I actually signed up to launch my own branded mobile phone service via Sonopia some time ago. A PR rep sent me an email about the service and in the name of investigating I set up my own MVNO with New York Yankees branding (it was the most lucrative-seeming brand I could think of on the spot). I never actually did anything with it, never got anyone to sign up, and didn't even make it to the dinner Sonopia threw at a bistro in San Francisco to talk shop with Bay Area folks like me who'd signed on.
Guess I wasn't alone - Sonopia is closing its doors just about one year after opening them. I'm not surprised; the whole roll your own branded MVNO thing seemed way too ambitious and way too reliant on Sonopia users actually carrying through on starting their own mini-businesses. It's one thing to offer a service and hope people will buy it, and it's entirely another to offer a service and hope that people will buy into customizing and reselling it to others.
You know why people like cell phones so much? Because we're lazy. Cell phones mean we don't have to make plans, pick meeting spots, or worry about being on time. We can just call when we get there, call when we're running late, and call when we still haven't left home but are pretending to be held up by traffic.
Sonopia somehow managed to raise $21.5 Million on a business plan that revolved around ordinary citizens (i.e. not Sonopia employees) getting so into their cell phone service that they'd put a bunch of work into using it in hopes of making a few bucks. Nope. People already have jobs - they want a cell phone service that they have to pay for, not one that they have to sell.