Originally posted on Gigaom:
There is a revolution happening at the low end of the cellular market, with new operators launching services that cost less than existing data plans from the big four operators in the U.S. But can these startups grow large enough to change the way mobile data is priced and sold in the U.S.? That was the question that the CEOs of of three new MVNOs tried to answer at GigaOM Mobilize during a panel discussion with senior writer Kevin Fitchard.
Eliott Noss, CEO of Tucows, which launched the Ting mobile service, said it was likely that his company and other MVNOs would be like a “revenge of the ants,” as his and 50 other MVNOs innovated from the bottom up, but didn’t really disrupt the top players.
David Morken, the co-founder and CEO of Bandwidth.com, which operates the Republic Wireless service, vehemently disagreed, saying “I’m not an ant. I think Free [a French MVNO] is a great example of where the market is going.” Free launched a Wi-Fi based mobile phone service that has been highly successful in France. But Free also had sold a broadband product for years, so it already had an established customer base.