SAN DIEGO–T-Mobile USA MVNO Solavei said it has made $5 million in revenue during the first two weeks its service has been available. In addition, the company now has 30,000 customers, up from 25,000 it had signed up prior to its launch on Sept. 21.
Solavei CEO Ryan Wuerch announced the figures on the sidelines of the CTIA MobileCon conference here. He also said that fully 70 percent of Solavei’s new customers are SIM-only subscribers, meaning that they brought their own phones to the service instead of purchasing phones through Solavei.
Customers can either purchase an unlocked phone and use it with the Solavei service or they can unlock their existing device and transfer it to Solavei’s service.
Solavei launched last month with a $49 mobile plan that includes unlimited voice, text and data.
The MVNO, which rides on T-Mobile USA’s GSM network, said its customers pay a $49 startup fee and then $49 per month for service.
The company sells HTC One S, HTC Wildfire or ZTE Origin smartphones, which range in price from $160 to $500.
Because Solavei relies on customers to sign up other customers, Solavei will pay each customer $20 for each “trio” or three customers that they sign up.
Customers will also get paid when the people they sign up then sign up others.
Thus, Solavei’s business model calls for the company to reduce customer care costs and customer acquisition costs by not paying for phone subsidies and instead paying customers to sell the service to their friends.
Besides Wuerch, Solavei has a high-profile board of advisors including David Limp, vice president of Amazon; John Miller, chief digital officer at News Corp.; and Sue Nokes, the former COO of T-Mobile USA.