Free messaging service WhatsApp have made a bold move today, by entering themselves into the MNVO market in Germany with its first ever WhatsApp SIM Card. The service will be launched on the e-Plus German network, where the SIM card will offer unlimited messaging.
Currently the WhatsApp SIM is only available in Germany, and on the E-Plus network, but German users can pick up the SIM card for just €10 which nabs you the free messaging, regardless of the Data usage.
WhatsApp are dubbing the new SIM deal as “the revolution in mobile” and on the website it states:
“Only with us you get the free WhatsApp data usage and the freedom to choose your units to use as you need them just with the favourable WhatsAll option for the first time – without having to set up before !”
It seems that the WhatsApp SIM in Germany is just the first of many of this kind of deal, as WhatsApp has already expressed plans to launch similar MNVO’s in other countries. They said that “WhatsApp has over 50 carrier deals globally. The WhatsApp ePlus SIM card is WhatsApp’s first partnership with e-Plus to launch an MVNO brand,” said WhatsApp head of business development Neeraj Arora.
See also: Facebook buys WhatsApp for a staggering $16 billion
The SIM itself will set users back €10 (£8ish), from this you get €10 of starter credit, which can be spent by making calls, SMS and standard Data usages. Calls will be priced at €0,09 per minute per for calls, €0,09 again per SMS message and €0,24 per megabyte of data use. For an additional €10 users can sign up to a further 600 units of either for 1 megabyte of data, 1 minute of talk or 1 SMS.
However, it seems that users will still need to pay the €0,99 annual subscription fee to WhatsApp (after the 1st year of free service) still, but we imagine that won’t be too much of an issue.
It doesn’t appear that taking the SIM lets you waive the $0.99 annual subscription fee for WhatsApp itself that users need to pay after the first year of service, however.
So a very simple plan on paper, and adding in the free WhatsApp messaging, it seems to be a winner. It is estimated that in Germany over 90% of smartphone users use WhatsApp already, so the specific tariff might just be the next step for the App.
It sounds like a great deal for our Germanic friends, but will WhatsApp bring its new MNVO To us in the UK? We will have to wait and see.