Amp’d Mobile Gets $7.5 Million From Telus; 2007 Launch In Canada

LA-based MVNO Amp’d Mobile, which is having its own teething troubles in U.S., is now expanding to Canada, through a deal with local telco Telus. It will launch its MVNO service there in 2007 (This is technically not an MVNO deal, but a licensing and service agreement…as explained below in the post.)
Also, concurrently, Telus Ventures, the venture arm of Telus, has made a $7.5 million equity investment in Amp’d, bringing the total money pumped into it to about $260 million. This is Amp’d first international deal.
Amp’d will provide the overlaying service, and handsets, while Telus will manage sales and distribution, billing, client care, network operations and pricing…Telus also gets the exclusive right to use the Amp’d trademarks, premium data services, handsets and content delivery platforms in Canada.
940News: “While our approach is to offer both post-paid and pre-paid plans the focus has been here in the U.S. and will be in Canada on the the post-paid service,” CEO Peter Adderton said of the service that will be launched next year.
A story about the rationale of this deal, from Telus’ side, is here.
Updated: Peter Adderton, CEO of Amp’d was on the Q2 earnings call for Telus last week: He said that in early days in U.S., the ARPU for an Amp’d user is two times the U.S. average.
Darren Entwistle, CEO Telus: “The bill comes as a TELUS bill. In terms of the branding on the hardware or form factor handsets if you will, the extent to which it is an optimized handset customized to the Amp’d application it is Amp’d Powered by TELUS. What we’re doing from a brand affinity perspective….TELUS will control the pricing and the sales and distribution model, in addition to what we will provide on the client care front. So when you add up all of those factors, the EV-DO network, the post-paid focus, the high ARPU, the exclusive and exciting content that Amp’d brings to the table, the customized handsets for the application, the brand affinity and association, and the control that we have over sales and marketing — particularly as it relates to pricing client care and billing — I think this is a unique model, and a sustainable model and one that we’re very excited about in terms of the economic contribution that it can make to our organization.”

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