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How Visible Works
A company spokesperson explained to me that Visible should not be classified as an MVNO or prepaid wireless service provider. Instead it is a "new kind of network provider" that will combine "Verizon's 4G LTE cell tower coverage with a cloud based infrastructure and systems." Given that it is a cloud based infrastructure,
subscribers will need to use an app Updated 5/17/2018: A couple of Visible testers have notified me that an APP is not required for service. The app that Visible is marketing is only used for setting up your account and paying your bills (find it for iOS). Visible's service seems like it may be VoLTE based as the company says that you can talk and use data at the same time. as the company proclaims for their talk and text needs. In fact
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Visible describes itself on its website as:
It's phone service. In an app. "
Visible hopes to differentiate itself from competing platforms by offering service on "America's best 4G network."
"We believe our customers will find the strengths of America's best 4G network appealing, and we hope to utilize our technology to continue evolving our product to meet our customers' needs" - Company Spokesperson
Visible is so named to represent clarity to the consumer. Visible offers one plan, and one price.
The service is priced at $40/month all-in, for unlimited talk, text and data with no annual contracts. Data speeds are limited to 5 Mbps with video streaming limited to a maximum resolution of 480p. There's nothing in Visible's terms of service about a data prioritization policy where data would slow down during times of heavy network traffic. Given that speeds are already throttled to 5Mbps, they may not have one.
Mobile hotspot is not permitted. (Update: Due to popular demand, Visible is now allowing hotspot.)
Service is available by invite only, so if you're interested in service, you need to get an invite code from a current subscriber. For the time being, only iPhones are allowed on the network. Most iPhones will work on Visible with the exception of the iPhone SE and some iPhone 7 models. Android support will come at a later date.
Despite not wanting to be known as a prepaid wireless service provider, Visible's terms state that "the availability of service depends on your payment in advance of the monthly charge when it is due." This would seem to indicate that their plan is in fact prepaid.
Visible accepts Venmo, PayPal, debit and credit cards for payment.
- Information about the calls you make and receive
- Text messages you send and receive
- Websites you visit
- Mobile applications that you use
- Wireless network and device information such as your IP address and connection speed, mobile number, device and advertising identifiers, browser type and operating system.
Visible says that it will use the data collected to deliver service to you, market to you and for other business purposes.
Other business purposes include sharing certain information about you with affiliates for marketing. Visible states that you can limit the sharing of certain types of information by opting out of it.
Some of the types of tracking would seem to be par for the course, such as tracking calls and text messages. However, tracking what applications you are using and the websites you visit may be a bit off putting for some.
Time will tell.