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Ciao Mobile to Offer $10/Month Unlimited Sprint LTE with a Catch

Tue, 03/25/2014 - 10:45am
Ben Munson

Ciao Mobile is a new MVNO entering the U.S. today on Sprint’s LTE network and it’s kicking things off with an intriguing offer of unlimited LTE for $10 a month.

The Ciao Mobile Lite plan packages unlimited LTE data, talk and text for a ridiculously low price but there’s a catch: users will have to let a “targeted mobile app” kick out advertisements on their lock screen.

“We want to question the status quo created by telecom carriers by thinking outside the box,” Founder and COO Victor Santos said in a statement. Besides its crazy-low prices, Ciao says it differentiated through “superior user experience and personalized 24/7 customer service.”

The plan comes to the U.S. today for beta testing following Ciao initial focus on emerging markets, particularly in Latin America. The only phone Ciao Mobile currently offers on its website is the HTC EVO for $199. The company hasn’t released details about which devices it will offer for use on Sprint’s network.

Ciao’s existing plans range as high as $60 for unlimited everything which fall closer in line with existing offers from Sprint prepaid brands like Virgin and Boost. But those plans throttle back to slower speeds after users exceed 2.5GB of high-speed data and Sprint just announced stricter throttling policies for those customers. Part of the reasoning the carrier used to justify the slower throttling speeds was needing to accommodate the unlimited data customers on its network. So it’s surprising that Sprint would allow a new MVNO to give away unlimited LTE data at such a low price.

“Our MVNO customers pay a negotiated rate for any airtime used by their customers. If they have heavy users and abusers of their data plans, we may have to revisit those negotiated terms,” a Sprint spokesperson told Wireless Week.

Besides its impossibly disruptive data pricing, Ciao Telecom is also eyeing the launch of a no-contract IP TV service by the end of 2014. The company’s planned set-top box will offer live television outside of the cable business model. The company hasn’t suggested yet what pricing might look like for that service.

In addition to its mobile plans, Ciao offers a digital voice solution for enterprises called Ciao Cloud PBX.

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