Thursday, March 16, 2006
MVNO stands for Mobile Virtual Network Operator, and is a mobile phone company that rents bandwidth, cell tower use and spectrum from another company, and then uses that access to fill a niche market with handsets and content specific to their own users. There are a number of MVNO‚Äôs springing up across the US‚ÄîESPN Mobile, offering sports for sports fans, is a good example. Disney has an MVNO as well, designed to keep parents in touch with their children, and MTV and Universal Music are working with the MVNO Amp‚Äôd Mobile to appeal to the music crowd with 99-cent MP3 downloads. Virgin and Richard Branson were one of the first to get into this specialty market, four years ago, with their youth market, pay-as-you-go mobile service.
In Korea, for around $700 dollars you can watch Satellite TV on your phone, or with another handset model, have an 8-megapixel camera embedded into your phone. Helios‚Äô plan is to offer phones in the under 300-dollar range and to appeal to young, savvy, ultrageeks who want the latest technologies and to belong to a community of other ‚Äútechnosexuals‚Äù. Working with one of the most successful telecoms in the world, SK Telecom, from South Korea and using phones from Samsung and LG, he is poised to give a much needed push the lagging mobile market of the United States.
Each phone will be customized exclusively for Helios, and will have distinctive styling and features. One phone, for example, has a video port to connect directly to the television, so you can watch content that has been downloaded from the Internet, or to display video you have shot personally. The phones will have graphics coprocessors, stereo speakers, and QVGA screens for high resolution graphics, MP3 player, and the ability to play video games. It will also have a removable card with one gig of memory to interface with card readers and other devices. In addition, it will have a direct connection to My Space, so users can Blog directly from their phone and post pictures. If that wasn‚Äôt enough, customers can stream music, get downloads and then sync them with their PC. In addition, the screen is customizable with news, sports, fashion, and financial news that changes hourly, and just click on a headline goes straight to the full story on the web! Now if we could just solve constantly dropped calls‚Ä¶ What is your niche?