TextNow CEO explains how its cost-saving tech is disrupting North America’s phone plan industry


It’s well-known that phone plans in North America are among the highest in the world. So it’s no surprise that a startup is eager to swoop in and tackle the issue head-on leveraging technology.

Waterloo-based TextNow, whose CEO sat down with Amber Kanwar The Disruptors, provides an alternative to traditional phone plans through TextNow Wireless and its free TextNow app, which provide a combination of Wi-Fi and cellular for texting and calling.

Since its inception in 2009, TextNow has grown to 70 employees and opened an office in San Francisco and Los Angeles.

“We leverage our technology in a way that the customer doesn’t need to do anything different. Our software figures out which network to use — whether we should send the call on Wi-Fi, or whether we should send the call on the carrier data network,” said Derek Ting, CEO of TextNow. “Because we save all this money, we pass on the savings to you. So we have plans that start at $19 a month, which is way below a traditional carrier plan.”

Kanwar asked about the barriers to entry in the market — could another player come on and sign a similar agreement with Sprint, like TextNow has done in the U.S.? “We’re not like any other re-seller. We don’t just sell sprint data and text. What we’ve done is couple their network with our technology. Our technology is smart about how to use networks to save the customer money,” said Ting.

Watch the whole video below:

Jessica Galang

Jessica Galang

Freelance tech writer. Former BetaKit News Editor.