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Disney Enters Wireless Business

The Walt Disney Company announced today that it will sell wireless services beginning next year. It will function as an MVNO (mobile virtual network operator) which basically means they will be reselling airtime they buy from a network wireless provider, in this case Sprint PCS. Previously, Disney's ESPN group made a similar announcement. ESPN's MVNO will focus on sports, while Disney will focus on the family.

MVNOs haven't been particularly successful in the U.S. so far, although Virgin Mobile USA (also using Sprint network) has garnered over 3 million customers for its prepaid service.

Unlike the long distance market which is saturated with resellers that are competing on price, the idea behind most resellers of wireless is that they can provide unique content to attract customers. Disney can, of course, draw on a huge history and library of streaming video to offer its customers. They will also likely offer phones featuring Disney characters which will not be available elsewhere.