Is Hop-On Really Becoming An MVNO?

How quickly people forget. Hop-On Wireless has been able to get a tremendous amount of press over the years, for not doing very much — and when they did do stuff, it was often very questionable things. Three years ago, much of their story about “disposable phones” was exposed as a scam. The company didn’t actually have any phones. They were simply chopping up Nokia phones and showing them as if they were Hop-On phones. They also did things like announcing retail distribution partners after having a single meeting with companies, who later said they had no interest in working with Hop-On. Then there were things like not filing income tax returns for two years, being charged with fleecing investors out of more than $20 million and having their CEO arrested for fraud. The company claims to have reformed. They merged with some other company that makes phone accessories, and it appears that they have replaced plenty of their original executive staff. However, given that history, it still pays to be skeptical — which is our response to the latest news that they’re going to become an MVNO to go along with their cheap phones (no longer “disposable,” apparently). Of course, they don’t announce a network operator partner, so it sounds like this is more in the idea stage than anything concrete just yet. It may be that the company is actually doing something real these days, but, given their history, color me doubtful.

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