Sprint Introduces Mobile Controls For Parents

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News Posted: Mon, Dec 5 2011 12:00 PM

Sprint is making it easier for parents to manage their teen's wireless usage with a handful of controls known as Sprint Mobile Controls. Powered by Safely, these new tools can provide parents with  graphical representations that show calls, texts and application usage as well as the ability to lock a phone remotely at specific times such as during school or at dinner time. In addition to Sprint Mobile Controls, the wireless carrier also offers Sprint Family Locator, Sprint Drive First and Safely Social Monitor. Sprint Mobile Controls is available on all Sprint CDMA Android smartphones for $4.99 per month per line. A 30-day free trial is available. Sprint expects to offer the service for BlackBerry devices and other operating systems in the coming months.

Sprint and Safely Help Families Manage Wireless Phone Usage with Innovative Mobile Controls

New Sprint Mobile Controls will allow parents to set phone use limits by time of day or week, see daily calls, text messaging and application activity

OVERLAND PARK, Kan., & EMERYVILLE, Calif. (BUSINESS WIRE), December 05, 2011 - The wireless phone is the number one tool teens use to communicate. More than 75 percent of children ages 12-17 now own a wireless phone.1 With many schools banning wireless phone use during class time and family dinners being interrupted with texts, parents are looking for solutions to help teens use their phone responsibly.

Sprint (NYSE: S) announced today new Sprint Mobile Controls powered by Safely, a division of Location Labs, that will allow parents to see rich graphical representations of how their family calls, texts and use applications and to lock phones remotely at specific times.

Sprint Mobile Controls, along with Sprint Family Locator, Sprint Drive First and Safely Social Monitor powered by Safely, are part of a suite of family services offered by Sprint to help parents better stay connected to their children and help protect their physical and virtual safety.

Parents can sign up and learn more about Sprint Mobile Controls by visiting www.sprint.com/mobilecontrols. Key services that are available include:

  • Easy-to-read dashboard of phone usage, including voice and text messages broken down by time of day.
  • Seeing who your son or daughter has been calling or texting recently – and how often.
  • Quickly and easily setting phone use limits by time of day and day of week.
  • Establishing an allowed list of phone numbers from which your child can receive a call or text.
  • Seeing a list of your child’s contacts with an associated picture ranked by overall texting and calling activity.
  • Viewing what apps your child is downloading to their phone.
  • Choosing up to three anytime apps that your child can use when their device is locked.
  • Ability to set optional alerts.
  • Allowing your child to override phone restrictions in case of an emergency.
  • Setting alert notifications for new contacts, or School Hours and Late Night time periods.
  • Setting Watchlist contacts: Receive alert notifications when your child communicates with a Watchlist contact.

“Sprint is pleased to give parents’ tools and information to help better manage their teen’s and families’ wireless usage,” said Fared Adib, vice president-Product Development, Sprint. “With Sprint Mobile Controls, Sprint Drive First and Sprint Family Locator, Sprint offers parents a comprehensive and innovative suite of applications to ensure their teen is using their wireless phone responsibly.”

Sprint Mobile Controls is available on all Sprint CDMA Android smartphones for $4.99 per month per line and includes a 30-day free trial. At the end of the trial, customers will be charged the $4.99 monthly rate unless they cancel service at www.sprint.com/mobilecontrols. The service will be offered to BlackBerry® devices and other operating systems in the coming months.

“We are excited to be launching another service with Sprint,” said Tasso Roumeliotis, CEO of Location Labs, creator of Safely. “Sprint Mobile Controls leverages our mobile platform, strengthens our longstanding relationship with Sprint, and gives parents greater confidence about letting their kids engage with mobile phones.”

Sprint Family Locator

Sprint Family Locator is a location-based service that uses Sprint's state-of-the-art GPS technology to enable a parent to use a phone or PC to locate a child’s phone on a map. The service also gives the address, surrounding landmarks and accuracy of the phone's location within a specified radius. Parents can also set up safety checks that alert them if their child is not at a designated location at a specific time. Sprint Family Locator costs $5 per month to locate up to four phones. For more information and to register, visit www.sprint.com/familylocator.

Sprint Drive First

Sprint Drive First is an application that automatically locks a mobile phone when a car is moving more than 10 mph, disabling phone functionality, directing incoming calls to voice mail, and silencing distracting alerts for emails and text messages. Anyone texting the driver will receive an automated message indicating the person they texted is driving. A locked device displays a home screen with exit and emergency 911 buttons to override the app. Sprint Drive First can be overridden if the user is a passenger in a car, on a bus or train, but the parent or account holder can choose to receive notifications when the service is overridden. Sprint Drive First costs $2 per month. For more information and to register, visit www.sprint.com/drivefirst.

Safely Social Monitor

Safely Social Monitor is a free service offered exclusively to Sprint customers. With Safely, parents can monitor their child’s Facebook activities, including viewing their friend list, see who they speak to most frequently and the ages and gender of their friends. They also can view newly posted photos of their child and receive alerts when certain phrases are used or when they are tagged in photos. This will help parents quickly intervene when necessary to keep their child safe. Safely Social Monitor is part of the Safely family of services. For more information and to register, visit www.safely.com.

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A reasonable service for what they are offering. The social networking feature is especially important in this age considering how much bullying, sexting, and garbage that gets passed through the social networks. The one thing for parents that use these services to keep in mind at least in my opinion is that they should tell their kids they are being monitored so at least they are aware. Just knowing they are being monitored will probably help them avoid many bad situations.

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Manduh replied on Tue, Dec 6 2011 5:18 PM

This is fantastic! My daughter is only 6.5yrs old right now, but I'm always thinking into the future - mostly I'm terrified of what's to come during her teens. Something like this will be great to ease some of the worry. Hopefully there'll be a Canadian company releasing something like this! Mind you by the time she's old enough to have/want a cell phone it will hopefully be the norm to have these types of parental controls.

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AKwyn replied on Tue, Dec 6 2011 8:15 PM

Well... It's good of Sprint to offer up a service for parents to control their kids phones; and the interface looks good as well...

 

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