Disney recently introduced Disney-brand mobile phone that is being targeted at families with 8-12 year old children in the house. Pricing for service plans has not yet been announced, but the handsets themselves are expected to retail for $60 with a two-year service agreement. With numbers hard to come by, it's difficult for us to recommend this phone to consumers. That said, the feature list on the Disney Mobile phones is impressive, especially for parents.
First, the service will allow parents to set an allowance of airtime minutes and text-messages for their children. Once the limit is reached, the parent and the child will be alerted and an option given to allow for more usage or to restrict use. This will help parents whose children tend to run up large overages and high text messaging costs. Second, parents will have the ability to designate 'safe lists? of phone numbers that the phones can call or text. Numbers not on those lists can be blocked.
Finally, the phones will have a GPS locator device implanted in them. Parents can then use their own Disney Mobile handset or log on to the Disney Mobile website to find out the approximate location of their child's device. It is worth noting, also, that the Disney Mobile service will be using Sprint Nextel's CDMA2000 1x EV-DO network. In J.D. Power and Associate's 2006 Wireless Call Quality Performance Study, Sprint Nextel's network service quality was below average in the Mid-Atlantic and Southeast regions. It was ranked above-average in the North Central, Southwest, and West regions and average in the Northeast region. Sprint Nextel also ranked below average in J.D. Power's 2006 Wireless Customer Care Performance Study. For more information about Disney Mobile, visit disney.go.com/disneymobile/.
Source: Telecommunications Research and Action Center. trac.org