Messaging app UppTalk becomes a carrier, launching with $15 mobile plans

UppTalk only brought its cloud-based mobile messaging and voice app to U.S. consumers in December, but on Wednesday it announced plans to become a mobile virtual network operator. Called UppWireless, the new MVNO will resell megabytes on T-Mobile’s(s tmus) network and offer core communications services through its over-the-top app.
UppWireless becomes one of a growing number of all-IP mobile operators in the U.S. Republic Wireless, TextNow and FreedomPop have all launched similar ultra-cheap — in FreedomPop’s case even free – plans that take advantage of VoIP and IP messaging to deliver communications services more inexpensively.
All of UppWireless’s plans offer unlimited voice and SMS over its app, so it’s basically selling you a data tier. $15 will get you 1 GB of HSPA+ data on T-Mobile’s networks, while $35 and $55 will get you 3 GBs and 5 GBs respectively.
While your calls and texts are all routed over the data channel through UppWireless’s smartphone software, you still get a phone number in order to receive and make calls to and from traditional mobile and wireline phone networks. UppWireless will be a SIM card-only service, meaning you buy or bring your iPhone(s aapl) or Android(s goog) smartphone to the network and download the UppTalk app. The company has partnered with online phone dealer GSM Nation to offer a handful of UppTalk-optimized devices to customers.