I have been reading about Sonopia in the last few days.
The product, and the concept behind the product, is really very innovative in the operator marketplace.
In the short: with Sonopia you can create a virtual mobile phone network.
You can create you own Sonopia that will allow you to
- Earn revenue with no up-front commitment. Basically when a new user sign up to you mobile phone plan you will get a percentage of his phone bill varying from 3% to 8%.
- Publish content to your Sonopia. Actually I have not been able to find more information on this but looking at some pictures on the (poor) web site a mobile client do exists to access your Sonopia content.
- The members of your Sonopia are automatically part of a community. They will be able to share news, informations, photos, videos and mobile blogs.
- You will manage the mobile web portal for your Sonopia.
- They seem to offer some basic marketing tool as mailing lists, campaign manager and so on.
Unfortunately the web site has very detailed informations but the idea is great.
As a potential customer for a Sonopia you can fine tune your mobile phone plan choosing your mobile phone, call rate and customize your mobile phone plan at a very nice degree of ganularity. You may even choose which accessories you want to be shipped with your mobile phone.
There are several interesting things to be noticed:
- The idea of fine tuning your mobile phone plan is quite new, at least for the european market.
- This is a perfect opportunity for those kind of associations that get their living from supporters. A charity organization may launch a Sonopia and can be easily get funded by their own subscribers.
- Social mobile networks can become a reality with this kind of approach.
All of the Sonopia architecture is based on the fact that they resell Verizon traffic and they are actually a Verizon reseller. Given this at the end of the day you may become a third rate virtual mobile network operator.
Unfortunately the service is only available in the U.S. and while browsing their flash based web site a lot of questions I had still remain unanswered. I definitely think they need to give a bigger amount of information to their Sonopians and to potential customers.
Anyway Sonopia still remains a great idea and it will be interesting to look how Sonopians will market their Sonopia mobile phone plan. This may vary depending on the size of the organization but it will be for sure an interesting thing to follow over time.
Why do I blog this? There is a lot of talking about Mobile Virtual Network Operators in these days. Sonopia seems to be a lateral approach to MVNO for the masses. Let’s give Sonopia 12 months to understand how they will go with the service.