SK-Earthlink, new high-end MVNO

Jan 26 2005 - 02:54 PM ET | MVNO
SK Telecom and Earthlink today announced plans to form a new US based mobile virtual network operator, MVNO, for high-end mobile phones: bq. In South Korea, kids on the street are using their mobile phones to listen to music, watch TV, videoconference, locate their friends, and access the Internet—as well as make voice calls—as opposed to the U.S. where the mobile experience is primarily about talking on the phone. Americans are living in the past. Utilizing emerging 3G networks and harnessing the explosive growth of Wi-Fi, SK-EarthLink will take the wireless experience in the U.S. to a new level. Each company will have a 50% stake in the venture. More details will be announced later in the year, a final agreement is expected in March. SK-Earthlink is planning on powering its service by leasing bulk time from Sprint and Verizon. Both companies will have large scale 3G EV-DO service deployed by the end of the year, Verizon already has EV-DO in most of its top markets.