Not long after reporting on the new changes to Sprint MVNO Scratch Wireless and its data passes eliminating unlimited data, the Sprint-powered MVNO is making a bigger push for customers that aren’t necessarily well-served by the 4 carriers or even other MVNOs in terms of the monthly cost of service.
Previously, Scratch Wireless was an invite-only service that required the purchase of the three-year-old Motorola Photon Q in order to use its Wi-Fi first calling and messaging service since the service first launched in the middle of 2013.
Now, the MVNO is preparing to launch a less expensive entry-level Android smartphone from Chinese OEM CoolPad next month in the Arise for $99.99. Once the phone is shipped and activated with a Scratch Wireless account, the phone can be used on Wi-Fi for voice calls and messaging without needing an additional voice and data plan. As an additional feature that hasn’t been heavily promoted in the press yet, text messaging is also available over the Sprint cellular network at no additional charge, making it perfect for teen and younger users.
If access is ever needed to Sprint’s cellular network, such as knowing you’ll be out of Wi-Fi range for an extended period, cellular voice passes start at $1.99 for daily access up to $14.99 for unlimited monthly cellular voice, while data passes start at the same rates for 50MB and 500MB, but also adds a monthly option for $24.99 that features 1GB of cellular data, which denotes the emphasis the service places on Wi-Fi as the primary access point for service and the passes serving as an occasional need, rather than a strict requirement.
Scratch Wireless has also confirmed that it is planning on launching a new cloud-based version of its service that does not rely on heavily customized Android software in order to allow people to use its service on a wider range of devices, suggesting that BYOSD support may be coming soon.