A new mobile carrier that lets you use your cellphone for social good has just launched in the U.S.
The People’s Operator (TPO), a U.K.-based company that automatically donates 10 percent of every customer’s phone bill to charity, is now available stateside.
Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales, who became chairman of TPO in 2014, spearheaded the launch.
The provider has partnered with organizations such as The World Wildlife Foundation and the Wounded Warriors Project, but subscribers can donate their 10 percent to any valid 501c organization.
TPO, which also gives a quarter of its annual profits to charity, makes the charitable donations at no extra cost to its customers.
"We don't do any of the kinds of heavy advertising that all the other cellphone providers do," Wales told Mashable. "Instead of sticking with your current provider, which will spend more than 10% of your money on more TV commercials, you can switch to us. We'll spend it on something you care about, and all we ask in return is to recruit other people ... to raise money for whatever you love.”
The carrier currently offers seven tiers of plans. The plans start at $9 per month for 250 minutes, 250 texts and no data, and goes up to an unlimited talk and text with 11 GB of data for $89.
TPO operates as a mobile virtual network operator, which means it relies on a local carrier to provide the technical infrastructure. In the U.S., TPO is powered by Sprint.
Along with the mobile service, the company has also introduced an ad-free social network TPO.com, where people can follow charities and causes and donate to causes on the site. The network gives non-profit organizations a platform through which they can easily collect donations for minimal cost.
"With the previous generation of giving platforms, the cut they take is really high," says Mark Epstein, CEO of TPO, according to FastCompany.com. "We're going to literally only cover the bank fees. Far more of the money is going to be going to the cause. We're not going to be taking anything."
Wales told Tech City News: “We wanted to provide a way for people to connect with both their friends and the causes they care about in an ad-free social space that works for them.
“The TPO Community brings these together so that members can learn more about causes, follow them, donate and share their support with their friends.”