“I’m so happy with my wireless service.” Believe it or not, you might actually overhear this remarkable phrase sometime soon and the speaker will genuinely mean it. Well, they won’t be talking about AT&T or Verizon (or any other of the usual suspects) you might shout back in anger. You should breathe. You’ve had quite the shock already, but more good news is to come.
Smart Services for Smartphones
ItsOn is a telecommunications company that changes how we pay for services. Instead of the hardware-bound 3GPP plans we’ve all grown accustomed to, ItsOn software turns to the cloud to offer users customized services. “Smart Services” let mobile operators scrap rigid plans and allow consumers to buy more exact amounts of desired services.
Tired of bickering over minutes? data? Aren’t we all. Mobile use has exploded so rapidly that the service industry hasn’t been able to adapt fast enough to handle traffic or accommodate customers’ changing habits – at least not at what most average users would consider a fair and affordable price. This has created a hostile relationship between consumers and providers to say the least, which is needless.
ItsOn Co-founder and CEO Dr. Greg Raleigh says, “We created the ItsOn Smart Service Platform to empower people around the world with unprecedented transparency, freedom and control in their mobile service choices.”
Plans With Flex
Last May the company introduced its first product, Zact, a direct to consumer brand that helps smartphone users shape their data plans and usage as it works best for each individual. What’s more, plans can be shared with others and devices can be added – at no additional cost. Pretty amazing. How does real-time control over mobile voice, text, data, and app permissions sound? Told you it’s on.
Investors agree. The company recently raised $12.5 million (of what my eventually become a $20 million round). These funds bring total financing so far to $40 million, led by Andreessen Horowitz, SV Angel, Jim Davison and others.
Sorry to say startup founders, this level of support wasn’t handed to new kids on the block. Raleigh and Charles Giancarlo have been responsible for creating and commercializing core communication technology that has greatly shaped our wireless networks and interaction.
Still, the rewards are great for challenging established systems to conduct business differently. Think low-cost airlines, a host of new car services, Airbnb – what other industry is ready for new pricing structures?