The Virtual Mobile Virtual Network Operator From 7-Eleven

from the not-even-using-the-brand dept

Mobile virtual network operators (MVNOs) are nothing new. Virgin, both in the UK and the US, has been quite successful creating their own mobile phone carrier, despite not having a network of their own, but simply handling the branding and management, while leaving all the technology issues to a network operator partner. So far, most MVNOs seem to be targeting the youth market (often with “pre-paid plans”), and considering just how lucrative that market seems these days, it’s no surprise that plenty of others want into the market. However, operating the whole MVNO is probably a lot of work, so now we’re getting to the point where you have virtual MVNOs (VMVNOs) who will do all the work for a company, and simply slap their brand on the final product. That seems to be what’s happening with convenience store 7-Eleven, who has announced plans to sell pre-paid mobile phones and service under the “Speak Out” brand – though, all the work appears to be done by Ztar Mobile. Other retailers are quickly expected to follow. Wal-Mart is at the top of the list, with Costco and Home Depot also apparently considering their own mobile phone offerings. The idea is to target younger users, or those with bad credit histories, who can simply pick up a phone at the store, and use it until their minutes run out, at which point they can top it up again – back at the store, of course.

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Comments on “The Virtual Mobile Virtual Network Operator From 7-Eleven”

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Gregory Kennedy says:

This idea has been floated for a while and there are number of companies that are, enablers conmpanies that provide the platform to create a mobile service.

The idea has been extremely slow to take off due to resistance by the network operators. They see what happened with AOL, and don’t want to be just the gateway. Of course they are right, what is now obvious is that the value is in companies like Google and Amazon not AOL. Jus providing the pipes was not a good long term strategy.

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