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H2O Wireless to Launch Verizon MVNO Envie Wireless

A master dealer (wholesaler) for AT&T MVNO H2O Wireless has announced to its dealer partners that H2O will launch Envie Mobile, a new Verizon MVNO on or about October 1, 2014.

H2O is no stranger to Verizon MVNOs. The company has operated H2O CDMA, a bare bones pre-paid only Verizon MVNO, since 1998.  H2O CDMA is apparently still available although it's not actively promoted any more and the plan prices and apparent lack of data services are no longer very competitive.

The announcement doesn't mention of LTE or whether flashed non-Verizon phones will be allowed. Verizon MVNO Page Plus Cellular has announced that it will offer LTE beginning sometime in October. It's been rumored that other Verizon MVNOs will get LTE soon after Page Plus and that once LTE is available, activation of non-Verizon phones will no longer be allowed.

Envie Wireless will launch with monthly plans only. Prices and features are as follows:

Price / 30 days Voice Minutes SMS / MMS Int'l Call Credit Data 1
$25 500 Unlimited $5 500MB
$35 Unlimited Unlimited $10 500MB
$45 Unlimited Unlimited $20 2GB throttled at 1GB
$55 Unlimited Unlimited $20 3GB throttled at 2GB
$65 Unlimited Unlimited $20 unlimited throttled at 3GB
1 Additional high speed data available for 2¢/MB using $5 or $10 data cards.

Plan prices are fairly competitive. Envie's best plan is probably the $25 one. Among Verizon MVNOs, Envie's $25 plan is the least expensive with 500 MB. At $29.95 Page Plus's 500MB plan is $4.95 more expensive. However the Envie and Page Plus plans aren't directly comparable, Page Plus' 500MB plan has more minutes (1200 vs 500) but fewer texts (3000 vs unlimited). The $65 Envie plan is unusual among Verizon MVNOs in that includes unlimited, albeit throttled data.

The Verizon MVNO space has long been dominated by TracFone and PagePlus, which was acquired by Tracfone in January. Locus Communications, H2O's parent company is owned by KDDI, Japan's second largest mobile operator. Envie will hopefully give Tracfone some serious and well funded competition.

Related: Verizon and Verizon MVNO Prepaid Plans Compared


14 comments:

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  1. $35 isn't the least expensive unlimited talk and text plan on Verizon. Red Pocket offers that for $30.

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    1. You'e right, I forgot about the Red Pocket plan. I've updated the post.

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  2. Good to hear this news but I wonder if they will have family plans?

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  3. Will Envie be prepaid coverage like Page Plus or postpaid coverage like Selectel?

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    1. I'm assuming native coverage only unless I hear otherwise. If free roaming was included I would expect the announcement to mention it.

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  4. The $30 plans from PagePlus and Selectel seem better. Both have 500MB and more than twice as many minutes than Envie's $25 plan. Who needs more than 3000 texts per month.

    The PagePlus $40 plan includes 1GB for $5 less than Envie's $45 plan which only has 1GB of high speed data. The PagePlus $55 plan includes 3GB high speed 1GB more than Envie's $55 plan with only 2GB of high speed data. $65 for only 3GB high speed is nuts even for a Verizon MVNO. Verizon prepaid already offers 1GB for $45 or 4GB for $65.

    Of course Envie/H2O's customer service can't come close to that of PagePlus or Selectel.
    Envie will have to modify their plans to be more competitive if they want potential customers to choose them over the competition.

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  5. What about Red Pocket's $19.99 plan - 300 minutes, unlimited text and 1G data? I would love that on 4G, even though it would be at reduced speeds.

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  6. The throttling makes it look like Cricket, hence LTE.

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  7. Page Plus 1200 voice, 3000 text and 500 mb for $28.00 and some change total, no tax or fees, from pincheap, can't beat it.

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  8. Hey Dennis, looking at envie coverage map(look at West Virginia) it appears they do have roaming. Is that possibly new? And, have you heard of any issues with, or reasons not to use envie?

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    1. Verizon MVNO customers generally get no extra charge text only roaming. They may also have LTE-only, data-only roaming on Verizon's "LTE in Rural America" partners

      I strongly doubt that Envie has voice roaming because:
      - I've not seen any user reports of successful voice roaming from Envie users.
      - H2O coverage maps for their AT&T based service show roaming that multiple users have reported does not exist. I don't trust H2O's maps.

      Envie seems to generate more than its share of complains about customer service

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