We don’t know much about Indiana-based Mosh Mobile yet, but it claims to be offering free, advertising based mobile service to U.S. customers after they purchase a phone. The news comes as Amp’d, a high profile U.S. MVNO (mobile virtual network operator) has ceased operations after blowing through $360 million in capital.
Blyk, a much anticipated MVNO in Europe with a similar model (free service, advertising supported), has missed a couple of launch dates. Mosh Mobile has launched, although in a private “beta.” Only other Mosh Mobile users can invite you to join the service. They are not yet saying who their service provider is.
The business model: “The service will be supported via advertisements delivered by text message, the wireless web portal, inserted in to wireless pages, the free wireless applications and will be targeted to various usergroups.” To generate any kind of realistic ARPU (average revenue per user), there is going to have to be a ton of advertising. It’s not clear that users will be able to tolerate it, or that advertisers will get the kind of return they are looking for.
The company says they are funded, but are not disclosing details. They have a Twitter account where they are keeping users updated.
Update: I’ve been talking to mobile execs…no one has heard of Mosh Mobile, it doesn’t appear to have any carrier deal, and the fact that the domain name was just registered suggests that this is more of a hope than a reality. We’ll keep on it.