Home - , - New Sprint MVNO Ciao Mobile Announces $10/Month Ad-Supported Unlimited Everything Plan

New Sprint MVNO Ciao Mobile Announces $10/Month Ad-Supported Unlimited Everything Plan

Ciao Mobile, an MVNO which has been operating in Latin America since 2011, launched in US today using the Sprint network. Other than 24/7 customer service, Ciao's current offering is unremarkable, there's no BYOP, available phones are mostly either old or pricey and Ciao's plans are similar to other Sprint MVNOs. 

But Ciao is making a big splash with the announcement of a $10/month Ciao Mobile Lite plan that includes unlimited voice, unlimited messaging and unlimited LTE data. The Lite plan, which is "coming soon", will be subsidised by an app that displays ads for other apps on the phone's lock screen. You can sign up here to be notified when Ciao Lite available. 

In announcing the Lite plan, Ciao founder, COO and ex-Googler Victor Santos said: "We want to question the status quo created by telecom carriers by thinking outside the box. We believe by creating smart solutions we can ultimately save our customers a lot of money. Thinking smart and caring about our users, that's what Ciao's all about. "

Karen Freitag, Vice President of Global Sales at Sprint endorsed the venture stating, "Ciao Telecom has a compelling and differentiated service model, equipping their customers with reliable wireless service at a tremendous value."

It looks like the $10 plan will only be available with a $199 Ciao modified version of the HTC EVO. However it's not clear which model of the EVO Ciao is offering. The website's order page shows a picture of the original 2010 HTC EVO but the specs listed for it match those of the 2012 HTC EVO LTE. Then when you add the EVO to your shopping cart, a picture of the 2011 EVO 3D displays.

Ciao Lite looks promising although a lot depends of the what exactly is being delivered in terms of hardware and services. As long as Ciao's app doesn't get in the way of using the phone or degrade battery life badly, seeing ads on your lockscreen seems like a small price to pay to get unlimited service for just $10 per month. I'm looking forward to learning more about Ciao and sharing it here.

Source PRNewswire via WirelessWeek

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14 comments:

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  1. Replies
    1. I am using Tmo network now and had AT&T and Verizon before, and my other phone is on Sprint. Of all these 4 providers I found Sprint has the most reliable connection for talk and text, for emails and notifications 3G is good for me. I don't like watching videos on tiny screen at all, I go home and watch it on the supersized screen.

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  2. Hofo ID Grateful4adviceMarch 26, 2014 at 11:04 AM

    Great article. Hopefully voice will be transmitted over cellular rather than VOIP like some of the other ultra low cost MVNOs. Sprint's network is too slow for good VOIP.

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  3. Ad-supported!? Yuck! I was hoping that this had died with dotcom bomb of the late 90s. It was found to be unsustainable then, it should be now as well.

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    1. Ad-supported is a great idea, if it reduces the cost a lot. And in this case, it does.

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  4. I was really excited until I read I'd have to use a TWO HUNDRED DOLLAR HTC EVO. I'd put up with lockscreen advertisements if it was on a phone of my choosing.

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  5. $10 cheapie plan with the ad on the lockscreen almost sounds like those kindle fire tablets that you can get for a somewhat reduced price if you get the version with ads on the lockscreen.

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  6. HTC EVO for $199? No thanks!

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    1. That depends. $199 is way too much for the original EVO or the EVO 3d. But it's a fair price for an EVO LTE especially if it's factory refurbished. The specs listed for the EVO on Ciao website match the EVO LTE but the picture is of the original EVO.

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  7. If it is a EVO 4G LTE phone, it is not bad for $199. You just need to compare to your current plan costs to see how long it takes to recover that $199. If they have BYOD and use celluar voice, I will jump on it for sure. Sorry, RingPlus.

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    1. I dunno, being locked into a single phone is concerning. CDMA carriers are already restrictive enough with their new phone blacklists and devices that will only work on their network. Their phone will most likely be running whatever version of Android is running on the EVO LTE with no further updates. It's likely you will not be able to root and use custom roms. It's just too restrictive. I'd rather use RingPlus and my own phone. Honestly, I'd rather use a GSM carrier and my own phone, but I can't find anything as good as RingPlus's $10 plan.

      I'd be all over this deal if there was simply a required app that had to be installed that overwrote the lock screen. It could check home every day and confirm that it's still running. I'm hoping, especially with LTE requiring a SIM, that the industry is moving towards choice in phones, rather than more restrictions.

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  8. Maybe RingPlus should rethink their business model and change to something like this?

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  9. Sprint? If its the non-roaming version, good luck traveling anywhere!!!

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