Could Qualcomm Scoop Up Amp'd?

Posted by: Olga Kharif on June 5, 2007

I just talked to Allen Nogee, an analyst at consultancy In-Stat, who has an interesting idea about Amp’d, the wireless service provider that just filed for bankruptcy (check out today’s story). Nogee thinks that Amp’d investor Qualcomm may wish to scoop the troubled company up. Nogee figures that Qualcomm could use the Mobile Virtual Network Operator (MVNO) as testing ground for new services. An interesting idea that makes a lot of sense.

Consider: Qualcomm already offers MediaFlo mobile TV service to carriers. It also develops a lot of the latest and greatest mobile applications for data services. Amp’d’s subscribers love data services; they are among the wireless industry’s biggest consumers of songs and video, in fact. They could prove to be the ideal testing ground for new mobile applications and technologies outside of Finland. I can see a lot of synergies here.

That said, Qualcomm makes a living out of selling its technologies to wireless service providers. Competing with its own customers might backfire. However, Amp’d is so small, with only 175,000 users, that it might not be viewed by the likes of AT&T and Verizon Wireless as much of a threat.

Reader Comments

Ron Mexico

June 5, 2007 4:46 PM

Are you serious?

Senaka Balasuriya

June 5, 2007 9:35 PM

Interesting thought. Qualcomm has the wherewithal to do this…but I doubt big QC will purchase a company just as a “testing ground”. QC has made moves into providing MediaFLO service in the 700 MHz band, but still, this is a small chunk of customers. These are important customers, nonetheless. So why would QC subject these customers, who are likely not very loyal to the Amp’d brand, to a testing ground?
In order to really test new services, QC would need control of a cellular network, but Amp’d is only a MVNO and doesn’t control the network unless the MVNE facilitates the service.

Also, cellular operators who are customer of QC, may deems this a threatening move.

Similar analysis at TechUntangled.com

-Senaka

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Bloomberg Businessweek writers Peter Burrows, Cliff Edwards, Olga Kharif, Aaron Ricadela, and Douglas MacMillan, dig behind the headlines to analyze what’s really happening throughout the world of technology. Tech Beat covers everything from tech bellwethers like Apple, Google, and Intel and emerging new leaders such as Facebook to new technologies, trends, and controversies.

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