MobileX, a mobile virtual network operator (MVNO) riding on the Verizon cellular network, has entered the mass market in a big way, announcing this week that its SIM Kits are now sold in nearly 1,000 Walmart stores across the US and online at walmart.mymobilex.com under a multi-year agreement.
MobileX has floated under the radar of most US consumers since the official February 2023 commercial launch of its customised prepaid mobile plans. Nonetheless, the up-and-coming brand is set to make a splash through its exclusive arrangement with Walmart. Scoring such a large distribution deal is a feather in the cap of Peter Adderton, MobileX’s founder and CEO, who also originated the Boost Mobile brand in Australia and the US.
AI is the key
MobileX’s prime differentiator is that it encourages users to only pay for the level of service they need. The company’s app-based service uses artificial intelligence (AI) to customise a user’s best mobile price plan based on their exact consumption history rather than moving the user to an existing plan that only approximates their expected usage. Alternatively, MobileX customers can also craft service plans to their exact specifications.
After a free ten-day trial, the MobileX AI-guided data forecaster builds a customized plan to maximise user savings. The YOU customised plan starts at $4.08/month, including a $1.98/month access fee and data pricing at $2.10/GB. Talk and text options cost extra. To initiate service, Walmart customers can purchase the MobileX Activation SIM Kit for $9.88 – offset by a $10 credit upon activation and plan selection – and download MobileX’s dedicated app on the Apple and Google Play app stores. MobileX is compatible with most unlocked iPhones and Android devices. The carrier is sticking to a bring-your-own-device (BYOD) model, at least for the time being.
MobileX’s pitch of cost savings will resonate with certain customers. Prepaid MVNOs have traditionally appealed to consumers by offering lower subscription prices, which is clearly still a major selling point as numerous customers of rival MVNO Mint Mobile have lamented on social media that its pending acquisition by T-Mobile US could lead to higher service pricing. As the trend of popular MVNOs being acquired and transformed into operator secondary brands continues, independent MVNOs such as MobileX can fill the resulting gap.
Adderton takes on unlimited
MobileX CEO Adderton regularly assails US mobile operators for routinely promoting what he considers bloated and unnecessary unlimited data plans, especially since many customers offload their cellular usage onto WiFi networks at home and work. However, unlimited is what many US consumers have grown accustomed to, which is why MobileX also sells two unlimited data plans that the masses may warm up to more than its customised approach. The least expensive MobileX unlimited plan charges $14.88/month for 5GB of high-speed data, plus unlimited talk and text, while the other, a $24.88/month plan, supplies 30GB of high-speed data. Unlimited talk and text, including within Mexico and Canada, is also included in that higher-priced plan.
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Looking ahead, Adderton intends to create the “global gigabyte,” enabling data bought for use on MobileX to be available on other networks worldwide with no international roaming charges or the need for a host operator’s SIM. In the meantime, however, he hopes to break US wireless customers of the unlimited habit and get them to sign up for MobileX’s AI-driven personalised service plans, a feat that may be easier said than done.