RingPlus attributes its success to the very thing that makes it different from the other MVNOs in the market. Unlike its competitors, RingPlus inserts advertisements onto the ring-back tones of its customers. So whenever they call someone, they don't hear the typical "ring" sound but an advertisement played to them. They can then choose to interact with the ad while waiting for the call to be answered by pressing a button to get a text message or visit the website of the advertiser for more details.
Out of all the ads placed on these calls, RingPlus says that about 2.5 percent receive a response, which is considered a higher greater than most of the standard ads placed online. Among the ads placed on these calls include DirecTV, King, and many others. According to company executives, most advertisers on RingPlus have been obtained through aggregated advertising networks.
RingPlus first launched its service in August 2013 when it debuted with "content sponsored" service plans. These plans included 300 voice minutes and 50 text messages, but no included data. Overages were then billed at two cents per minute or text. Data was available for 2¢/MB. Fast forward to today and the MVNO has over 25 pricing options to choose from. Despite this, they still offer their free ad-supported plans, which now include 100 minutes, texts, and 100 MB of LTE data per month. To get more minutes, texts and data, customers can increase their "auto top up" by paying between $5 and $27. This "auto top up" feature offered by RingPlus essentially serves as a deposit for service. Any other service added or overage used are paid by customers. In addition to this, RingPlus offers standard wireless pricing options that include unlimited calling and texting and 5GB of high speed LTE service; all of these are priced at $40 per month.
A RingPlus executive said that the company is currently building a community wherein its customers will be able to read news stories, go through job posts, and access a classifieds service all through a membership and dedicated forum. According to RingPlus, each customer is seen as a member of their community. Proof of this is the fact that RingPlus does not they don't have a full time support system to answer customers' questions. Instead, RingPlus lets its customers engage with each other through the forum. Because of this, RingPlus has about 15 full time employees and is financially stable.
RingPlus is not the only MVNO that offers free service to its customers. Another Sprint MVNO, FreedomPop, has a free tier of service to offer to new customers.
Update 9/16/2016: An earlier version of this story incorrectly stated that RingPlus launched in 2015.
Source: Fierce Wireless