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TextNow Releases VoIP-Only Smartphones

Tue, 08/06/2013 - 10:58am
Ben Munson

TextNow is beefing up its OTT empire with the introduction of two smartphones that will solely offer VoIP and IP-based SMS.

The company is selling a Galaxy S2 ($120) and a Nexus S ($90) that swap out the native phone and app features for TextNow’s app, which enables calling and texting over Wi-Fi, as well as Sprint’s CDMA and WiMax networks.

The phone plans offer significant cost savings over contract carriers. The plans start at $19 a month for 500 MB of data, 750 rollover minutes and free texting and incoming calls. $40 a month will bump customers up to 2 GB of data and 2,000 rollover minutes. What’s more, TextNow phones work on Wi-Fi for international calls and texts.

TextNow also sells a Wi-Fi hotspot ($40) that enables calling and texting with similarly priced plans.

TextNow rolling out all IP-based phones now means it has beat MVNO FreedomPop to the punch. FreedomPop in June announced it would soon be offering a similar service—called Freedom Phone—but the company won’t likely be selling phones until the end of summer or early fall. But FreedomPop is now running with Sprint’s LTE network and its upcoming phones will get in on that action as well.

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