@ CTIA — SK Earthlink Is Coming For You, Too


It was interesting meeting with Amp’d yesterday, then having a chat with another MVNO that will be launching soon, SK Earthlink. The two are targeting the same age group (roughly 18- to 30-year-olds), but whereas Amp’d sees itself as an entertainment company, SK Earthlink is all about the technology.

The SK in the company’s name (which won’t be the brand under which it offers service, by the way) comes from Korea’s SK Telecom, and SKE will leverage its technology for all it’s worth: the service and billing platform that makes everything happen, advanced content and services, and of course, the handsets. SKE isn’t like a lot of MVNOs that work through an enabler company and offer basic services at cut-rate prices. It’s targeting people that are willing to pay for data services, and in return, they’ll get an experience the company bills as unlike anything any other carrier in the US offers. It won’t offer low-end phones that presumably wouldn’t be able to handle the advanced services and content it’s promising to deliver.

The company is keeping a pretty low profile and is still speaking in generalities rather than specifics about particular handsets or features before its launch next Spring. But, like Amp’d, they’re saying all the right things, and it’s hard not to believe they won’t come up with something cool. They’re planning to doggedly attack their niche market with a differentiated approach and proposition that should resonate well. Watching these companies come to market is like MVNO version 2.0, bigger and better than just basic service cheaper than your usual MegaCarrier. They’re taking their network providers’ pipes and really using them to their full potential, unburdened by legacy brands and services, but most importantly, not encumbered by telco thinking.

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