New company alert: Startup Simple Mobile in Orange County officially launched its prepaid wireless service today claiming to “revolutionize the unlimited prepaid wireless market.”
It comes from Clay Berryhill, a former exec of defunct Amp’d Mobile, Sprint and Verizon Wireless, according to a note I got with the press release announcing the company’s launch. Berryhill has been working on Simple for two years in Laguna Beach. The company’s privacy page alludes to Irvine as being the home base.
From Simple Mobile’s press release (I’m waiting for the company to respond to questions), the new company does several things differently:
So … is Simple really revolutionary? That’s quite a claim, considering that this year, prepaid wireless services like Irvine’s Boost Mobile inspired post-paid carriers to follow its $50 monthly plan offering a bunch of unlimited calling, texting and wireless features. Plus, MetroPCS has been around for a couple years now hawking its unlimited packages that start at $35/month.
First, the pricing. The cheapest plan is $40/month and includes unlimited calls in the U.S. and 411 calls, plus voicemail, caller ID and call waiting. By comparison, MetroPCS, which from my research is one of the cheapest wireless services around, offers the same package for $30/month. Simple’s feature-packed $50/month plan (includes unlimited calling, texting and 20 MB of web browsing) compares to the same features offered by Boost’s $50 plan, but Boost tosses in unlimited wireless web.
Coverage area: Simple’s coverage map looks very similar to that of MetroPCS, which is nationwide but very spotty in areas outside of major metropolises. However, the two companies use different technology (GSM vs. CDMA) so that rules out further comparisons. T-Mobile and AT&T have much larger national coverage areas than Simple.
As for features? No mention of 3G service so if you do use the Internet, don’t expect it to be speedy.
So, it’s not cheaper, coverage is not better and its features are on par or below with everyone else. What’s the point? What’s the catch?
I’m not trying to bash a new Orange County company. Every industry could use more competition. But what consumers want to know is why is this service better? There’s very little about the company online and other sites are not having much luck getting information either. When I get some answers, I’ll update.
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