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TextNow offers free mobile data for life; you just buy the SIM card

TextNow’s new “Free Essential Data” plan offers free mobile data for life, including email, maps, rideshare apps, and unlimited talk

TextNow ad for 5G free data services including maps.
Image: KnowTechie

TextNow, a San Francisco-based mobile provider, is making waves in the wireless industry with a groundbreaking offer: free mobile data for life.

The company has just rolled out a new “Free Essential Data” plan, giving customers free access to email, maps, rideshare apps, and unlimited talk and text on the nation’s largest 5G network.

While big carriers keep hiking prices, TextNow takes a bold step in the opposite direction by eliminating phone bills for basic services.

To get started, customers only need to pay a one-time fee for a TextNow SIM card, which can be easily ordered through their app.

“At TextNow, our mission is to provide more value at a lower cost, giving users greater control over their mobile experience,” said Derek Ting, CEO and co-founder. “With Free Essential Data, we’re showing that reliable phone service doesn’t have to come with a hefty monthly bill.”

This free data plan covers essential daily apps most smartphone users rely on. For those needing extra high-speed data, TextNow offers affordable “Data Pass” add-ons that can be purchased hourly, daily, or monthly—think $0.99 per hour or $39.99 per month, all without a contract.

Now, you’re probably asking yourself: “Why the heck haven’t I heard about TextNow before?” To be fair, I was honestly in the same boat. I haven’t heard of them before outside my inbox. But they’ve been around for a while, since 2009 to be precise.

Derek Ting and Jon Lerner launched TextNow back in 2009 back in their university days. They originally called it Enflick started with the idea of making free messaging apps that could bypass the usual phone carrier fees. The main drive behind this was to make communication more accessible and budget-friendly.

“As the idea caught on, they realized they could expand into offering low-cost mobile phone services, a company spokesperson tells KnowTechie. “With that in mind, they rebranded to TextNow to keep things simple and match their main product with the company name. It’s all about making communication easier and cheaper for everyone!”

TextNow notes that over 80% of its users are primarily on Wi-Fi, reducing the need for expensive unlimited data plans. “With Wi-Fi almost everywhere, why should families shell out hundreds each month for data they seldom use?” said Ting.

Unlike traditional carriers, TextNow profits from advertising rather than subscription fees. Having been downloaded over 250 million times, their app attracts users seeking to cut down on smartphone expenses.

Listen, folks: free mobile data is free mobile data. This is a pretty easy sell, so if you haven’t heard about TextNow before you will now.

TextNow’s new “data for life” offer is a fresh and innovative approach to flip the conventional wireless model upside down, and personally, I’m all for it.

Have any thoughts on this? Drop us a line below in the comments, or carry the discussion to our Twitter or Facebook.

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Kevin is KnowTechie's founder and executive editor. With over 15 years of blogging experience in the tech industry, Kevin has transformed what was once a passion project into a full-blown tech news publication. Shoot him an email at kevin@knowtechie.com or find him on Mastodon or Post.

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