Ad-subsidized MVNO: Xero Mobile

Three ex-Gizmondo Europe executives have announced that they are the minds behind the rumored ad-subsidized MVNO Xero Mobile when its Web site went live last month with little details. The execs are: Peter Lilley, former head of Gizmondo's Smart Adds operation; David Levett, Gizmondo's former chief software architect; and Rich Clayton, one of Gizmondo's producers in the U.S. The MVNO offers free airtime to users in exchange for pushing advertisements to their handsets. Bloggers at the time said the company had raised $300 million in financing, mostly from Europe. Former Gizmondo CEO Carl Freer has been helping the MVNO raise money, even though he has no official involvement with the company.

Freer left Gizmondo last October when it came to light that a fellow director of the company had a secret criminal past. Freer was not accused of any wrongdoing. Xero's business model is similar to Gizmondo Europe's: Handhelds were offered at a lower price to punters willing to be sent sponsorship messages.

For more on Xero Mobile:
- see this article from The Register