Back to Press

TextNow Brings Free Phone Service to Everyone with Upgraded LTE Network and Expanded Compatibility

SAN FRANCISCO, CA AND WATERLOO, ONTARIOJune 15, 2021 – TextNow, the leading mobile app offering free cellular and WiFi-enabled phone service, continues to break down barriers to communication with a new nationwide LTE network that is compatible with most devices in the US, with better coverage and faster speeds for its Free Nationwide Talk & Text wireless plan. TextNow is also unveiling flexible video calling that allows users to start high quality video calls with anyone – even if they don’t have the TextNow app.

“At TextNow, we believe communication belongs to everyone,” said Derek Ting, Co-founder and CEO of TextNow. “With the transition to a GSM network that is compatible with more than three quarters of U.S. devices and the addition of video calling that works to any valid phone number, we’re taking our biggest step yet to free the flow of conversation and make sure that everyone can stay connected for free – regardless of device, network, apps, or operating system.”

TextNow is moving its Free Nationwide Talk & Text Plan, the only free cellular phone service supported by ads in the United States, from Sprint to a new nationwide LTE mobile network. The new network operates on GSM SIM cards, the global standard, which are compatible with more than 75 per cent of US devices. For comparison, Sprint’s CDMA SIM cards are compatible with approximately 25 per cent of devices. The new network also offers faster speeds and wider coverage across the US.

With the move to a GSM network, the cost of TextNow’s SIM card activation kit is dropping to $4.99 from $9.99 and can be ordered from TextNow’s online store.

Video calling simplified

In addition to expanding its free, unlimited cellular phone service offering, TextNow is adding accessible video calling to its popular calling and texting service. With TextNow video calling, users aren’t constrained by devices, apps, networks, or operating systems.

“Video calling is the number one feature most requested by our customers,” said Mike Grishaver, VP of Product at TextNow. “We’re all tired of wasting time downloading multiple messaging apps and setting up new accounts to coordinate video calls, so we made it simple. Just click the video icon and start connecting with anyone.”

According to Ipsos, 75 per cent of Americans say video calling will remain a popular way to socialize in the post-COVID world. TextNow provides a solution with the ability to video call any phone number on iOS and Android for free, eliminating barriers for thousands of Americans who need video capabilities for work or to connect with friends and family.

Using a smartphone, tablet, or computer connected to the internet, TextNow users can start a video call with any valid phone number, including non-app users on iOS or Android.  Those who don’t have the TextNow app receive an SMS text message that includes a link to open a video calling session in their web browser, allowing them to connect without having to download the service.

The TextNow app with video calling is available for download in the App Store, Google Play, and for the web on the TextNow website.

About TextNow
Founded in 2009, TextNow is the largest provider of free phone service in the U.S. With offices in San Francisco, Waterloo, and Portland, the TextNow app has been downloaded more than 200 million times globally, helping millions of people stay connected with a free phone number and ad-supported calling and texting over WiFi and a nationwide LTE network. For more information visit

Media Contact:
Nick de Pass

[email protected]