Kajeet

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Kajeet
Type Private
Industry Wireless Services
Founded 2006
Headquarters Bethesda, Maryland, United States (Corporate headquarters)
Key people Daniel Neal, CEO & Founder
Products Wireless communication using CDMA
Website http://www.kajeet.com/

Kajeet is a prepaid wireless provider operating as a Sprint-based mobile virtual network operator (MVNO) that began selling phones to the general public in March 2007 through its website. The highlights of the service includes free parental controls, contract-free plans, and the option of GPS phone location.

Background[edit]

Kajeet was founded by three fathers figuring out how cell phones, kids, and parents could work best together. The company name, "kajeet," was derived as an anagram from the names of the founders' children. Two of the original founders still guide the company today: Ben Weintraub, COO, and Daniel Neal, CEO. Kajeet's service was designed around providing safety-conscious families affordable cell phones and prepaid plans(starting 4.99) for their teens, tweens, and young children.

Kajeet was mentioned in a Time Magazine online article[1] and in the print edition.[2] In both, the author Wendy Cole recounted her daughter's experience during kajeet beta testing.

Kid-Safe Service[edit]

Kajeet's service considers the safety of its users in many facets. Mobile downloadable content, such as wallpapers, ring tones, and games are screened to ensure that they are child appropriate. The free parental controls are accessible by parents logging in to their accounts. They are organized into five different managers.

The Feature Manager allows parents to determine whether their child's phone can use certain features. Parents can disable the use of picture messaging, to prevent problematic issues such as sexting. Downloadable content can be turned off, to prevent users from purchasing ring tones and games without permission. Mobile web access can be granted or denied, as well as specific sites, such as those that are not free to access, or social media websites. Feature manager can also allow child access to the GPS location services, in the event that they should lose their phone.

The Time Manager allows account holders to control when a kajeet phone can and cannot be used; for example, the phone can be scheduled to not make or receive calls during school hours. These restrictions can be set up in minimum 30 min blocks, any times and days of the week.

The Contact Manager provides the ability to create black and white lists for numbers that parents do and do not want coming in or going out on their child's phone. This contact manager also allows the phone to reach certain numbers at all times, even during scheduled "off" times, for cases of emergency. Kajeet phones are also allowed to call 911 and kajeet customer care at any time, free of charge. In addition, all 1-900 numbers are always blocked.

The Wallet Manager gives parents the opportunity to add dollars to their child's account, whether it is incorporated as a reward system for good behavior, allowing the child to purchase games and ring tones, or as a tool to teach responsibility. This feature allows parents to add money to their child's account on either a recurring or single time basis.

The GPS Phone Locator makes use of kajeet's location-based service, which can be activated at any time by the parent, at a low monthly cost. The GPS locator is one of the more alluring parental feature, as it has proven useful to many families in the cases of children skipping school, losing their phones, having their purses stolen, or even going somewhere forbidden.

Parenting Awards[edit]

Kajeet has won several parenting awards for its unique cell phone service. This list of awards includes:

Parent Tested, Parent Approved Media Inc., Seal of Approval - 2008[3]

National Parenting Publication Awards, Honors Award Winner - 2009[4]

iParenting Media, Excellence Award - 2009[5]

Mom's Choice Awards, Gold in Gear and Accessories - 2010[6]

History[edit]

  • On March 19, 2007, kajeet launched a presence in Whyville, the virtual world for kids, sponsoring a "Chat Factory" in the Whyville Mall. In May 2007, the kajeet-Whyville relationship was presented as a case study in online marketing to kids at the Kid Power 2007 conference in Orlando, Florida.
  • In mid-March 2007, kajeet officially announced its retail launch in Best Buy and Limited Too stores, and in April began selling in Long's Drugs stores on the west coast.
  • In early April 2007, kajeet began running its first television commercial on Nickelodeon, Cartoon Network and other kid-specific broadcast outlets.
  • On May 16, 2007, kajeet was featured in "Marketing Cell Phones to Kids,"[7] part of a five-part CBS News report on marketing to kids.[8]
  • In June 2007, kajeet launched "Dudemail", an e-mail application featuring customizable versions of the six animated characters that includes a text-to-speech component. The company was also singled out by Best Buy in their 2007 Corporate Responsibility Report.
  • By October 2007, kajeet had secured phone and refill card distribution not only in Best Buy, Limited Too and Longs Drugs, but also in Target, Toys R Us, Wal-Mart, Amazon CVS and Rite Aid locations. The company moved quickly in the wake of Disney Mobile's announcement that it was shutting down in December 2007 by offering a $50 service credit to Disney Mobile users who switch their number to the kajeet service.
  • Kajeet was named one of five companies to watch by The National Venture Capital Association, a trade association that represents the U.S. venture capital industry, in its 2005–2006 Year in Review. In September 2007, kajeet announced the securing of $36.8 million in series-B venture capital funding.
  • In May 2009, MTV Networks filed an $11.6 million lawsuit against kajeet, accusing it of using content without permission and failing to follow through on a ring-tone licensing deal.[9]
  • In August 2010, kajeet won nearly $81 million in damages over student-loan auction rate securities UBS financial Services sold to the company.[10]

References[edit]

External links[edit]