In January 2022, HTH Communications purchased AirVoice Wireless for an undisclosed sum. HTH Communications is now investing heavily in the brand. A new prepaid report from Wave7 Research detailed that AirVoice Wireless is opening branded stores. There are now two stores open, and both of them are in Houston.
An AirVoice Wireless representative told a Wave7 Research analyst during the All Wireless & Prepaid Expo in Las Vegas in August 2023, that the company had plans to open many stores with a special emphasis on free and discounted service via the ACP. Indeed, a check of AirVoice Wireless's future store openings webpage, shows that stores are likely to open next year and through the year 2025 in the following states, California, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Kansas, Ohio, Oklahoma, Texas, and Washington.
Branded stores a huge investment for any company and offer a great way for wireless companies to grow their subscriber bases.
AirVoice Wireless isn't the only independently non-carrier owned MVNO to recently start opening stores. Consumer Cellular, under the direction and partial ownership of GTCR started opening Consumer Cellular branded stores in September 2022. Meanwhile, Wave7 Research reports that Verizon owned Total by Verizon opened virtually one store per day over the summer months of 2023.
At the time of its purchase by HTH Communications, AirVoice Wireless had long been a somewhat forgotten and dormant brand. The provider catered to those who had international calling needs or wanted pay as you go plans, but their advertised data allotments were borderline fraudulent. For instance, a plan would be advertised as having 5GB of data, but upon review of the fine print, only 2.5GB would be at full speeds, while the remaining 2.5GB would be at severely throttled data speeds. You can still see their old plan terms thanks to the WayBack Machine.
Fortunately, under the direction of HTH Communications, AirVoice Wireless seems to now being doing things the right way and moving in a positive direction.
Store openings aren't the only changes going on at AirVoice Wireless. BestMVNO reported in April, that AirVoice Wireless had updated its wireless plans and modeled them after Mint Mobile's offerings. AirVoice now has 3-month, 6-month, and annual discount plan options. Just like Mint Mobile, customers also get discounted rates on their first three months plan purchase. However, unlike Mint Mobile, AirVoice still offers monthly plan rates. And the company still sells the pay as you go plans it offered under its previous ownership.
Another change from the company is that they are now selling a wide variety of phones on through their website. Their data allotments are also standard data allotments instead of being half at one speed and half at another.
Jeff Moore, Principal of Wave7 Research commented to BestMVNO; "I think AirVoice Wireless is leveraging a combination of the ACP and its legacy business selling used smartphones to provide free or deeply discounted service.”