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TextNow Wireless Adds Unlimited Talk and Text to All Plans

WiFi-First Sprint MVNO TextNow announced today that every TextNow Wireless plan now comes with unlimited talk, text and 2G data. New and existing TextNow customers will automatically get the new features with no action required on their part. The following plans are available:

  • $18.99 for 500 MB of 3G/4G data, unlimited 2G data and unlimited texting and calling to the US and Canada
  • $26.99 for 1 GB of 3G/4G data, unlimited 2G data and unlimited texting and calling to the US and Canada
  • $39.99 for 2 GB of of 3G/4G data, unlimited 2G data and unlimited texting and calling to the US and Canada
  • $59.99 for 4 GB of 3G/4G data, unlimited 2G data and unlimited texting and calling to the US and Canada.
TextNow, which at one time used Voice Over Internet Protocol (VOIP) for all calls, now uses a hybrid network technology that routes calls over WiFi if available. If WiFi isn't available, but a good 3G or 4G cellular data connection is, calls will use VOIP over cellular data. If the TextNow software detects that the data connection is too poor to support VOIP the call will use traditional cellular voice. Hybrid calling sounds similar to the Premium Voice feature that FreedomPop has announced but not yet released.

TextNow also announced two new to TextNow phones today; the Nexus 5 16 GB for $249.99 and the Moto X (1st edition) for $149.99 (16GB) or $174.99 (32GB). Both phones are brand new, not refurbished.

TextNow uses the native Sprint network, roaming is not available.  While you can bring your own iOS or Android Sprint phone to TextNow, the company doesn't recommend it as hybrid calling is not available with BYOP phones and all calls will be made using VOIP.

TextNow has always had great phone prices but plan prices seemed high for the limited voice minutes and data included. Provided hybrid calling works well, the addition of unlimited calling makes TextNow's pricing a lot more attractive, especially for users who make lots of calls. 

27 comments:

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  1. So you can only use 3/4 G for voice calls?

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    1. No, "If the TextNow software detects that the data connection is too poor to support VOIP the call will use traditional cellular voice." Calls also work over WiFi.

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  2. freedom pops premium voice is not yet released ?

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  3. Now THIS is a plan that could make me think about switching from Boost Mobile. I would have to see how well their VoIP works first though. They have an app in the Play Store that is supposed to work on all Android phones. I'm seriously thinking about trying it just to see. I could probably get by with 500 Mb per month of high speed data since the cap isn't a hard cap. Once you get past the 500 MB and 1 GB plans, Boost again becomes the better deal. I'm liking their prices on the Moto X too. Phone aside (TextNow does offer other phones), this looks very interesting.

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  4. 2g data? You mean there is something slower than Sprint 3g?

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    1. CDMA 2G uses a standard called 1xRTT. The maximum theoretical speed is 144 Kbps, real world speeds are typically sub 100 Kbps

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    2. ...in other words, sadly useless...

      Does the VoIP data count against the data bucket? If so, is 1xRTT enough to support VoIP call.

      It's too early to make a judgement call until these details are known.

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    3. Mobile data used by VOIP does count against your data allowance. VOIP on 1xRTT would be unusable. I wonder if all calls would be cellular voice if you used up your data bucket and the only data available to you was 2G. I can't see TextNow allowing that to happen though.

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    4. So if I use a BYOP phone and run out of high speed data, I won't be able to make any calls on a plan with unlimited voice minutes?

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  5. From what I've read on Howard forums on the text now thread, that's correct. With a byob you'd be exclusively relying on data for voice, with no fall back to cellular voice. If you want the fall back to cellular you have to purchase one of their phones for the baked in call handling firmware. I am pretty sure that info was posted by the CEO on that thread.

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  6. Anyone here have experience with the 2g fallback voice calls? Call quality? Does the software do a good job of choosing 2g when a 3g data call would result in poor call quality?

