The idea of giving someone two phones to carry around all day, separating their work and personal life, seems a little ridiculous — especially after seeing what a new mobile virtual network operator is offering.
Mast Mobile just launched in New York, and it essentially offers a all-in-one work and personal service. With the Mast Mobile app, you can toggle when you want your work number to be “on” or “off,” so that you won’t be disturbed when you’re out having dinner with the family.
David Messenger, CEO and co-founder of Mast Mobile, spoke to Digital Trends and said his network is targeted toward freelancers and contractors, and wants to offer a seamless way to toggle their work and personal lives. Given New York’s freelance culture, Messenger said it was a good place to start but the company plans to expand throughout the country soon.
“You’ve got a professional website, you’ve got a professional email, but many [freelancers] are still using their personal mobile number from wherever they grew up,” Messenger said.
Once you sign up for Mast Mobile, you’ll receive a SIM like you would with most carriers that you have to insert into your smartphone. The company only has an iOS app at the moment, but an Android version is on the way in the coming months.
“When you sign up with Mast, we sync with your contacts and we can apply some algorithms, mark Facebook contacts as personal — it’s very easy for you to go through in the app and actually look at your contacts and just with a single swipe kind of say, “I think of [him] as personal,” Messenger said.
Once you designate whether your contacts are work or personal, you’re good to go. You don’t need to use a special dialer or messaging app with your iPhone for the service to work, it’s all native. When you get a call, you will be notified of whether the caller is a work or personal contact.
It would be interesting to see if a service such as Mast would be able to block out other work-related apps, such as Slack, as most people don’t just use talk and text for work — but a plethora of other apps as well to communicate in the workplace. Messenger says he has added this to the roadmap, and it’s more likely to be more “flexible” on Android, rather than iOS.
You could say it sounds like what Google Voice offers — the company even labels itself as Google Voice 3.0. But Messenger said people have been struggling with Google Voice for many years, and while it was a move in the direction Mast Mobile is headed, the service was still very limited.
Mast Mobile currently uses Sprint’s network, but Messenger says he hopes to add more in the future. The plan comes with unlimited talk and text, and 1GB of LTE data usage for $50. After that, each additional gigabyte of data will cost $10. And Messenger said he plans on keeping international roaming rates really low — as a low as 5 cents per megabye in places like Europe.
The business version of Mast Mobile launched in October and offers more features, such as split billing, and a mobile integration into Salesforce.
Of course, the new service doesn’t sell phones, so you’ll have to bring your own to Mast Mobile.
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