Yesterday, BestMVNO reported that Ultra Mobile launched a promotion offering customers the ability to add new lines to their unlimited plan for $24/line per month. But that's not the only change going on with the MVNO. BestMVNO has learned that Ultra Mobile is undergoing much bigger changes.
According to a report just released by the firm Wave7 Research, Ultra Mobile has soft-launched new "Home Internet" plans. The T-Mobile powered MVNO has also launched a series of phone plans at select Walmart stores called "Ultra Mobile Silver." The Ultra Mobile Silver plans are aimed at seniors and their caretakers.
Ultra Mobile's Home Internet Plans Explained
Wave7 Research has noted that Ultra Mobile's home internet plans are not yet actively being marketed. The Home Internet plans start at $59.99/month plus taxes and fees. There's an autopay discount of $5/month available which lowers the cost of the plan to $54.99. Ultra Mobile has launched a total of six different internet plans. Here's what's available:
- $54.99/month - 10GB data
- $74.98/month - 25GB data
- $109.98/month - 50GB data
- $159.99/month - 75GB data
- $184.99/month - 100GB data
- $284.99/month - 150GB data
The prices shown include $5/month auto-pay discounts. The auto-pay discount gets applied on the customer's second month of service.
Ultra's Home internet website states that customers can get a "reliable Wi-Fi signal" throughout their "entire home with download speeds up to 100mbps, rain or shine." Most customers though are told to expect average speeds of 25Mbps or more with 5G service. Speeds will vary by location, time of day, and network connection among other factors.
Subscribers will be allowed to change their plans at any time without any commitments involved. An additional device purchase is required for the service. Ultra Mobile says that every Ultra Home Internet plan requires a NETGEAR Orbi, which converts 5G/4G cellular signals to Wi-Fi and broadcasts it to the wireless devices in the customer's home.
Two NETGEAR Orbi's are available for purchase. There's a 4G LTE only Wi-Fi 5 router available for $289.99 or $12.08/month with financing. The other option is a 5G Orbi Wi-Fi 6 router available for $599.99 or $24.99/month with financing.
The pricing of Ultra Mobile's Home Internet service is certainly very expensive and will likely only be appealing to a limited audience. The ideal demographic may be those living in a rural setting without other broadband options available to them.
The astronomical cost of these plans could serve as a clue as to just how expensive carriers may charge their MVNOs for a GB of data. Many MVNOs may market and sell phone plans with high-allotments of data, but they bank on most of their customers not consuming anywhere near those allotments as they aren't profitable. When too many customers hit those allotments, expect change. As an example, US Mobile just had to reduce the amount of data included with its unlimited plans on the T-Mobile network from 50GB down to 35GB. And when they first launched their unlimited plans on the Verizon network, they made them truly unlimited, but later had to cap them at 75GB of high-speed data. Customers are much more likely to burn through their data when using a hotspot or a home internet plan compared to a phone plan, which is why Ultra has likely priced its internet plans so high.
Ultra Mobile's Silver Phone Plans For Seniors And Their Caretakers
Wave7 Research's latest prepaid report also notes the launch of more new plans from Ultra Mobile in select Walmart stores. Ultra Mobile first launched at Walmart several months ago.
The new plans are called "Ultra Mobile Silver" and will be sold exclusively at Walmart to persons aged 65 and up. Pricing of the plans is unknown at this time, and in fact, cannot be found on either Walmart's website or on Ultra Mobile's Silver website. There are a total of three Silver plans available. All plans come bundled with a device, however, customers will have the option to buy service and bring their own device instead.
Ultra Mobile Silver "Be Connected Essential" Plan
One of the Silver plans is called "Be Connected Essential." It features unlimited talk and text with 250MB of high-speed data per month. It's available bundled with a NUU Mobile F4L Flip Phone.
Ultra Mobile Silver "Be Connected Plus" Plan
The "Be Connected Plus" Silver plan comes with unlimited talk and text and 20GB of high-speed data per month. The service is being offered bundled with a Samsung Galaxy A12 phone.
Ultra Mobile Silver "Be Well" Plan
The "Be Well" plan looks like the most interesting of the three Silver plan options as far as potential caretakers may be concerned. It includes wireless service bundled with a wearable device. The wearable device is the SecuraTrac MobileDefender 4 (MD4). The MD4 is a pendant that has WiFi, Bluetooth, cellular, and GPS capabilities to enable accurate, individualized emergency response and monitoring for those that need it. It has automatic fall advisory capabilities with a button that can be long pressed for help. The Be Well senior plan also comes with a 24/7 emergency monitoring service.
All Ultra Mobile Silver plans also include the following features:
Access To Outpatient App
The Outpatient app will allow caretakers and others to coordinate care for their loved ones. It's an app that's available on both Android and iOS. Outpatient is a messaging, scheduling, and note-taking platform to help keep everyone in the loop with what's going on with their loved ones. You can watch the video below for more details on how it works.
About Conference Connected
"Conference Connected" is a voice conferencing service. Ultra Mobile says that it can be used to keep friends and families connected. One number can be used to conference call up to 10 people in a conference calling list.
About Community Chat
Community Chat is a dedicated call-in line built for those aged 65+. Subscribers can use it to meet and chat with friends from the safety of their homes.
There aren't many providers on the market with plans dedicated to seniors and their caretakers. It is certainly a market worth exploring for MVNOs like Ultra Mobile. The market has long had just one major player, Lively (formerly GreatCall). Lively was acquired by Best Buy in 2018 for an eye-popping $800 million. Best Buy picked up 900,000 subscribers with its purchase.
“Ultra Mobile has long been a strong brand in the multi-carrier independent prepaid dealer channel, with particular appeal to immigrants. It will be interesting to see whether this brand can be extended to senior citizens and to the home broadband market. This will be fun to watch.” – Jeff Moore, Principal of Wave7 Research