Solavei has already attracted more than 100,000 members to its growing pre-paid service wireless offering, driven largely on an affiliate networking program which rewards customers for signing up friends, family and co-workers. But now Solavei is looking to take things up a notch, announcing today that iPhone users in 37 markets will now be able to access the $49 per month service. Solavei runs on the back of T-Mobile’s network, which is expected to get the iPhone next year.
“The network enhancements give our current and future members the ability to use their unlocked iPhones and other AT&T/4G smartphones at the highest possible speeds in even more cities,” said Ryan Wuerch, founder and CEO of Solavei, in a release. “The time is right for the more than 4 million AT&T iPhone customers who initially signed contracts in 2010 to cut their phone bills in half and gain the opportunity to earn income by sharing Solavei with their friends and family.”
Solavei is heavily-funded, with backers that include Jonathan Miller, the chief digital officer at News Corp. and former CEO of AOL; David Limp, vice president of Kindle at Amazon.com; and Gary Adams, an oil & gas executive from Oklahoma. But Solavei’s model is not without critics (as readers of GeekWire clearly know).
Part of the controversy involves the affiliate marketing efforts that customers engage in to get members signed up. Solavei allows members to earn $20 per month for every three customers they sign up, dubbed a “trio.” So far, Solavei has paid out about $2 million in commissions to its members.
Previously on GeekWire: Cee Lo Green and Stephen Baldwin stump for controversial wireless startup Solavei