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April 7, 2006

CTIA: Mickey Mouse mobile

Posted by Tricia Duryee at 1:15 PM

On the first day of CTIA, Disney Mobile launched its new cell-phone service. The service is called an MVNO because it buys cell phone minutes wholesale from Sprint and then resells them rebranded as Disney to consumers.

Disney Mobile said its service is special because of all the family features, including a tracking feature to find a member of the family and alerts for when someone has gone over their designated number of minutes.

A number of MVNOs have launched recently including Amp'd Mobile and ESPN Mobile.

Jorge Fuenzalida, a general manager and analyst for inCode, said these virtual carriers are serving a purpose.

"Disney's MVNO is very relevant. We've gone through a series of consolidation and now we have three vying for the No. 1 spot," he said.

He called coverage sold on the fact that its good or that you get a lot of minutes is passe. "It needs to look and feel different," he said.

Still, he said they aren't all likely to survive. "The long-term prognosis is up in the air."

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Tricia Duryee
Tricia Duryee
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