FreeUP Mobile is now under the ownership of Ztar Mobile. The move was noticed by Wave7 Research and confirmed to BestMVNO by Rod Nakjavani who founded FreeUP in early 2018. Rod's LinkedIn profile page, states that the brand was acquired by Ztar on 2/1/2020.
Who Is Ztar Mobile?
Ztar Mobile is a Mobile Virtual Network Enabler (MVNE) involved with private labeled wireless services and software solutions. MVNE's typically serve as a middle man between the MVNO and the carrier network that the MVNO operates on. Some MVNO's indirectly gain access to a carrier network through the partnership that an MVNE has with that carrier rather than having a direct relationship with the carrier themselves. In essence, that means companies or persons looking to start up an MVNO or Internet-of-things (IoT) business can turn to Ztar to use their platform. The platform among other things provides customers with a network infrastructure, SIM provisioning and customer care and billing systems.
FreeUP Mobile is not the only wireless brand powered by Ztar Mobile. Good2Go Mobile is another MVNO brand under Ztar Mobile.
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Since acquiring FreeUP Mobile, Ztar has yet to announce any major changes with the brand's wireless plans. BestMVNO has reached out to Ztar Mobile with several questions about the acquisition but has not received any commentary. One small upcoming change that is known to be happening revolves around FreeUP's free phone plans. The free phone plans were actually discontinued several months ago, however, the company had allowed customers on the plan to keep their plans.
Upcoming Changes To FreeUP Mobile's Grandfathered Free Plans
FreeUP had tried to offer at least two completely free plans in the past. The first free plan offered customers a combination of either 500 minutes or text messages and 100MB of data. Later, the free plan was revised to include a combination of either 1,000 minutes or text messages but no data. Unfortunately, neither plan proved to be sustainable or highly profitable for the MVNO, which likely led to their discontinuation.
According to a thread on HowardForums, FreeUP Mobile has been sending out an email to customers notifying them that their grandfathered free plans will be changing effective April 1st. Starting April 1st during the customers first billing cycle in that month, their plan will automatically be migrated to a new offering. The new free plan will provide subscribers with "250 minutes of talk and 250 text messages per month." Customers on the plan will continue to have to manually confirm their subscription to the plan every month or face having it terminated.
Although it may be disappointing for some to have their plan downgraded, the fact that a free plan is still being offered to grandfathered customers is still something to be appreciated, particularly with new ownership in place.
FreeUP Mobile is an MVNO powered by the AT&T network. It is one of a small number of AT&T MVNO's that doesn't fully support MMS picture messaging or visual voicemail on iPhone's thanks to Apple policy.