Mobile Virtual Network Operators, or MVNOs, are essentially resellers of one or more carrier networks. These carriers effectively buy airtime from a network operator carrier and then sell it on to customers, typically bundling their own features and benefits but backed up by the larger network. This is a way for businesses to avoid the significant expense of investing in their own network but instead use a partner network. For the carrier, the MVNOs are a way to broaden their network use with minimal risk, especially in the case of a niche market. Seniors Wireless, part of the Sprint MVNO, Emveno, offers a customized experience of a wireless service biased towards the over 55 market. Whilst this is not a niche market as such, Seniors Wireless offers something that is a little bit different to encourage customers to use its services: their plans can come with an unlimited twenty-four hour helpline with access to board-certified medical doctors from either wireless or landline phones.
The service is called TeleMED Assist and allows customers to either talk or video conference with a medical professional with the ability to refer, evaluate and even prescribe on the spot, for the cost of $1 a day for individuals and $1.33 for couples. The service is activated using either the TeleMED Assist button on the Seniors Wireless application or by a direct call. Once the call is placed, a Seniors Wireless operator will put the customer through to a doctor inside a couple of minutes. Customers can use the service as many times as they need and be on the phone for as long as they wish. TeleMed Assist isn’t the first service being offered to the over-55 clientele, as Verizon Wireless MVNO, Great Call, offers the 5Star Alert service, which provides fast access to an agent trained in emergency support.
Away from the TeleMed Assist, Senior Wireless plans are varied. Their United plan comes with 500 MB of data for $30 a month, in addition to unlimited calls and text messages. The least expensive plan is just $5 a month and comes with 250 MB of data; the service is available for customers bringing their own device, but Senior Wireless sell a number of devices in their own shop with prices ranging upwards from $89. The Senior Wireless website also explains that the business doesn’t believe it has ‘customers’ but instead ‘members’ and that they place an emphasis on listening to the input from those members.