Amp'd is Going Down
It's been a long slow death, but barring a miracle, today is Amp'ds final day.
Here's the core problem; People don't live in verticals. People aren't only music fans or sports fans or whatever. People live in horizontals. An individual has a breadth of interests. The affinity groups a successful MVNO has to appeal to cannot be vertical interest based. Vertical interest credit card affinity groups work because people carry more than one credit card. People generally don't have more than one cell phone.
While MVNO's are an intrinsically broken model, I can think of some cases where they could work well. Being a "hip cellular carrier" is not one of them.
Tracfone (an MVNO for people with poor/no credit) seems to be doing just fine. If WalMart had an MVNO, I bet it would do well too. They could regularly push SMS or MMS coupons to users. They could trigger custom messages on in-store displays via bluetooth. The mind boggles at what WalMart could do with an MVNO.
Update: Amp'd users get to live for another week