Friday, May 04, 2007

Billing World: MVNO kajeet Enters the 'Tween Market

"A number of big brands have learned the hard way that the MVNO market is a tough place to make a living and some of the failures, such as that of ESPN mobile, received endless coverage. There are also, however, MVNO success stories, such as Amp’d Mobile, which continues to posts solid subscriber numbers. Hoping to follow the successful path, kajeet is a new MVNO that also is gaining attention in the industry.

Kajeet is the first prepaid wireless mobile service specifically designed for kids. CEO Danieal Neal says that kajeet has worked hard to put kids in the middle of the service and think of their needs. Neal says he took interest in the space in 2003 when “we realized that the market was going to be enormous and that it was going to be very difficult for the major carriers to do a good job, says Neal.” “Kids are way too smart for four button kiddy phone,” he says, referring to some current offerings.

As of Thursday this week, it was announced that Verizon Wireless has discontinued sales of its kid-focused LG Migo phone. Cingular also dropped its Firefly device at its retail stores. Both of these phones only had four buttons to choose from. In the case of Firefly, it displayed “Mommy” and “Daddy” buttons.

Kajeet has already signed distribution agreements with companies such as BestBuy and Limited Too, and just this week announced a marketing agreement with Nickelodeon where it will launch a major SpongeBob SquarePants advertising campaign. The company has also forged relationships with Glu Mobile, Gameloft, I-play and Airborne Entertainment, and offers applications such as AOL's instant messaging and Google's Maps for Mobile. "

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