Market research conducted by GO has revealed that families are getting their children their first SIM card from around the age of 10 and 11 years.
This coincides with comments by Dr. Caroline Leaf, a neuroscientist and author of How to Help Your Child Clean Up Their Mental Mess who in an article on fortune.com suggests that a good age to introduce a smartphone is between 10 and 13 years, “so they can learn the value of communication”.
“It shows they are learning to manage communication and encourages them to bring questions to their parents. Then, using their phone becomes a healthy, collaborative effort and you can eventually give them more freedom, such as a smartphone with safety restrictions to prevent them being targeted negatively,” she explained.
Whilst this could potentially spark debate amongst those with differing views on children’s online vs offline communication behaviour and patterns, the reality is that children are living in an increasingly digital society and catering to their needs in a responsible way will alleviate any potential concerns without cutting them off from the current realities.
In support of this, GO is announcing the launch of “Play Junior,” a mobile plan tailored exclusively for parents and their children up to 15 years old.
“We fully understand and appreciate that families want their children to be safe and reachable at all. At the same time, they want a connectivity solution that is safe to use, flexible and affordable. With Play Junior, we are responding to this need,” explains Alison Mercieca, Senior Manager – Marketing, GO plc.
Priced at just €10.99 per month, GO’s Play Junior is not just another mobile plan but a comprehensive solution that brings GO’s robust connectvity and service offer allowing children and young teens to stay connected while offering parents unparalleled, yet affordable peace of mind.
“This new mobile package addresses what today’s modern family inevitably needs: to see that their children remain connected and safe. However, it remains our responsibility as parents to communicate with and educate our children on the proper use of smartphone technology and access to social media, and how to use this technology responsibly,” added Alison Mercieca.
GO’s Play Junior Plan not only makes smartphones more accessible by the children but also educational and safer.
“Through round-the-clock SecureNet protection and its Parental Control feature, children can explore the vast online world while remaining protected against adult and inappropriate content, malware, phishing attempts, viruses, and other security threats,” added Alison Mercieca.
Parents can also rest in the knowledge that their children are connected with family and friends without worrying about how many minutes they are consuming from their bundle. In fact, this plan allows children unlimited calling and messaging. GO’s Play Junior also allows the users to remain connected even with those who are registered to a different network as it offers an additional 200 minutes for calls to non-GO customers. With ‘Family and Friends Calling’ facility, users of this new plan may include up to 5 additional family members or friends to call unlimited, regardless of their network. This plan is also available with GO’s Easybuy offer in which one can purchase a new phone and pay this in monthly instalments with 0% interest.
While empowering children and young teens to foster stronger social connections through easy and effortless communication, GO’s Play Junior also empowers parents to remain in full control.
“In fact, we understand parents’ concerns when it comes to their children’s mobile usage and this is why Play Junior offers a unique hybrid tariff approach. In the event that the child consumes more than 12 GB of mobile data, parents have a choice to either top up or temporarily keep the data service suspended for the rest of the month – giving them full control of their children’s mobile usage patterns while avoiding any unexpected charges.”
“We’ve designed this plan with both kids and parents in mind. It’s about enabling children to explore, learn, and connect in a safe and responsible way while giving parents the peace of mind they deserve,” concluded Alison Mercieca.