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TextNow Launches $9.99/Month Unlimited Talk & Text, 100 MB Plan

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WiFi-First Sprint MVNO TextNow has added a new, less expensive plan to its lineup. Priced at $9.99/month, the new plan, which is only available to new customers, includes unlimited voice calling and messaging and 100 MB of full speed data. After the first 100 MB of data is used in a month, unlimited data at 2G speeds is available for the rest of the month.

TextNow also seems to have discontinued its highest priced plan which included unlimited talk and text and 4 GB of high speed data for $59.99/month.

With the latest changes, the TextNow plan line up looks like this:

  • $9.99 for 100 MB of 3G/4G data, unlimited 2G data and unlimited texting and calling to the US and Canada
  • $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
TextNow's phones use a custom Android OS that uses VOIP over WiFi for calls whenever WiFi is available. If there's no WiFi, but there's a good LTE or 3G cellular signal, TextNow will use VOIP over cellular. If the software detects that the data connection is too poor to support VOIP, phone will fall back to traditional cellular voice.

You can use your own iPhone or Android phone with TextNow by installing a TextNow app, but the company doesn't recommend it. Without the custom OS cellular voice fall back won't be available and all calls will be made using VOIP.

TextNow offers a number of phones at reasonable prices. However the prices aren't quite as affordable as they used to be. It looks like TextNow raised the prices of several of its least expensive phones at that the same time as it launched the new $9.99 plans. For example, the Moto E, which had been selling for $4.99 refurbished and $19.99 new, is now $34.99 refurbished and $39.99 new.  On the other hand many of TextNow's higher end phones are still very aggressively priced, including the refurbished 32 GB Nexus 5 for $149.99 and the brand new Samsung Galaxy 5 at $199.99.

Update 5/31/2016: The $9.99 plan is now longer available. According to TextNow support it was a limited time promotion that ended 5/28/2016.

Source: TextNow

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31 comments:

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  1. Missed those $4.99 Moto E. Darn.

    Ringplus is number 1 for me.

    They could bring problems to the likes of textnow.

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  2. As a Canadian company, it's too bad this doesn't roam in Canada. That would be a nice option for people in border states.

    As it stands, being limited to Sprint, this doesn't really compete with fremium Sprint options like RingPlus big bucket plans. Granted that TextNow customer service is light years ahead though.

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  3. RPlus phone choices are dramatically restricted,that's a problem for some.

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  4. If you've used up all of your high speed data in a month, will an LTE connection still be available for voice calls?

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    Replies
    1. Yes. But you won't be able to enjoy much at 2G speeds.

      Delete
    2. Actually, I think TextNow falls back to 2G voice when your WiFi connection is not good enough. And 2G voice when there is no WiFi. They don't mention VoLTE.

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    3. "Which network does TextNow mobile phone service use?
      TextNow uses your WiFi connection first, when it is available (even for text & calls). When there is no WiFi connection, TextNow will use Sprint's nationwide 2G voice, 3G, and 4G network."

      Delete
    4. "Our unique technology allows your device to switch between CDMA (2G) and data networks (3G and LTE), based on the quality of the network you are using at any given moment. During calls, our technology will decide whether the data connection is strong enough for you to experience a high quality of audio. If it is not, then your call will instead be routed through the traditional audio network (2G - CDMA) so that your call quality can be as high as possible."

      Delete
  5. Nextplus go is better for 9.99 month due to using tmobile service.

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    Replies
    1. Only a little better (nationwide), it being T-Mobile (which has a much worse network than AT&T and Verizon, but a little better than Sprint).

      Personally, I'd use this over Nextplus, due to the total lack of T-Mobile in my area.

      Delete
    2. Unlimited (slow) data and a good selection of cheap phones are big improvements over Republic Wireless or Nextplus Go. However, RW includes roaming onto Verizon which TextNow doesn't. Hmm.

      With RingPlus plans, you have to watch your usage or pay big overage fees. That's their whole business model. Unlimited 2G is a better option for many people.

      The hybrid wifi/cell calling of TextNow/Republic sure helps patch the gaps in Sprint coverage... No such option on RingPlus.

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    3. "With RingPlus plans, you have to watch your usage or pay big overage fees." The Totally Free plan does not let you use overages unless you register a credit card, which is not required. Overages range from only 2c to as much as 5c depending on the plan.
      "The hybrid wifi/cell calling of TextNow/Republic sure helps patch the gaps in Sprint coverage... No such option on RingPlus."
      As you mentioned above, RW has a roaming option on Verizon (and regional carriers too). Extra cost voice, sms and data roaming.

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    4. NPG includes ZERO data, this has 100mb and then unlimited (2g for what that is worth). In my area, TMO does have better coverage (only recently) than S.

