Is Xero The Second Coming Of Gizmondo?

from the run-away dept

About a month ago, there was some buzz in the blogworld that there was yet another MVNO (a mobile operator that uses someone else's network) about to hit the scene, called Xero, with $300 million in funding. This seemed bizarre because the MVNO space is rapidly getting very crowded, and anyone just starting now is probably going to face a lot of trouble -- especially as it was quickly becoming clear that it's tough to make money as an MVNO. This shouldn't surprise anyone. After all, the rationale for MVNOs is usually to fill a niche that the big mobile operators don't find worth targeting -- in other words, one they don't believe is that profitable. Thus, it makes sense for a smaller operation looking for more targeted subscribers or an operator who really has some outside advantage (such as an important relationship). However, when MVNOs try to go big, they risk competing with their own network providers. In other words, any really successful MVNO is likely to piss off (or get bought by) whoever is supplying their network, if they get too big. Not necessarily a fun position to be in.

Still, some people believe in the space, and if Xero is to be the next hyped up entrant, so be it. However, there's a bit more info coming out today concerning the folks behind Xero, and it may be cause for a bit more skepticism. First, it appears their "differentiator" will be offering "free" airtime, if you're willing to accept advertisements on your mobile phone. If that sounds familiar, it's because that was the original announced business model for the infamous Gizmondo device. So, it's probably worth noting that Xero's management team was last seen running parts of Gizmondo. Yes, Gizmondo. The tiny company with an expensive gaming device (even when subsidized by ads) with almost no compelling games -- that was found to be paying executives millions of dollars, giving them expensive fancy cars (whoops) and with a less than squeaky clean police record. After all of this, of course, the company went bankrupt, without much to show for it (the executives, on the other hand, appeared to make out well). The guys running Xero don't appear to be the same folks who were accused of questionable behavior at Gizmondo, but it certainly does raise some questions about who is giving these guys $300 million to basically try the same business plan all over again -- except with mobile phones instead of a portable gaming device.

Hide this

Thank you for reading this Techdirt post. With so many things competing for everyone’s attention these days, we really appreciate you giving us your time. We work hard every day to put quality content out there for our community.

Techdirt is one of the few remaining truly independent media outlets. We do not have a giant corporation behind us, and we rely heavily on our community to support us, in an age when advertisers are increasingly uninterested in sponsoring small, independent sites — especially a site like ours that is unwilling to pull punches in its reporting and analysis.

While other websites have resorted to paywalls, registration requirements, and increasingly annoying/intrusive advertising, we have always kept Techdirt open and available to anyone. But in order to continue doing so, we need your support. We offer a variety of ways for our readers to support us, from direct donations to special subscriptions and cool merchandise — and every little bit helps. Thank you.

–The Techdirt Team


Reader Comments

Subscribe: RSS

View by: Time | Thread


  • identicon
    Andrew Strasser, 14 Mar 2006 @ 9:38pm

    The rich get richer.

    If it's good enough for Marth Stewart it's good enough for anyone. Theft is wrong.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Tom Foremski, 15 Mar 2006 @ 1:49am

    GOOG needs to become one...

    Google needs to get direct access to users...cell phone gives them a search box in every pocket. http://www.siliconvalleywatcher.com

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    pwb, 15 Mar 2006 @ 9:43am

    Kind of a dumb name.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    stelios haji-ioannou, 15 Mar 2006 @ 6:41pm

    ashley cole

    i like ashley cole would like to make crystal clear
    i stelios haji-ioannou am definately not gay in any way at all
    i have had many high profile relationships with real women
    my legal policy
    with regard to my legal policy. I am sure you will understand that i, stelios haji-ioannou cannot permit others to use my family name and the smear campaign i have had to endure without the certainty that i will sue the person or publication for libel due to rights in my character and family name being prejudiced. It follows that no use should be made of the stelios haji-ioannou name (or anything similar to it) and if any smear relating to gay or homosexual practices is made you will be punished to the full extent of the law. And in addition i will seek damages and compensation.

    the though of being gay repulses me and has brought a great deal of shame and embarrisement to my family especially as it is not true.
    i have nothing against gays or lesbians personally and i do not wish to offend anyone at all

    please do not misunderstand me i employ many gays
    but i will sue anyone who calls me a homosexual

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Amar, 15 Apr 2006 @ 4:24pm

    XERO MOBILE

    This company is sure to do well in the cellular service industry. I am a college student from UCLA and have been waiting for a personal/affordable cell phone service in which i can sign up under WITH NO CONTRACT.

    Their plans are simply amazing. I cannot believe what they will offer at low cost or even free. They are more for the people rather than profit.

    They will also provide excellent promotions and deals on HIGH TECH phones...a college student's dreams. I cant wait untill their service is released...

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Howard S, 29 Apr 2006 @ 6:32pm

    Xero Mobile Has Left The Building

    It’s been reported that all of the Xero Mobile employees have fled the office after the arrest of their leader, Carl Freer. The landlord came in on Friday to find them packing. They left no forwarding address. Gone public on Monday and ran out on Friday. Is this a record? This is a better story than Gizmondo, oh wait, this IS the Gizmondo story. I guess we won’t see many “students” posting how great Xero is after they have done their “research”. Any one at Desi TV left in the building? HA ha ha ha ha. LMFAO!

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]


Add Your Comment

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here



Subscribe to the Techdirt Daily newsletter




Comment Options:

  • Use markdown. Use plain text.
  • Make this the First Word or Last Word. No thanks. (get credits or sign in to see balance)    
  • Remember name/email/url (set a cookie)

Close

Add A Reply

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here



Subscribe to the Techdirt Daily newsletter




Comment Options:

  • Use markdown. Use plain text.
  • Make this the First Word or Last Word. No thanks. (get credits or sign in to see balance)    
  • Remember name/email/url (set a cookie)

Follow Techdirt
Essential Reading
Techdirt Deals
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Techdirt Insider Chat
Recent Stories

This site, like most other sites on the web, uses cookies. For more information, see our privacy policy. Got it
Close

Email This

This feature is only available to registered users. Register or sign in to use it.