Zer01 to Offer $70 Unlimited Voice and Data Plan
|Pharos Traveler 127 |
Piilani claims that Zer01 is not a mobile virtual network operator (MNVO), but is a full-on "communications carrier." MNVOs, such as Virgin Mobile, typically lack any network infrastructure and instead purchase wholesale airtime from other carriers and then resell that airtime to its users. Zer01 has instead established interconnect agreements with the major mobile carriers, which essentially allows a Zer01 phone onto another carrier's network as though it is roaming (and because of the agreements that are in place, you can think of the roaming charges as already having been paid for). The phones only initially connect to the carrier's GSM network using EDGE, GPRS, or HSDPA data channels, however; from there the connection uses Zer01's Internet-based virtual private network (VPN) the rest of the way.
Piilani states that the technology behind this is a "patent pending proprietary Veritable Mobile Convergence (VMC) Technology" that Zer01 has licensed from the United Technologies Group. Note that not only is the United Technologies Group the parent company of Zer01, but Piilani also happens to be that company's CEO as well.
|HTC Touch 3G |
The Zer01 service is scheduled to officially launch on July 1, 2009. This might mark the beginning of a trend of less-expensive, unlimited plan options; two and a half months ago, Sprint's Boost Mobile announced its $50 unlimited nationwide voice and data plan. Perhaps more will follow?
Note that parts of the Zer01 site were offline at the time this news story was posted.