Children today are growing up in a far more technologically advanced world than the generation before them. While smartphones and tablets are no big deal to today's kids, those that grew up in the 80's and 90's will have some very different childhood memories. As a result, it's not at all uncommon to see 12-year-olds with mobile phones.
Still, it's not difficult to understand why some parent's might be a bit uncomfortable with the idea of giving their young child a mobile phone. Chief among the worries associated with such a decision is the cost, as well as the people their child might be contacting. Bemilo, a new mobile network launching in the United Kingdom, aims to remove some of those concerns with controls that allow parents to select the times of day the phone can be used and the numbers it is capable of dialing.
"Bemilo's exclusive functions put YOU in full control of your child's mobile service," the network promises. "Putting a stop to mobile bullying, late night phone use, and rising monthly mobile phone bills."
Bemilo is a MVNO, or mobile virtual network operator, that piggybacks on Vodafone's infrastructure. The network's SIM card will allow parents to load money onto their child's phone on a PAYG basis. There's a base charge of £3.95 a month, with calls charged at 10p per minute, texts charged at 10p per message and data charged at 25p per MB. Parents can control how much is spent, what time of day the phone is used, when data is switched on or off, and whether or not their child is allowed to send photos or video. There's also the ability to 'turn off' the phone during school hours or at night without removing the ability to contact certain numbers (such as parents or guardians). You can also block certain numbers from contacting your child, a feature designed to combat bullying.
Parents looking to use Bemilo will have to sign up for a safety pack that will include a SIM card. Hit up Bemilo's website to learn more.