Scratch builds a free mobile service over Wi-Fi, using cellular as a last resort


There’s no shortage of new virtual operators emerging onto the U.S. mobile scene, but there are very few that are giving voice and SMS services away for free. Scratch Wireless is positioning itself as mobile carrier that only sells cellular connectivity as a last resort. Instead it’s building its core communications services on the back of Wi-Fi, and it’s charging nothing for that service beyond the $269 up front cost for its initial phone, the Motorola(s goog) Photon Q.

Scratch Wireless believes that the prevalence of Wi-Fi networks has reached a point where consumers can use the technology as their sole means of wireless connectivity, CEO and founder Alan Berrey said in recent interview. Consequently, it’s designed its service to use Wi-Fi as the primary access technology and the cellular network as a backup.

Customers can call or text for free over Wi-Fi networks, and if they choose, they can…

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