Traditional smartphone plans charge users a set price each month for a certain amount of text, talk and data as part of a two-year contract. T-Mobile has taken away contracts with its “Uncarrier” plans. But now, Zact has taken away a set monthly price for a certain amount of usage.
Think of Zact as an a la carte smartphone plan. Zact, which operates on Sprint’s nationwide network, allows users to decide how much data, text and talk they want. Customers also have the option of foregoing MB data plans by paying by the app instead. For example, unlimited use of Facebook and Instagram is $5 a month.
Purchased a plan that ended up being more than needed in a given month? Zact offers a “Never Overpay Guarantee,” where the company will automatically credit funds back to a user’s account based on the amount of data, talk and text they don’t use in a given month. Customers can also change their plan whenever they\’d like straight from their device.
Zact also has family friendly features, such as parental controls that allow parents to set usage curfews on specific smartphones and approve specific apps for use. Customers can also set usage schedules, which could allow parents to prevent their children from texting in class.
Family members can also break up the plan based on usage. One a plan is developed, it can be shared with other devices for $4.99 per month and then users can decide how much text, talk and data gets assigned to each phone on the plan.
Zact is powered by its parent company, itsOn’s cloud platform and is currently only available on the Sprint network, but CEO Dr. Greg Raleigh said the company is working with other carriers to bring its plans to their networks.
Currently only two devices are compatible with the Zact service. Both are offered at unsubsidized prices, with the LG Viper 4G LTE priced at $399 and the LG Optimus Elite priced at $199 at the time of this writing. The devices are available for pre-order now and devices are expected to ship in June 2013.
Unsubsidized phone prices always have some sticker shock, but according to Zact, users will quickly make up for it with the money they’ll save from the plans. Zact estimates the average user will pay $31 a month, which is up to three times less than what the average customer pays on other networks.