Ultra Mobile targets foreign students in U.S. with new campusSIMs partnership

Ultra Mobile is partnering with campusSIMs to target international students who study in the United States.

The T-Mobile MVNO will integrate its Mint SIM into campusSIMs’s service, enabling them to use Mint’s platform for talk, text and data without a contract or putting down a deposit. Ultra Mobile is positioning the offering as a way for students to use their own phones and get a U.S. phone number for both international and domestic communications.

Terms of the deal were not disclosed. While neither company reveals customer numbers, campusSIMs claims its subscriber base includes students at 400 U.S. colleges and universities.

“We are growing rapidly at Ultra Mobile, and are constantly evolving to meet the current needs and demands of today’s customers by launching and partnering with companies that will continue to help us provide the best services and value on the market,” said Rizwan Kassim, Ultra’s chief strategy officer, in a press release. “CampusSIMs is proving unmatched value to the community of international students. We saw a real opportunity to not only help campusSIMs’ students get access to the best plans at low cost with Mint SIM, but continue to scale Ultra Mobile’s offerings as we continue to democratize communications for all.”

The acquisition is an extension of a core strategy for Ultra Mobile, which specializes in offering discounted talk, text and data services on T-Mobile’s network primarily for foreign-born people living in the U.S. The MVNO offers unlimited calling to more than five dozen international markets, and it claims a potential audience of 45 million. Earlier this year, the company partnered with Univision Mobile to better tap the market of Hispanic Americans.

Ultra Mobile launched Mint SIM late last year as a bargain-basement offering for users who buy service for an extended period of time rather than in small chunks. A year of unlimited talk, text and 5 GB of LTE data per month costs less than $25 a month under its “medium” plan, for instance, but the same plan is $50 a month on a month-by-month basis.

In December, Ultra launched “Data My Way,” a feature that enables users to choose between three data speeds to maximize their monthly LTE usage. The two faster data options use 4G speeds and automatically set to Optimized, allowing customers to toggle back and forth as they wish.

More recently, the company added two new monthly plans that split monthly data allotments between 3G and 4G speeds. Ultra Mobile said those plans, which marked the company’s biggest monthly data packages, are designed to meet ever-increasing demand for mobile data and international calling.

This story was updated July 13 to clarify the deal is a partnership rather than an acquisition.