      Delete
    5. NextPlus Go charges $16/GB and it rolls over. So NPG usually costs less than TextNow when you need more than 100 MB/month mobile data. If you need a full 2GB/month consistently, TextNow costs less.

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    6. Is their a similar company to NextPlus and Text Now that run on the AT&T network ?

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    7. There's nothing on AT&T like TextNow which is a WiFi first operator that favors VOIP but falls back to cellular voice if needed.

      AFAIK NextPlus Go is VOIP only. You could replicate that on AT&T with a data-only plan and Hangouts or another OTT calling and messaging app.

      Delete
    8. I use FreePop Global SIM on AT&T for data service on my iPad and smartphone. VOIP dialer and OTT messaging apps work fine. 200MB/month mobile data is free.

      Delete
    9. "The hybrid wifi/cell calling of TextNow/Republic sure helps patch the gaps in Sprint coverage... No such option on RingPlus."

      With RingPlus you can use any SIP dialing app to place calls over WiFi. Granted, it's not the native dialer, and it doesn't handoff, but WiFi calling is absolutely available.

      Delete
  6. Page plus with their 39.95 plan is a lot better than their 39.99 and PP let's you use Verizon and gives you 3GB instead of their 2GB.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Or you could get Total Wireless, $35 for 5GB LTE on Verizon. It's the same company (and the same customer service) as Page Plus.

      Delete
  7. Textnow is great for those who need lots of minutes and messages, but their data rates are so uncompetitive that app-users can do better elsewhere.

    RingPlus, Cricket, Tracfone brands, and US Mobile / T-mobile / Family Mobile / MetroPCS have already filled most of the niches on their respective networks, and the only way to really get on the board is by offering more data (not less) than the competition.

    It may not be financially feasible, but who cares.

    Relevance is based on usefulness, and a Sprint MVNO isn't useful unless both the service and devices are subsidized to the point of economic suicide.

    Unfortunately, Textnow still hasn't figured out how to succeed by selling everything at a loss.

    Maybe someday.

    But until then, I'll stick with Cricket.

    After all, a $50 Idol 3 and $20/2.5GB plan are a much better value than Textnow, even though you'd think being VOIP-only on a network as desperate as Sprint would allow them to offer even better plan and device pricing than a carrier that uses standard talk 'n text.

    Go figure.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. TextNow is not "VOIP only." And you have to be a real masochist to police up 4 extra payments every month just to brag about your $20 "value." Factor in the heavy throttle that wastes your time, poor CS and junk fees, and Cricket is not a much better value for many people.

      Delete
  8. Sounds good! Unlimited (slow) data and a good selection of cheap phones are a big improvement over Republic Wireless. However, RW does include roaming onto Verizon which TextNow doesn't. Hmm.

    With RingPlus plans, you have to watch your usage or pay big overage fees. That's their whole business model. Unlimited 2G is a better option for many people.

    The hybrid wifi/cell calling of TextNow/Republic sure helps patch the gaps in Sprint coverage... No such option on RingPlus.

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  9. Better off using free RingPlus service, VoIP is bad over Sprint.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. If you don't have a strong 3g/4G data connection, TextNow automatically switches your call to the regular voice network, without the high latency of RingPlus voice service.
      It's impossible to say that one service is better than the other, since it varies by location, network conditions and RingPlus server load.

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  10. TextNow is selling a new Volt for $40, and a refurb S5 for $160. Refurb S6 is $250.

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  11. I think Textnow is better some points, because I do not have to worry about lose my phone number Ringplus has a risk to lose number during port in.

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    Replies
    1. You can worry alright. With PTel and other tiny companies shutting off and throwing people's numbers away with just a few days notice. I'd stick with a really huge company if you want to make sure you keep your number.

      Delete
  12. "With RingPlus you can use any SIP dialing app to place calls over WiFi. Granted, it's not the native dialer, and it doesn't handoff, but WiFi calling is absolutely available."

    Actually, what you are describing has nothing to do with RingPlus, at all. It's simply the ability of any Wifi-enabled Android device to do VIOP over wifi.

    Since RingPlus does not integrate or "hand off", it remains true that wifi calling does not exist in RingPlus.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. RingPlus' "FluidCall" SIP calling is somewhat integrated. RingPlus has its own SIP server at sip.ringplus.net

      If you set up your SIP client to use that server, SIP calls will display your RingPlus number on the callee's caller ID and incoming calls to your RingPlus number will ring your SIP client.

      Calls made or received using FluidCall also appear in your RingPlus call log.

      Delete
  13. Why no flip phones? They would be a good fit for the new $9.99 plan.

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