Use Any Phone With TextNow MiFi

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In the United States, there are two different mobile networks: CDMA and GSM, and they are not only incompatible, but evenly split between the four main carriers. Verizon and Sprint offer CDMA while AT&T and T-Mobile offer GSM. While neither network is really ‘better’ than the other (they both have their pros and cons) the biggest issue is that carrying a phone from one network to the other is a hassle at best, which limits the carriers that you can use with a given phone. But, what if it didn’t matter?

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TextNow Wireless After Christmas Deals

textnow holiday sale

TextNow Wireless, a Sprint MVNO, is one of those companies that I tend to overlook for one reason or another. However, it was brought to my attention that they have some awesome deals going on as part of their After Christmas Sale. Check it out:

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NetZero Wireless Service Offers Free Phone

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NetZero, a fixed and mobile broadband internet provider since 1998, launched its own no-contract MVNO service through Sprint in 2012 and is running a promotion that could land you a free phone if you prepay for six months of service. Depending on which plan you want, it could be a little pricey, but is a great deal if you like Sprint’s network.

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BYO Wireless Changes Plans, Adds GSM Service

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BYO Wireless has made some significant changes during the last week or two, and apparently I missed it. But, these huge changes include removing two plans from the lineup, adding two additional plans, changing the data options on several plans, promoting double data through auto renew, adding data to top-ups and adding a GSM service through T-mobile. Whew! We’ll take it one at a time.

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Touch Mobile Launches in Fry’s Electronics Stores

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Touch Mobile, the rather unusual little MVNO that launched in September is clearly moving up in the world. On Thursday, Touch Mobile announced that they now offer their services and products in select Fry’s Electronics stores nationwide. They have already launched as of today, and have debuted a couple of holiday promotions to celebrate their expanded retail presence.

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Alaska Communications Quitting Wireless

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Alaska Communications, a postpaid and prepaid wireless and broadband carrier in the Alaska region, has announced that they are bowing out of the cell phone service industry and will be selling their wireless assets, AWN network venture and subscriber base to General Communication, Inc (GCI). The deal is worth around $300 million and is expected to be closed sometime in the first quarter of 2015.

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nTelos to Withdraw from Eastern Virginia

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Sprint MVNO nTelos has announced plans to back out of eastern parts of Virginia in favor of western Virginia and West Virginia. Eastern markets effected by this change include Hampton Roads/Norfolk and Richmond, Va. areas. NTelos has come to an agreement with T-Mobile to sell the 1900 MHz PCS spectrum to T-Mobile for around $56 million.

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US Mobile Offers to Unlock Phones

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Since the law changed in August, one of the things I talk about a lot is the benefit of having an unlocked phone. Freedom is the main one. Isn’t that why we use prepaid and no contract plans in the first place? With an unlocked phone, you have the ability to jump ship at any point and the power to be in control of what you pay. But unlocking your phone can sometimes be a headache if you try and do it yourself.

US Mobile, a newcomer to the MVNO market, has announced that they will be offering unlocking services for eligible customers interested in switching to their network. To put in a request to get your GSM phone unlocked, you have to meet the following criteria:

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Scratch Wireless Overview

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If you’re looking for a company that does things a little differently, then Scratch Wireless might be a good option. Unlike more traditional MVNOs, Scratch Wireless focuses on WiFi services instead of standard cell phone networking. While connected to WiFi with your Scratch Wireless phone, you will receive free data, text and voice minutes. If you find yourself not connected to Wifi, you can access their network (they are a Sprint MVNO) for voice or data on a pay-per-use basis. Texting is always free, regardless as to whether you are connected to Wifi or not.

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Ultra Mobile Expands Retail Presence

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Ultra Mobile, a T-Mobile MVNO focused on providing excellent international calling rates, has announced that it has reached key distribution agreements with several large national retailers including Target, Dollar General and Barnes & Noble College bookstores. Participating stores will sell Ultra Mobile service plans and phones starting next year. 

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RadioShack to Launch MVNO for Vets

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Today, as most of you know, is Veteran’s Day, when the whole country stops for a moment to thank all the men and women who are serving and have served our nation’s military in the defense of the country. So, it seems appropriate that today, we take a moment to look at a new mobile MVNO company that is as dedicated to serving veterans as the veterans are in serving our country.

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Selectel Wireless Plan Overviews

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Today, I thought we could take a moment and look at one of those MVNOs that doesn’t usually get much attention: Selectel Wireless. This MVNO was originally partnered with Page Plus, but has since spiraled off into its own company. Like Page Plus, they offer Verizon services and their prices are actually pretty good. In addition to mobile phone plans, Selectel also offers a home phone plan and data options.

Here’s an overview of what they offer:

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LycaMobile Plan Overviews

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LycaMobile advertises as the world’s largest MVNO, with more than 30 million customers in more than 16 countries. They are very internationally focused, and have a range of plans with international and local minutes available. Founded in 2006, LycaMobile is estimated to gain a new customer every two seconds.

Here’s a look at their plan lineup:

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Madstar Mobile Enters Prepaid Market

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You may have heard about a newcomer to the prepaid/postpaid market called Madstar Mobile. Launched on Halloween, it is still in the early setup stages and much of their website is nonfunctional and empty. But, after communicating with their customer service representatives and digging through what information IS available, I found some preliminary details. Keep in mind this is just the soft launch information, so some of this will likely change.

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Kitty Wireless Testing New Plans

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The online Page Plus dealer Kitty Wireless has taken their first step towards becoming an MVNO this week with the announcement of several new plans exclusive to Kitty Wireless. They are currently in the testing phase this week and from all reports, expect to launch the full service in early 2015.

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Genius Wireless Offers Selectel Discount

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Genius Wireless, an online Selectel and Page Plus dealer, has announced a promotion for new Selectel customers. Through the end of November, when you activate a new service or port over a new line, you can get 50% off of the first month of service. To get the discount, you must buy an applicable plan and then request an activation or port by using the links on this page.

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GoSmart Promotion Offers Double Data

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On the heels of Boost Mobile’s very successful (and recently extended) Double Data promotion, T-Mobile MVNO GoSmart has decided to launch their own promotion as well. Two of their three plans have been upgraded to include double data for a ‘limited time.’

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PureTalk USA Increases Simple Plan Minutes

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While it isn’t a huge change, PureTalk USA has increased the minutes on their lowest priced plan. The “Simple Plan” includes a set amount of ‘minutes’ which can be used for either texting or calling, all pulled from the same bucket of minutes. Texts are charged at 3 messages per 1 minute, and voice minutes are charged for the amount of time used. The plan has three tiers, and two of them were changed this week.

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Solavei’s First Post-Bankruptcy Change

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Solavei, a company that works by paying members to recruit friends and family has finally come out of the closet, so to speak, and released a new compensation program for their ‘Brand Partners.’ This will be the second such change to their policies for paying members who refer friends, and the first confirmed change since declaring Chapter 11 bankruptcy earlier this year.

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Touch Mobile Adds Wifi Only Option

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You might recall we introduced a new Sprint MVNO, Touch Mobile, at the beginning of September. This TextNow company has a rather unusual business model. Instead of offering regular service, they use data for voice, text and web browsing.

I’m not sure when this happened, but Touch Mobile now has a new plan option listed on their website. The new plan is for wifi only service, with no network support, and will cost $10. It is currently listed as “coming soon” and you cannot sign up for it just yet. I called customer service, and the associate told me that it would likely be available sometime within the next month or so, but a formal date has not been announced.

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