WOW! quietly begins offering mobile phone service – The Desk

Science & Technology

The Desk
Journalism and Social Media by Matthew Keys
The cable and broadband operator known as Wide Open West (WOW!) has quietly started offering its customers access to mobile phone services.
The service is being sold as a white label product offered by Reach Mobile, a prepaid mobile virtual network operator (MVNO) that uses T-Mobile’s wireless network for phone calls and data connections.
The mobile phone offering is similar to one that Comcast has offered its Xfinity video and Internet customers for several years. Comcast has seen a significant amount of success with its Xfinity Mobile offering, which uses Verizon’s network.
Comcast requires its Xfinity Mobile customers to maintain an active video or Internet plan in order to take advantage of special discount pricing for its wireless plans. An unlimited connection costs $45 a month plus taxes and fees (with data slowed after around 20 GBs), and there are several cheaper plans that offer limited amounts of data.
WOW! Mobile offers a similar wireless plan structure, with unlimited data priced at $45 a month plus taxes and fees. Users can add up to two more lines to an unlimited plan at an extra cost of $40 per line, per month.
The cheapest plan offered by WOW! Mobile costs $15 per month and offers 1 GB of data. Two other plans offer 3 GBs of data for $25 per month and 8 GBs of data for $35 per month. All three plans allow customers to add up to five additional lines for an extra $15 per line, per month. Unlike the unlimited data plan, each limited data tier requires additional lines to share that data (for example, three phones on a 1 GB plan would have to share that 1 GB, at a cost of $45 per month).
All WOW! Mobile plans come with unlimited talk time and texting, and there are no contracts involved.
One thing that separates WOW! Mobile from Xfinity Mobile has to do with a data perk rarely found on prepaid phone plans: All plans allow users to stream high-definition video, and full-speed wireless hotspot is included across the board.
A potential downside for Apple iPhone users is that Reach Mobile doesn’t support 5G connections on iPhone 12 (including mini, Pro and Max), iPhone 13 (same) and iPhone SE 3 models just yet. Reach Mobile says 5G support for iPhones is coming soon; in the meantime, 5G-capable iPhones are limited to 4G LTE connections. Since WOW! Mobile uses a white-label version of Reach Mobile, the same limitation is almost certainly true for Apple iPhone users who sign up for plans through their white-label version of Reach Mobile.
Still, for Android 5G users or for Apple users who don’t care about 5G connections, the new WOW! Mobile offering through Reach Mobile could be a great way to save some cash with a dependable phone service that couples great perks with a reliable national wireless network.
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Matthew Keys is an award-winning journalist who covers the intersection of media, journalism and technology as publisher of The Desk. He is based in Northern California.

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