664b7db4b6504da8ecc66f69 Textnow Lifestyle 3

Mobile Provider TextNow to Offer Free Data Supported by Advertising

May 20, 2024
Company takes a step forward in the free, ad-supported model.

TextNow, a free phone service provider, announced that they will start offering free data for certain apps and uses. The company, founded in 2009, offers mobile plans supported by advertising. But up until now has not offered any free data.

TextNow's “Free Essential Data” will allow users access to Gmail, Outlook, Google maps, Uber and Lyft, and other applications. For additional data, customers can purchase “Flexible Data Passes” that are hourly ($0.99), daily ($4.99), or monthly ($39.99).

The company began under an MVNo agreement with Sprint, and following its acquisition by T-Mobile, TextNow is now using the latter’s network.

“At TextNow, we're obsessed with charging people less, while giving them more and changing what consumers expect from their mobile service providers,” said Derek Ting, CEO and co-founder of TextNow. “With this game changing launch of Free Essential Data, we're proving that phone service can be affordable and offer more choice and control to the consumer.”

Ad-Supported Mobile Plans

MVNO agreements have existed for decades now, but TextNow claims their business model is unique in by offering free service that is supported by advertising.

Other service providers and MVNOs have experimented with ad-supported offerings, such as Xero, Dish, and several others, but there has not been widespread adoption of this model, and TextNow is looking to find the right formula to bring this to a wide audience.

The company seems focused on reaching a younger market who are accustomed to reliable service for the apps they use, and who won’t be too put off by tasteful advertising.

By offering data, the company moves beyond the traditional call and text offerings.

"More than 80% of our users are connected to Wi-Fi all or most of the time they are using their phone. With nearly ubiquitous Wi-Fi connectivity, there's no need for families to pay hundreds of dollars a month for data plans they ultimately don't need," continued Ting. "With our free service and low-cost, flexible data passes, we're helping people stay connected while only paying for what they need."

About the Author

Joe Gillard | Executive Editor

Joe Gillard is a media professional with over 10 years of experience writing, editing, and managing the editorial process across a spectrum of innovative industries. Joe strives to deliver the best possible editorial product by focusing on the needs of the audience, utilizing the data available, and collaborating with a talented team.