According to a report by Kansas.com, Chit Chat Holdings, which owns a number of Chit Chat Wireless stores in Wichita, Missouri, Texas and New Mexico, has signed an agreement with Sprint Nextel to allow it to operate as a mobile virtual network operator (MVNO) under the ‘Chit Chat Mobile’ brand. Company owner John Hennessy says that the new reseller will offer 3G and 4G services, beginning with a ‘soft launch’ in Wichita. Plans will start at USD9.99 per month. Hennessy admitted that he also has a couple of ‘master dealers’ lined up giving Chit Chat ‘access to hundreds, in some cases thousands of existing stores throughout the United States’. He commented: ‘We kept our margins low, and secondly, we are going for volume. Volume will prevail’.
In a related development, Fierce Wireless reports that major electronics retailer RadioShack is also poised to launch as a pre-paid MVNO, powered by Leap Wireless’ Cricket Communications network. The MVNO, is expected to launch on 5 September, and will reportedly be called No Contract Wireless. Although as many as 73 companies have operated as MVNOs in the US in recent years, success in the sector is far from guaranteed, with high profile firms such as Disney and ESPN both folding their operations after expensive launches.