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TextNow Adds Data to Plans and Enables Call Handoffs From VoIP to Cellular Voice

TextNow Elastic Calling

Wi-First Sprint MVNO TextNow announced today that its software now supports switching VoIP calls to cellular voice mid-call if voice quality degrades. As a Wi-Fi first carrier, TextNow has always initiated calls using VoIP over WiFi, if WiFi is available. If there's no WiFi, but a good cellular data signal, TextNow will use VoIP over cellular. If the data connection is too poor to support VoIP, the calls will be made over traditional cellular voice.

For calls initiated over WiFi, if the WiFi connection deteriorated or was lost, TextNow would automatically switch the call to VoIP over cellular data. However until now, TextNow's software did not have the ability to switch from VoIP to cellular voice in the middle of a call. Today's change, which TextNow calls Elastic Calling, allows VoIP calls to be switched to cellular voice as needed.

In announcing the launch of Elastic Calling, TextNow CEO and co-founder Derek Ting said; "TextNow was created with the vision of offering the best mobile service possible at the most affordable pricing and every day we are closer to reaching this goal. With the rollout of Elastic Calling, TextNow’s voice quality and coverage is superior to that of the major carriers as we don’t rely on just one network but have the ability to switch between between all them, something traditional carriers don’t even offer with WiFi calling."

TextNow also added a new lower priced plan today and increased the amount of data included with its top three plans. TextNow names its plans after espresso drinks, the new plan lineup is:

  • Short $13.99 for 100 MB of 3G/4G data, unlimited 2G data and unlimited texting and calling to the US and Canada (new plan
  • Tall $18.99 for 500 MB of 3G/4G data, unlimited 2G data and unlimited texting and calling to the US and Canada (no change
  • Grande $26.99 for 1.5 GB (was 1 GB) of 3G/4G data, unlimited 2G data and unlimited texting and calling to the US and Canada 
  • Venti $39.99 for 3 GB (was 2 GB) of 3G/4G data, unlimited 2G data and unlimited texting and calling to the US and Canada 
  • Quattro $59.99 for 6 GB (was 4 GB) of 3G/4G data, unlimited 2G data and unlimited texting and calling to the US and Canada 
Current TextNow customers will automatically be upgraded to the new plans with increased data with no action by the customer required.

Source: TextNow via PRNewswire

18 comments:

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  1. What if you have no data? Can't make a call?

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    1. You can, all TextNow Plans include unlimited calling. I'm not sure how this works but I suspect the custom ROM on TextNow calls has the ability to enable data for VoIP while blocking it for everything else.

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    2. The data is unlimited, however at 2G speed it's unusable for VOIP calls, so if no wifi is available, and you used your high speed allotment, all calls will be routed to cellular, tho I suspect if your majority of calls use cell minutes, the will cut you of at some point.

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    3. The phone won't make a VoIP call unless it knows the call will be good quality. Otherwise, it falls back to traditional cellular voice. The whole point of the feature we announced today is we pick the best network for the best quality. There is no sacrifice. We don't route every call through VoIP.

      -Derek, CEO of TextNow.

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  2. If they can't even compete with Boost, I just don't see the point.

    Then again, Sprint's been on the guerilla warpath towards its MVNOs since the great tightening of '16.

    At this rate, it looks like they'll all go down with the terribly mismanaged ship.

    May the bankruptcy courts have mercy on Softbank's finances.

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    1. I don't think Sprint will end up in bankruptcy. They will either get purchased outright by a cable operator, or merge with T-Mobile. Softbank will lose a lot of $$ either way.

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    2. EyeAmNoLongerInfectedJuly 27, 2016 at 2:35 AM

      Sprint CEO, Marcelo Claure, just spoke to a group of Wall Street analysts on Monday stating "Customers will pay more in not too distant future..." which resulted in Sprint stock spiking up 5%.....ROFLMAO!

      All these customers enjoying "1/2 price" savings....party ending soon kids. Prices for them will more than double, in addition to "testing OTHER rate plans" :-)

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    3. "Then again, Sprint's been on the guerilla warpath towards its MVNOs since the great tightening of '16."

      And it's customers. They advertise "reliability" compared to Verizon. Unfortunately, that "reliability" means Sprint will consistently provide you no service in most of the country, compared to Verizon's 3+ bars of service.

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  3. My sister had Republic wireless. This company sounds a lot like that with the whole Wi-Fi hand off to cell calling...

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  4. I have the free TEXT Now App for calling my Canadian relatives. The Wifi calling is pretty rough and I get dropped sections of my call unless I have really good upload/download speeds on wifi. Making calls on LTE is better, but the call quality is very susceptible to degradation if LTE speeds drop down to 4G during times of network congestion. TEXT Now is a great idea for really cheap calls, but Google Hangouts with a Google Voice number or one of the big two MNVO plans is a better deal.

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    1. I had better luck with Fongo. Google Voice is good for calls to Canada, but long distance if they call me.

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  5. I'm glad they brought back their lowest-priced plan, but they really need to get that monthly price down... RepublicWireless already offers unlimited calls/text for $10/mo+tax, and they even include unlimited roaming on Verizon (though only where you have absolutely ZERO Sprint signal). The "unlimited" 2G (very slow) data is a good option to keep navigation apps and e-mail and such working, which Republic doesn't offer, but it doesn't quite make up for both the lack of roaming coverage AND a 40% higher monthly price. TextNow also has some cheap phones, but after 2-years the higher monthly fee erases that savings. At least their disadvantage over Republic is getting smaller now.

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    1. Re..p..ugh...blic on Sprint. Off the radar for serious consideration. Maybe their T-Mobile based offerings about to launch will be reliable.

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    2. "2G (very slow) data is a good option to keep navigation apps and e-mail and such working"

      Is 64kbps fast enough to check email and navigate? What can you even do with unlimited 2G?

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    3. 64 Kbps is plenty fast enough for Gmail to sync email and for navigation with offline maps to work. Also web browsing with Opera Mini.

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  6. When I see that pic I think they should hang up and drive.

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  7. They do enforce a soft cap of 170 MB per day. If you go over that, which I did, they cut you off. They say it is only data but I was not able to make phone calls without wifi.

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  8. More like 12 kbps in practice. LMBAO!

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