Sonopia, the do-it-yourself MVNO venture enabling organizations, charities or individuals to launch branded mobile services through its online service, is reportedly winding down operations. On his blog, Tapio Anttila--managing partner of digital media consultancy Brauning LLC and a onetime Sonopia senior exec--reports that Sonopia laid off its existing U.S. staff at the end of March, and "reached an amicable resolution with existing marketing partners to transition subscribers it had acquired."
Launched in April 2007 by Juha Christensen, the former head of Microsoft's mobile division and a founder of Symbian, Sonopia promised each fledgling MVNO a selection of popular handsets, competitive calling plans, premium voice and data services and customized content, including social networking functionality--each sponsoring group received 5 percent of the revenue collected from its subscribers, with Sonopia sharing the remainder with network partners Verizon Wireless and Vodafone Group. Partners spanned from the National Parks Conservation Association to the American Medical Student Association to the Chicago Bandits of the National Pro Fastpitch Women's Softball League.
For more on Sonopia's demise:
- read Tapio Anttila's blog entry about Sonopia's demise