After months of hybrid services such as Republic Wireless, FreedomPop, TextNow seemingly being the domain of Sprint and its MVNO program, the first GSM-powered VoIP carrier has rolled out on T-Mobile’s data network through reseller Red Pocket in UppWireless. UppWireless is the mobile data service component to VoIP and messaging app UppTalk, which itself only launched in December in the US.
The crux of UppWireless is the use of the UppTalk app for all phone calls and messaging instead of the standard dialers. Of course this also means
All of UppWireless’s plans offer unlimited voice and SMS over its app, selling a monthly data tier instead. $15 will get you 1 GB of HSPA+ data on T-Mobile’s networks, while $35 and $55 will get you 3 GBs and 5 GBs, respectively. In fact, the chief engineer for the app even took to answering questions and concerns regarding the service on Reddit’s No Contract subreddit, while the UppTalk CEO did the same at the service’s launch last week for the wider media.
While the idea of a VoIP-only MVNO would seem to work best over T-Mobile’s HSPA+ and LTE network, there’s still the issue of user priority, as UppWireless is buying data access from a reseller rather than directly from T-Mobile itself through a standard virtual operator agreement, and
the lack of E911/emergency number capability is sure to put many off and really seems better suited for a tablet or second smartphone, where voice service is useful, but isn’t a priority.
Nonetheless, this new service might be the start of such voice services taking off in the future on T-Mobile’s data network, especially with the expansion of LTE.
Update: UppWireless PR has officially clarified that E911 support does work for the UppWireless service through its SIM card, but not for the application itself, as already stated in its TOS.