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    1. Depending on what covoder is used for VoIP, but 1xRTT is generally not suitable for VoIP calls. I would say Sprint's EVDO 3G network is even questionable for a conventional G711 G729 VoIP calls.

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    2. It's very specific that you aren't using data for voice calls unless the data is good enough. So you wouldn't be using 2G, but the regular cellular network.

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  7. Same concept as Google Project FI minus multiple networks (tmobile), Google Voice Number Integration and Wifi Hotspots agreements.


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  8. I see it was announced today that Verizon is rewarding its Prepaid customers, who sign up for auto-pay, with extra data.

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    Replies
    1. Totally off topic. Nice weather we've been having, eh?

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  9. I just found out about this. If they add a hotspot, and I can get a Windows Phone through them I might think about switching. Right now I am on a 635 on GoPhone throttled after 1.5 GB on their $45 plan. TextNow's $18 plan is actually cheaper. I don't mind the throttling, I just have a problem with the fact that I have to pay GoPhone $45 a month when other people are getting unlimited data for less. In fact, the only reason I won't switch to Cricket is because they don't have the hotspot. Ok I am addicted to the hotspot I use it for everything, that is the only thing keeping me around.

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    1. I actually decided to go with them. I haven't used Sprint in years so that is a bit unnerving but I got sick and tired of GoPhone. I may keep it activated for the mobile hotspot, but my daily driver will be TextNow. I went with the Moto G, whcih they had for $5 refurbished.

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  10. TextNow Wireless, a contract-free, cloud-based mobile phone service, is expanding its offering of handsets to include new and refurbished Samsung Galaxy S5 and LG Volt phones. The devices will now be available both on the company’s website and at Fry’s Electronics.
    The company is also expanding its payment options to accept cash payments at 10,000 gas stations and convenience stores nationwide, as well as its own brick and mortar locations. Source Credit: Wireless Week

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  11. Things you're review missed:

    1) You must text every 2 days or you can lose your phone number. Forgot? Sucks to be you
    2) Customer support is non-exisitent. The FAQ's are generic, support pages are for a small subset of problems, and try and contact someone
    3) The phone comes with no documentation on how to setup, how to use. See above about no help

    Based on reviews, we made the mistake of buying a phone (at least we were only out $20) and plan from Textnow. No one can text to the phone (brilliant, right? A company called Textnow and you can't text to it), and the phone can't make calls (error: Sorry, we only support calls to North America. We are in N. America, we were calling N. America).

    You get what you pay for. In the case of Textnow, you get less, far less. Avoid this company.

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    1. texnow is not bad at all call quality is good data is fine and very cheap no complaints try it before you knock it

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    2. To be fair they always text me and ask me if I'm still using the service before they get rid of the number. And now that I'm paying of their service I haven't ran into that at all I think that is more of an issue for customers that are using the app for free.

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    3. I kept them for about a year and finally cancelled. Back with AT&T now.

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  12. Service is great! I could not believe my HTC ONE Android was compatible! The only downside is no hotspot. Really, really wish the had hotspot capabilities. Super nice to the wallet.

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  13. I have used text now for about four years now. I love the price. It's not perfect but for $18.99 it's all I need. I won't upgrade because I use wifi every where possible to save my high speed data for games an such when I'm away from wifi. The phone prices and year warranty can't be beat. Have an issue with a verizon phone even if insured you pay to replace it. I've gotten a phone and a battery replaced free from text now. Anxiously awaiting my galaxy 6

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  14. They use data for everything. And if you go over 170 MB of data in a 24 hour period consistently, for 3 days you won't have service as your data will be suspended, and data is required to make and receive calls.

    The service will fall back to cellular data if you're already on a call, and if you have data in your account, you can place a cellular call, but data is still required. Data is also required for all texts made or received, there is no native MMS/SMS with their accounts.

    Good deal if you want a cheap phone you normally could not afford or you have access to WiFi but it can be problematic if you do not have WiFi. And as Sam mentioned, no hotspot.

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