Imagine an elementary school child waiting by the playground, watching all of his friends go home, wondering when mom will be there to pick him up. Then breathing a sigh of relief when he gets a text from mom that says she’s stuck in traffic and will be there soon. Twelve is the average age when a child receives their first mobile device. 1 But what about kids ages 5 to 12 who can benefit from the communication and safety features a mobile device offers?
Sprint (NYSE:S) today announced Sprint WeGo™, a value-friendly mobile phone that allows parents to give their child the safety and communication tools they need when they are away from home, while also supplying the parental controls and tracking required to teach responsibility and age-appropriate mobile phone use. The device has one front button and two side volume keys that can be used for scrolling on the LCD screen. A portal available online and via mobile application allows parents to locate their child’s device on a map, control device features such as contacts, and set up notifications.
Sprint WeGo is available starting today at Sprint stores and preferred dealers for existing customers who add a line to their account. Customers have the option of Sprint Easy Pay, which allows eligible customers to purchase the Sprint WeGo phone with $0 down and 24 monthly payments of $5. (Sales tax collected at time of purchase where applicable.) Sprint WeGo Service is $9.99 per month (excluding taxes and fees) and includes 1,000 minutes of talk and 1,000 text messages. 2
“Sprint offers parents a wide variety of options to help keep their kids safe – from Sprint Mobile Controls and Sprint Family Locator to Content Filtering to the new Sprint WeGo,” said David Owens, vice president of Product, Sprint. “Sprint WeGo is the perfect starter phone to give parents peace of mind while teaching kids responsibility – how to keep track of a device, charge it and care for it – at a low price. This device has all of the basics without anything younger children don’t need just yet.”Parents will appreciate the ability to limit their child’s connections with Sprint WeGo by programming the phone with allowed incoming and outgoing phone numbers. One Button Calling allows for up to 20 phone numbers to be specified for outgoing and incoming phone calls. Parents can also use this as a training tool – allowing the child to “earn” more contacts such as friends as they show responsibility. In addition, Sprint WeGo allows limited incoming and outgoing SMS texting options. The phone can receive text messages from any of the 20 specified connections. The phone also offers 50 predetermined outgoing text message options, including: yes, no, I’m at home, I’m at school, I need a ride, Call me please, I don’t feel well, I am with mom, I need help, etc. Additional features include:
- Parent Notifications: Parent can choose to be notified via text, email or both, including low battery (less than 15 percent), device powered down, SMS read receipt, panic alarm pulled, speed alert, wake alert, and admin control site changes.
- Web Portal access: Provides parents comprehensive control to set contacts, phone settings, GPS tracking and specific alerts to be sent to the parent/guardian either by email or SMS notifications. A mobile application version of the Sprint WeGo Portal is available via free download for Android and iOS devices.
- GPS services:
- On-demand location: Parents can quickly and easily locate the child’s Sprint WeGo phone on an interactive map within the portal – from any PC or Android or iOS device.
- Scheduled Find: Specify times to do automatic safety checks to verify your child makes it to their destination safely. Parents get text or email alerts if the Scheduled Find shows the child’s Sprint WeGo has reached home, school or another destination, on schedule.
- Follow Session: Allows parents to follow their child by showing them the location of the Sprint WeGo on the map within the portal, every two minutes for an hour at a time.
- Speed Alert: Notifies parent if the Sprint WeGo is in a vehicle that exceeds the set speed. This can serve as an Abduction Alert – if child is in a speeding car and shouldn’t be in a car for instance.
- Wake Alert : Phone can detect movement and notify parent when the child is not up by a certain set time. For instance, parent can set date and time to be notified when the device needs to provide accelerometer feedback. (e.g. child needs to be moving by 7:30 a.m. If the phone does not move, the account owner is notified via an SMS).
- School Hour Silence: Silences the phone during school, church or specified hours.
- Panic Alarm: Child pulls tether string on phone and a loud buzzer emits to alert that help is needed. An SMS notification is sent to the parent with the child’s location. The parent can call the Sprint WeGo and check on the child.
- 9-1-1 quick dial: Press OK button quickly two times from the home screen.
- Durability: Shatterproof from a drop distance of 12 feet; water resistant.
- Personalization: Child can change ringtones, backgrounds and cases.