Scratch Wireless Launches with "Wi-Fi First" Access Model

Add Scratch Wireless to the list of firms that believe Wi-Fi can be a primary access method for at least some smart phone users. 

The new U.S. service is based on “Wi-Fi first” mobile service, with passes used to get access to a Long Term Evolution network. So far, only one device is supported, the Motorola Photon, a 4.3-inch screen, Android-powered device outfitted with dual cameras, 4G LTE, and a slide-out keyboard for $269.

Scratch Wireless allows full-time use of text messaging, with voice and data available for no charge when a user is on a Wi-Fi network.

Scratch Wireless sells a day pass costing $1.99 for voice access, and a separate pass costing $1.99 for mobile data access. The 24-hour passes support a total of 30 minutes of calling, or 25 Mb of data usage.

Monthly passes are available for $14.99, using the same voice or data approach. The voice pass offers 250 minutes of talk for a 30-day period, while the data pass supports 200 Mb of data access.

The assumption is that much of the time, users will have access to Wi-Fi. Republic Wireless also uses a Wi-Fi first access model.

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