Innovation That Matters

Launch your own mobile network


We’ve written about mobile virtual network operators for gay customers, for 16-24 year olds and for charity. Now, anyone can start their own MVNO using Sonopia, which launched earlier this week. Sonopia works with Verizon to handle calls and data transfer, and lets anyone from a rock band to a church group set up their own mobile network brand. In return, the mini carrier will receive 3-8% of revenues generated by the customers they sign up. Brands create their own calling plans, get a co-branded website and are able to send their members messages about the latest news or special events. Organizations that have already set up a Sonopia MVNO include the National Wildlife Fund, the American Medical Student Association and the Long Island Ducks (minor-league baseball). Someone also started a San Francisco Foodies group and the LonelyGirl15 Fan Club. The obvious challenge when setting up your own MVNO is to create a strong enough hook to convince customers to switch from a major carrier to your service. Which could be exclusive content sent only to members/customers, like a pre-release of Fergie’s latest song, or daily nuggets of wisdom from Dr. Phil. Non-profit networks are helped by the feel-good factor of knowing that profits are being donated to the cause of one’s choice, as is the case with the National Wildlife Fund: “Help preserve our wildlife today… one call at a time.” Since Sonopia doesn’t charge set-up costs, there’s nothing stopping you from setting up your own mobile network today. It might not make you a telecom mogul, but it could provide a nice additional stream of income. Spotted by: Rick Rodrigues



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