Solavei – a no-contract MVNO powered by the T-Mobile network – today announced the availability of nano SIM cards, compatible with the iPhone 5.
For $49 per month, Solavei subscribers can now use Apple’s iPhone 5, Samsung’s Galaxy SIII or Google’s Nexus 4, with unlimited voice, text and data mobile service. The 4G data bounty ends at 4GB, after which Solavei throttles you back to 2G-level service.
The company said anyone using an iPhone 5 can buy a Solavei nano-SIM for $9, then pair it with Solavei’s service, which runs $49 per month. Solavei noted that its retail partner, GSM Nation, offers a range of unlocked pre-configured phones.
Solavei is a pre-paid mobile phone service with no obligation to share or sign up others. Members who choose to share the Solavei Mobile Service with others through its social commerce platform can use the money to offset their monthly bill and even have the opportunity to generate recurring monthly income. At its simplest, the plan allows members to earn $20 per month for every three members (called a “Trio”) they or someone directly connected to them signs up for mobile service.
Of course right now, even after you’ve paid off your $700 iPhone 5, there’s no guarantee that AT&T will let you unlock it, so you can use it on a competing service like Solavei or T-Mobile.
T-Mobile USA will start selling the Apple iPhone shortly, reports Reuters, and will get rid of cellphone subsidies in a similar timeframe, according to Chief Executive John Legere at CES this January. AT&T, Verizon and Sprint currently give customers a device discount in exchange for tying them into a two-year contract. T-Mobile’s new contract-free unlimited data plan enables customers with an unlocked phone to have access to a $70 plan with no contract that includes unlimited voice calling, messaging and data with no caps or overages.
Meanwhile, Clearwire MVNO FreedomPop says its WiMAX-powered $89 Burst home router is now available for purchase. It is offering owners 1 GB of free data per month. The “freemium” model is designed to entice users to purchase additional data at $5 per GB. Users can also purchase a 10 GB package of data for $9.99 per month (1.5 Mbps max), with additional data beyond that amount priced at $5 per GB.
Burst users can also purchase faster speeds, up to 6 Mbps for $14.99 per month and speeds up to 12 Mbps for $18.99 per month. But don’t count on getting those speeds. Speed varies, and 12Mbps is largely wishful thinking unless you’re very near the tower.
Clearwire may phase out WiMax by 2015, so don’t plan on any long term service.