High-End MVNO Readies Launch

Another MVNO is rolling out this month. Voce, which targets upscale users, will launch service initially in New York and Los Angeles, with plans to expand to the top 10 U.S. metropolitan markets by the end of 2006. Voce is backed by Japanese content provider Faith Inc., which made its name in the U.S. wireless market by licensing the technology for polyphonic ringtones. Steve Stanford, former vice president of marketing for Boost Mobile and an early principal in Ampd Mobile, is heading the Voce MVNO.

The startup is using the Cingular Wireless network to deliver the service. MVNO enabler Visage Mobile provides Voces back-office, including end-to-end subscriber management, billing, data delivery and integration with more than a dozen operational partners, including the underlying wireless carrier.

Our target customers are very discerning and our business rests on delivering the absolutely highest quality experience in the market, says Sanford. Visage’s MVNO platform provides a customer experience far beyond the capabilities of today’s wireless carriers. Tom Boblich, senior vice president for Visage Mobile, says Voce is the companys third announced client and the first on a GSM network. Its other publicly announced MVNO clients ESPN and Primus are using Sprints CDMA network. He says Visage had to take into account the wrinkle presented by removable SIM cards and how that impacts device ordering, tracking, upgrades, replacements and returns.

He says the Visage back office also had to reflect Voces view of their customers as members rather than subscribers with pricing plans and terms to match.

In addition, Boblich says Visage Mobile is integral to providing the high-touch service Voce is selling. For example, Visage Mobile has enabled consistent and full-scale sales and customer care capabilities across the call center, retail center and field sales force.

Visage and Voce have been working on the system for about six months and completed testing at the end of September.

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