The discussion over whether MVNOs are a viable business model continues, with this article citing most MVNOs as still being upbeat about their business after the premature crash and burn of ESPN Mobile…and a couple of industry players evincing more skepticism. “Robert Dotson, chief executive of T-Mobile USA, also noted that ESPN and others would be more talkative about subscriber data if they had good news…”I would say they’re doing mediocre at best. I say that because nobody’s reporting any numbers,” he said.”
Sprint has a different attitude, which is unsurprising considering the bunch of MVNOs that use its network now account for 5.3 million users, or almost 10 of the carriers customers base. Of course, more than 4 million of those come from Virgin. “Thad Langford, Sprint’s vice president for strategic partners, said Sprint estimates it takes “roughly four to six quarters” to build a successful virtual provider of “post-paid” service — a more lucrative business where customers pay monthly charges rather than prepaying for air time to use at their own pace. ESPN is ditching its venture after less than a year…”You have to give these new opportunities a chance to grow,” he said.”
Meanwhile, Amp’d is forecasting a move into operating profit by late 2008, with 700,000 customers.