Defense Mobile, an MVNO that first came to market in 2013 targeting active and retired U.S military and their families, is in the midst of a "business transformation" and is not currently accepting new customers. However, a company spokesman said that the MVNO hopes to resume activating new customers "soon."
"Defense Mobile is still operational and providing mobile services to its existing veteran, active military members and customers," Stan Simpliciano, the company's COO and head of operations, told FierceWireless. "We are going through a business transition and have temporarily stopped new activations and expect to resume activating new customers soon. If you have further questions, please feel free to reach out to me directly."
When questioned on the company's specific problems and plans for the future, Simpliciano said that "I'm not at liberty to disclose that information just yet. When I can, happy to reach back out to you to be the first to know outside of the company, our partners and members."
Defense Mobile's website currently warns that it is no longer activating new customers.
Indeed, the past few days appear to have been troubled ones for the company's management. Earlier this week Prepaid Phone News reported that a recorded message on Defense Mobile's customer support phone number was warning current and prospective customers that the company would shut down within 30 days. The publication subsequently reported on a statement from Defense Mobile's CEO Anthony Montoya saying "While we will no longer offer GSM service, we will attempt to maintain those customers effected [sic]."
Defense Mobile first broke cover in August 2013 as an MVNO solely running on Sprint's network. But the company officially launched service last year on the networks of AT&T, Verizon and T-Mobile with service geared toward active-duty U.S military members, veterans and their families; it committed to giving 10 percent of its profits back to non-profit groups that support veterans in need. The company also offered a customer care center staffed exclusively by veterans, and apps for its customers that help them navigate military benefits and get a prepaid debit card with cash-back rewards at select merchants.
Defense Mobile launched with a range of plans, starting at $30 per month for 300 voice minutes, 300 texts and 300 MB of LTE data. The company's $40, $50 and $80 plans all came with unlimited voice and texting and 1 GB, 3 GB and 10 GB of LTE data, respectively.
Defense Mobile isn't the only MVNO to suffer business troubles recently. T-Mobile MVNO PTel Mobile shut down in February after 15 years of business, Sprint MVNO Scratch Wireless said last month it is no longer selling its services to new customers as it works on unspecified new products and services, and T-Mobile MVNO Solavei discontinued its service Dec. 4.
- see this Prepaid Phone News article
T-Mobile MVNO PTel Mobile quietly shuts down after 15 years
Wi-Fi-first MVNO Scratch Wireless on hold due to 're-designing and improving the solution'
T-Mobile remains mum on subscriber gains from collapse of MVNO Solavei