Mobile X Global is a new US mobile company whose artificial-intelligence (AI), cloud-based platform could make it a disruptive force in the mobile arena, not just within the US but in markets worldwide.
Mobile X’s pledges of individualized pricing and seamless global connectivity with one number and one service won’t come to fruition till 2022. But its founder, Australian businessman Peter Adderton, who formerly founded mobile virtual network operator (MVNO) Boost Mobile in Australia and the United States, wants everyone to know that Mobile X Global is gearing up to launch.
Like Boost, Mobile X will operate as an MVNO, a service provider that does not own network infrastructure and instead resells service from a company that does. Mobile X is partnering with US network operator Verizon.
Adderton has eschewed the description of Mobile X as an MVNO, preferring instead that it be seen as one of the world’s first connectivity-as-a-service-AI companies. Mobile X pledges to create personalized plans that enable customers to only pay for what they use and need. This approach will be enabled by its proprietary AI-driven, cloud-based XO.1 platform, of which little is known besides the name. If nothing else, Mobile X has already shown its prowess at touting trendy buzzwords.
Mutual admiration society
Adderton and Verizon are putting aside their complicated history to form this latest partnership. Verizon effectively forced another Adderton-founded MVNO, Amp’d Mobile, to shut down in 2007. Verizon at that time petitioned a bankruptcy court to let it kick Amp’d off its network because the three-year-old MVNO failed to pay Verizon more than $50 million owed for using its network. Interestingly, Adderton also did not want Amp’d to be considered a mere MVNO, preferring to position it as an entertainment company for 18- to 35-year-old consumers.
The fact that Adderton has once again convinced Verizon to partner with him seems to lend credence to Mobile X’s business model and technology platform. Linking XO.1 with Verizon’s Network as a Service (NaaS) also helps Verizon further ambitions for its NaaS model.
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Mobile X service pricing an unknown quantity
There remain many unknowns about Mobile X’s unique service proposition. Actual service pricing is a huge question mark. Additionally, offering individualized plans that let customers pay only for what they use sounds logical, but US mobile customers keep gravitating toward pricey, unlimited service plans they probably don’t need.
Furthermore, the pitch of seamless global roaming may not resonate as many international travelers already easily switch across networks using their own number. Mobile X Global also still needs to sign agreements with carriers in international markets to fulfill its plan of seamless global roaming. Overall, the company appears to remain a work in progress in preparation for its 2022 debut.
Mobile X will have low impact on US and global mobile markets at launch. It takes time to build a new wireless brand from scratch, especially one with a novel business model and billing paradigm. Additionally, any service rate innovations undertaken by Mobile X likely could be replicated by competitors if they see those approaches gaining market traction.