Another one bites the dust. The Walt Disney Company announced today that it is closing the operations of its Disney Mobile MVNO, which launched early last year. The company shut down its other MVNO, Mobile ESPN in September 2006, a mere eight months after it launched. Disney Mobile commercially launched in June 2006. While the financials surrounding the Disney Mobile closure have not been disclosed, Disney said it had invested $150 million into Mobile ESPN prior to its closure, and the closure cost an additional $30 million, according to a report in the Wall Street Journal.
Disney Mobile offered branded services to both kids and their parents. While the kids enjoyed various Disney-themed services, ringtones and games, parents were given advanced monitoring tools like a GPS-enabled Family Locator. Like Amp'd Mobile before it, Disney plans to offer some of these mobile applications through other carriers. Disney already has such a deal in place with Verizon Wireless through its Mobile ESPN brand.
Disney's decision comes after Amp'd Mobile's bankruptcy filing earlier in the year, but just one week after SK Telecom invested an additional $150 million in its MVNO, Helio, to keep it afloat. SK co-owns Helio with Earthlink, but Earthlink did not opt to invest in Helio this time around.
For more on Disney's decision to shutter its MVNO:
- read this press release
- read this article from the WSJ