Monet To Shut Down
from the too-bad dept
A bit of unfortunate news in the wireless space. Monet Mobile Networks made news in October of 2002 becoming the first (by far) company to launch a commercial EV-DO wireless data service in the US – and they did so at reasonable prices. For $40/month, you could have wireless broadband (at speeds close to DSL or cable modems) and it would work anywhere in the areas they covered (eight cities in Wisconsin, Minnesota and the Dakotas). Their plan was to pick locations that were less likely to get attention from the big players and cover them with affordable wireless broadband. Turns out, it hasn’t worked out so well as they’ve announced plans to shut down the network early next month. They don’t give a clear explanation of why, but the article speculates that their plans could have been harmed by Verizon Wireless’s recently announced plans to offer nationwide EV-DO, which could have cut into Monet’s ability to raise the money they needed to continue. I’m not entirely sure that makes sense, as Monet clearly had a huge lead in bringing this to market, and were pricing the offering at half of what Verizon Wireless is planning to charge (for now). It seems more likely that Monet just wasn’t seeing the subscriber adoption they were hoping for, which could be a function of picking such out of the way places. It may have been cheaper to set up, but it sounds like the market just wasn’t there.