Mobile
Commentary
7/30/2007
12:55 PM
Eric Ogren
Eric Ogren
Commentary
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Caught In A Mosh: New MVNO Launches Beta Service

As Amp'd Mobile goes down in flames, another company is taking a shot at the MVNO model. Mosh Mobile, based in Indiana, will provide free services, including unlimited voice,

As Amp'd Mobile goes down in flames, another company is taking a shot at the MVNO model. Mosh Mobile, based in Indiana, will provide free services, including unlimited voice, SMS and data, for anyone willing to tolerate random advertising on their phones...and swear words in its marketing materials.Okay, the language may not be that harsh, but it is still there, and belies the MVNO's coveted target: Youth. Not just youth, but the constant-black-t-shirt-wearing, tattooed, heavy-metal-loving gothic youth culture. Its slogan is "Mobile That Kicks [Tail]."

Beyond the youth segment, the entire theme of Mosh Mobile seems to based on that overly-friendly way of getting to know your peers at any heavy metal concert, moshing. Sections of its Web site are dedicated to the Mosh Pit, which is where users are encouraged to download free music, games, ringtones and video. And it only has one plan, under which everything is free.

Yes. Free.

We've seen this before, most recently from a yet-to-be-launched MVNO over in England, Blyk. Blyk, which first came to light a few months ago, hasn't actually gotten off the ground yet, and it has been in the works for quite some time. This brings to question whether the "free" model can really work.

Mosh Mobile isn't for everyone. In fact, you have to be popular to sign up, as invites from current members are required to enter the Mosh Pit. You also have to "pass" a marketing survey so Mosh Mobile knows how to market to you more effectively. After that, you get to buy a phone for what Mosh says is "on the cheap" and you're all set.

Mosh's Web site is sparse on some major details, though. Such as who its carrier partner is, what handsets it will offer, how any one is supposed to know someone to get an invite on a brand new service, who its backers are, and what sort of contracts - if any - are required.

Whether or not Mosh Mobile attracts enough customers to survive its beta program remains to be seen. In the mean time, cue up the heavy metal and let the headbanging begin.

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