Despite the bad outcomes that we have seen with other US based MVNO carriers such as Helio and Amp’d Mobile, we have yet another with plans to launch soon. The latest company is called Zer01 Mobile and are planning to launch during CTIA, which begins on April 1.
The Zer01 network will piggyback of the AT&T network, however Zer01 will be tunneling “AT&T’s network into their own IP backbone.” According to the details, they will be using a VOIP application that is made of several “brand-new, proprietary technologies.” Basically, that means at this point we can only guess at how reliable their service will be.
That said, Zer01 Mobile is planning to offer an unlimited voice and unlimited data plan for $69.95 a month. That plan includes voice calling to anywhere in the US, however customers can also add unlimited international calling for an additional $10 per month. Customers will also be on a month-to-month arrangement, meaning no two-year contract to sign, the only downside will be in the form of a $30 activation fee.
As for the phones, customers can choose to bring one of their own, or pick from one of the three that will be offered. The available handsets will be the HTC Touch Diamond, HTC Touch 3G and the HTC TyTN II (Tilt).
Bottom line, this sounds like an interesting setup, especially if you already have a decent phone to bring with you. But, judging from the previous lack of MVNO success I would be a little nervous about becoming a customer. At least we have number portability, that way you can at least take your number should they go belly up.