Report: Questions continue to dog Zer01

Clouds continue to hang over Zer01 Mobile, according to a IDG News Service article, and it's unclear if the company will ever launch what it has heralded as a unlimited wireless voice and data service for $70 per month.

In a series of recent articles on the company, IDG News Service has raised serious and continuing concerns about Zer01's business and technology. In the latest installment, Steve Lewis, who served as Global Verge's CEO for about a month, recently claimed Zer01's service launch had been delayed because SIM cards were being "defragged" so that they could work in any phone. However, according to the article, an expert from SIM card maker Gemalto said he had never heard of defragging a SIM card. Global Verge is marketing Zer01's service.

Further, questions also have arisen around the marketing plan itself. Global Verge claims to have signed up more than 40,000 sales associates who pay $70 become part of the program and $40 a month for back-office support. According to the article, on a July 30 conference call Global Verge said phones would begin shipping Aug. 10 and sales associates would start receiving commission checks. However, on Thursday Lewis said he had been fired from Global Verge, adding: "My opinion is, if they pay commission checks next week it'll be a miracle."

Zer01 has promised a mobile virtual network enabler service that could support unlimited wireless voice and data service via mobile VoIP technology running over an unnamed carrier's GSM network (though neither AT&T Mobility or T-Mobile USA--the country's two nationwide GSM carriers--are working with the company). The continuing questions around the service have prompted a number of former Zer01 supporters to change their tune; indeed, Laptop Magazine rescinded an award it gave to Zer01 for having the best product at this year's CTIA Wireless conference because "serious ethical questions have arisen about the company."

For more:
- see this IDG News Service article

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