The People's Operator turns your calls and texts into charity
The People's Operator is a new mobile network that donates a quarter of its profits to charities and other good causes of your choice.
Richard TrenholmFormer Movie and TV Senior Editor
Richard Trenholm was CNET's film and TV editor, covering the big screen, small screen and streaming. A member of the Film Critic's Circle, he's covered technology and culture from London's tech scene to Europe's refugee camps to the Sundance film festival.
Charity begins at phone. That's the charitable intention behind The People's Operator, or TPO, a new mobile phone network that donates a quarter of profits to charities, community groups and other good causes.
The People's Operator uses Orange and T-Mobile's infrastructure and works like any other phone network, including free calls and texts to anyone also on TPO. And you get the warm glow of knowing every penny you pour into your phone is helping others too.
25 per cent of TPO's profits goes into the TPO Foundation, a registered charity that distributes the money to other charities, community groups and good causes, including the NSPCC, ChildLine and Regenerate -- and you can nominate causes close to your heart to benefit too.
On top of the 25 per cent coming out of TPO's end, when you sign up you can choose to donate 10 per cent of your call, text and data money to a good cause of your choice. And those good causes earn 10 per cent of the call, text and data money of any customers they recruit to TPO.
Once you've signed up, if you want to keep that warm glow of giving going, you can receive updates from your charity right on your mobile.
The network offers pay as you go deals from today, with SIM-only contracts coming next year. You can get as many SIMs as you want, for your phone, tablet and dongle, and manage them all from one online account.
TPO is a mobile virtual network operator (MVNO), which means it is its own company with its own customer service department, but uses the actual masts and wires of a larger network. TPO uses EE masts, the UK's largest network after the merger of Orange and T-Mobile. That means the coverage should be decent, and it will offer 4G deals at some stage too.
Other MVNOs include Tesco Mobile, Virgin, and the less well-known likes of Lyca.
Will you be signing up to The People's Operator or are there better ways to give to charity? Donate your thoughts in the comments or on our Facebook page.