San Diego — Start-up MVNO UVA Mobile launched its prepaid cellular service to consumers nationwide over its website and plans to roll out a retail-channel program in the third quarter.
The MVNO, which uses the T-Mobile network, sells only SIM cards, opening up opportunities for retailers that sell unlocked GSM phones. The company offers Trio SIM card meeting standard, micro or nano SIM requirements.
UVA positions its no-contract service as allowing consumers to pay only for what they need and letting them add extra talk, text and data any time. Subscribers can also share their minutes and data with a second subscriber or device.
UVA Mobile offers five share-plan options, all at $50/month, each offering a different mix of 4G LTE data from 1.5GB to 4.5GB and 2,000 to 5,000 minutes of talk time. One plan, for example, offers 1.5GB of LTE data and 5,000 minutes, while another offers 4.5GB of data but only 2,000 minutes. All plans include 10,000 local and international texts and a $5 credit for international calls, allowing for up to five hours of talk time to such countries as Brazil, Canada, China, India and Mexico, the company said.
For customers who want more talk, text or data, add-on options cost an extra $10 a month.
After they sign up, customers receive an activation kit consisting of two Trio SIM cards preloaded with one month of service.
To get the fastest LTE speeds, UVA recommends a phone that accesses the 1700/2100 MHz AWS band. Other GSM devices will get HSPA or EDGE speeds.