Is Amp'd Mobile's Gig Coming To An End? - InformationWeek

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7/19/2007
02:44 PM
Eric Ogren
Eric Ogren
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Is Amp'd Mobile's Gig Coming To An End?

According to AP reports, Verizon Wireless is really ready to pull the plug on MVNO partner Amp'd this time. Verizon says Amp'd is using $370,000 worth of Verizon's services every day and that Amp'd will have just $9,000 in the bank by Monday. Time to dial Amp'd down to "0"?

According to AP reports, Verizon Wireless is really ready to pull the plug on MVNO partner Amp'd this time. Verizon says Amp'd is using $370,000 worth of Verizon's services every day and that Amp'd will have just $9,000 in the bank by Monday. Time to dial Amp'd down to "0"?To continue the amplifier analogy, Amp'd Mobile pulled a total Spinal Tap. It operated at the highest gain setting, pumping up the volume to "11" without enough juice backing up the transformer. The result? It blew its power tubes. In other words, it has burned through nearly all its cash. And Verizon has had enough of the noise.

Verizon says Amp'd has not secured a bankruptcy loan to secure its debts after 46 days in Chapter 11 protection. The $370,000-a-day charges to keep its operations going has boosted Amp'd's debt to Verizon by another $15.6 million. That makes the total owed to Verizon Wireless alone over $56 million. Amp'd owes other partners, such as Motorola, as well. The $9,000 in cash it will have on hand come Monday falls shot by more than a few decimal points. Matters came to a head in early June when Verizon threatened to turn off Amp'd's service over nonpayment issues. Amp'd said at the time that it was churning 7% to 8% of its customers every month, and had over 80,000 non-paying customers, leaving it strapped for cash. It also burned through over $350 million of investor money in the last 4 years.

Verizon is petitioning the judge overseeing the case to let it shut the MVNO down because Amp'd has offered no proof that it can pay any portion of the debts owed.

As sad as it is to see any company bite the dust, no one can blame Verizon for wanting to unplug Amp'd.

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