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8 August 2020

Zer01 launching VoIP wireless network for unlocked smartphones, $70 unlimited data with no contract

At the end of January when the Pharos Traveler 117 GPS smartphone passed through the FCC my curiosity was peaked.  After all, the unlocked phone had been available via US online retailers like Amazon since the beginning of December 2008.  So why pass through the FCC now?  We may have finally gotten our answer.

A new US carrier, Zer01 Mobile, was announced yesterday that may soon offer the Pharos smartphone on its network.  The carrier, which promises truly unlimited voice and data on its network for $69.95 per month with no contract, is built specifically for unlocked phones and will even work with jailbroken iPhones.  So how does Zer01 offer truly unlimited data without usage caps?  While it runs on its own IP backbone, Zer01 has a roaming agreement with AT&T.  But while Zer01 mobile phones can be used on AT&T and T-mobile spectrum, the carrier doesn’t put calls over the GSM network.  Instead, calls go through a proprietary VOIP application that ties into your phone’s dialer so you don’t have to open a separate application.

The service, which is expected to commercially launch in beta April 1 at the CTIA trade show, will initially run on Windows Mobile 6 phones, with support for Android, Blackberry, Symbian, Java and jailbroken iPhones in the future.  Zer01 will sell three phones at launch–the HTC TyTnII (Tilt), the HTC Touch Diamond, and the HTC Touch 3G.  After that the carrier plans to offer Pharos smartphones.


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