Last month Amp?d Mobile, the troubled wireless carrier, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. This comes on the heels of media reports that Amp?d has been unable to collect on bills owed by approximately half of the carrier's estimated 175,000 subscribers. Amp?d is one of the approximately 40 mobile virtual network operators (MVNOs) currently operating in the United States. MVNO's do not operate their own wireless networks as carriers like Verizon Wireless, AT&T, Sprint-Nextel do. Instead, they lease access to one of the existing networks and typically market themselves to niche market segments.
Amp?d, for example, leases access to Verizon Wireless? network and focuses on providing data content to the teen and twenty-something market. Amp?d offers several levels of service, including traditional post-paid, pre-paid, and hybrid plans. The company launched in 2005 amid news that it had raised more than $350 million in venture capital. Subscribers to Amp?d service should contact the company to inquire about the future of their service. Verizon Wireless had threatened to cut off service to the company's subscribers, but relented when a deal was struck earlier this week. Needless to say, the future of Amp?d is very much in doubt at this time. We would recommend that consumers looking for a new wireless carrier look elsewhere, at least until the company's financial situation becomes clearer.
Source: Telecommunications Research and Action Center. http://www.trac.org