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i wireless adds to the $50 unlimited crew

Remember last week, when I asked if there was room for another unlimited MVNO? Apparently, the answer is yes. i wireless, an MVNO of the T-Mobile network, has just introduced a new unlimited talk, text, and web plan for $50. That seems to be the target price range for these MVNOs. The company, which acts as a T-Mobile affiliate in Iowa, sells its MVNO plans to a nationwide audience on its website. Perhaps they can conjure some interest in their newest offering.’s Christopher Price, from whom I found the information on i wireless, thinks that this renders plans from Boost Mobile and Virgin Mobile “a bit less breakthrough.” Yet we’ve seen a number of carriers offer $50 unlimited plans, but, because they don’t have nearly the reach of the established brands, have never really taken off.

The offering actually seems similar to that of Simple Mobile, which, like i wireless, allows the use of unlocked AWS phones on its network. That’s the main draw here. Customers looking for a big brand name will still go for Boost or Virgin, because they’re most recognizable. People wanting the best overall coverage will go with Straight Talk because it runs on the Verizon network, which provides more nationwide coverage than T-Mobile or Sprint.

I’m not sure this changes anything, other than adding yet another unlimited provider to an increasingly saturated market. Some of these MVNOs will survive. Perhaps the affiliate status of i wireless will help it succeed where others have failed. After all, even if their own MVNO sales don’t spike they still have the reselling business. As far as a game-changer, though, this is hardly one. That is, unless they home in on the one area where other wireless carriers are deficient: customer service.

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6 Responses

  1. mike freeman Says

    I-Wireless, the Tmobile affiliate/partner out of Iowa has been around for years. Their $50 gsm unlimited everything Mega Talk prepaid plan is not new.

    Whether iWireless is offered to a nationwide market or to non Iowa dealers remains to be seen.

    If so, it would be a compelling competitor in the unlimited everything plan arena. Particularly with its price point (lower then Tmobile Flexpay) and features (has unlimited data which no other gsm prepaid unlimited carrier has except Tmobile Flexpay).

    They even have their own version of the late lamented My Faves from Tmo with My Fave Five.

    If this is made available nationwide, it will be relevant. If not, there is no point in covering it.

    Posted on June 2nd, 2010 at 3:15 am
  2. mike freeman Says

    Update. It has been stated that this plan is no longer available to anyone outside of Iowa or parts of Illinois. Cancel the great news and recork the bubbly.

    Simple Mobile, Tmobile Flexpay, Att Gophone and the various Att mvnos are the way to go. I Wireless gsm is now taken off the nationwide gsm unlimited prepaid table.

    It was fun for the five minutes it lasted.

    Posted on June 2nd, 2010 at 3:18 am
  3. Leah Says

    PlatinumTel is another prepaid provider to consider for valuable, flexible plans. Their unlimited plan is also just $50 for talk and text and an extra $10 for unlimited web. Furthermore, their plan includes nationwide roaming, unlike some other carriers. Their new Real Paygo plan is an a la carte plan that has the cheapest rates in pay-as-you-go, allowing users to pay only for the services they use. Talk is just 5 cents a minute, text is 2 cents a text and 10 cents per megabyte of web service. This is half that of other carriers’ rates!

    Posted on June 17th, 2010 at 12:38 pm
  4. Phonedude Says

    Actually, there is another Sprint MVNO named i-wireless, which is distributed at Kroger retail stores across the nation. They too have a $50 unlimited talk and text option with the ability to bolt on data.

    Posted on July 22nd, 2010 at 12:31 pm
  5. Leo Smith Says

    iWireless, the T-Mobile affiliate, is not a MNVO nor are they associated with Sprint/Nextel/VirginMobileUSA. They are a subsidiary of INet, a consortium of appx. 130 small Iowa-based telecomm/ISP companies, and are NOT related to the MNVO I-Wireless that is associated with Sprint and Kroger (we don’t even HAVE Kroger grocery stores in Iowa as far as I know of).
    They have a roaming arrangement with TMobile, as TMobile has NO native service anywhere in Iowa and iWireless is specifically Iowa based only (I think they include the Moline/Rock Island area of Illinois due to proximity to the other Quad Cities, and possibly some other areas of Illinois that border on Iowa).

    Even if you are IN Iowa, take extreme caution with iWireless. Their cell phone service I have no experience with, but their wireless data service is the worst so-called ISP crapola I’ve ever suffered through – horribly overloaded network pretty much all the time, their “3G” service seems to be EDGE or is unavailable in the area I live in even though they CLAIM it’s been rolled out, don’t even get me started on the SLOWER THAN DIALUP lack of speed pretty much all the time except rarely in the wee hours of the morning and the insane latency issues (I’ve never seen a 2 MINUTE – not second, over 125 SECONDS – ping before I signed up with these incompetants – the longest ping I’d ever seen before this was appx. 3 seconds on a dialup connection back in the days when 9600 dialup was HIGH SPEED, while 3-6 second pings on iWireless are the NORM and in my testing somewhere around 5 seconds seems to be the median ping time).

    Signal strength wasn’t an issue – I was consistantly seeing 4 bars, rarely bounce up to 5 or down to 3.

    I intend to try the new Virgin unlimited data plan as of tomorrow, it CAN’T be worse than iWireless has proven to be and as my existing cell phone is the no-longer-available Virgin $20/90 days el cheapo plan, I already KNOW I can get signal here for their service.

    Posted on August 26th, 2010 at 10:45 pm
  6. Marty Says

    Iwireless commits FRAUD!
    I got a smart phone with Iwireless in January and got the $25/mo 200 mins/Unlimited text/Unlimited. You can still find the plan defined in this way in their FAQ’s on their site. They apparently decided they could make alot more money if they redefined “unlimited” to mean 200MB of data. So much for unlimited. They have a loose grasp on reality and the English language.

    Posted on February 6th, 2011 at 8:16 pm

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