A new MVNO in Simple Mobile is aiming to enter the ultra competitive flat-rate wireless market by offering what it believes are three key advantages in no contracts, the ability to bring unlocked GSM phones to the provider for use on its service and its trump card in unlimited nationwide GSM voice service for $40, undercutting AT&T’s recently launched $60 GoPhone unlimited voice plan by $20 and even T-Mobile’s Even More Plus no contract unlimited voice offering by $10.
The MVNO is offering phones and devices from Alcatel/Cellatel, RIM, Motorola and Nokia as well as selling SIM-only service in a nod to the European model.
The virtual operator features a list of supported devices compatible with its service, though it being SIM-based should theoretically allow any unlocked GSM phone to work, although Simple Mobile has this to say about using phones and devices outside of its approved device list in its Terms and Conditions:
“Simple Mobile reserves the right to terminate service for use of non-approved phones”.
Judging by the coverage map offered, Simple Mobile is also leasing network access from T-Mobile and is touting its aforementioned $40 unlimited voice plan which undercuts T-Mobile’s unlimited voice offering on the comparable Even More Plus plan by $10 per month.
Plans other than the flagship $40 monthly offering include unlimited talk and text for $45 and unlimited talk, text and 20MB web access costs $50, with an additional 20 MB allotment on the $50 plan costing an extra $5 per month.
Simple Mobile is also offering international long distance for an additional $10 per month on top of the monthly rate chosen as well as international SMS messaging on the $45 and $50 rate plans, but does not specify if international messages are included in the rate plan or if additional charges will be incurred. The provided international carrier list also does not supply international messaging rates, which further adds to the confusion.
Only time will tell if Simple Mobile will mark the revival of competition in flat-rate prepaid GSM service so or join its predecessor in cool prepaid which attempted a similar model and ended up failing without making a noticeable impact.