RingPlus has announced that they will be offering a new free cell phone plan to its current lineup of low cost plans. This new plan is part of a collaboration with the Sprint network which the RingPlus MVNO (mobile virtual network operator) runs on. The freemium model is based on a number of technologies and pricing structures such as wifi calling, Ringback tone media, and overage charges.
Below is the new RingPlus phone plan line-up, which includes the Free plan in addition to some other changes:
Free Cell Phone Plan
The free plan includes 200 cell talk minutes, 50 sms text messages, and up 10MB of data. Also, the 200 talk minutes do not count towards calls made over WiFi using their FluidCall system, which follows in the footsteps of other MVNOs such as Republic Wireless to offer hybrid cell/wifi phone technology.
You may be wondering how they can offer a free phone plan. The fact is what is being offered does not take up a whole lot of their usage, especially since data is limited to only 10MB. The money is made up by charging for extra usage that may be incurred such as 4 cents per MMS message, 3 cents for International SMS text messages, and 2 cents for any overages on the maximum talk, text, and data included in the plan.
We’ve seen similar freemium mobile phone plans from the likes of FreedomPop, however RingPlus seems to be much more upfront and clear about the extra overage costs. In addition, the RingPlus additional costs seem to be more reasonable and likely not a big deal if you keep track of your usage.
In addition to the overage pricing, RingPlus also has Ringback tone media on all their plans which means advertisements are played during the time when you dial someone and the pickup instead of the usual dialing tone. This is one of the technologies that they’ve developed to allow them to keep their plan prices lower then other providers.
For those RingPlus customers with existing plans, they will be grandfathered in to those plans if they want, or they will be able to switchover to one of the new plan line-ups.
New RingPlus Phone Store
In addition to the new phone plans, RingPlus has also introduced a new phone store on their website. This store offers a range of different new and used phones that are compatible with the RingPlus service if one isn’t able to bring a phone from another service due to compatibility reasons.
Overall, I think the new plan lineup and addition of the Free plan is a good step for RingPlus to stay competitive in the cheap mobile phone plan market. However, those signing up need to be aware of the extra costs that may be involved for things like overage or extra MMS charges for instance. The Free plan is great for those who actually use their phone for the phone function, but not necessarily that great for those of us who use our phones as a miniature computer with Internet access.
Be sure to check out our RingPlus Review page along with other customer reviews. And if anyone reading tries out the Free plan, be sure to let us know what your thoughts are on it in the comments below.