Voce, the Beverly Hills based premium MVNO service which was so premium no one ever cared about it, has shut down. The company has gone through a lot of trouble in its short lifespan since launching in 2006, and has been on the bubble for the last year or so. It was using Cingular/AT&T’s (NYSE: T) network.
The MVO was first started by Japan’s Faith Inc, and then one of the Faith founder bought the company out from the parent about a year ago. Since then, with continuing trouble despite personal investment from the owner, the company was then transferred in a cashless transaction last month to investment firm SunCal Midwest, also known as SunCal Funds, based in Chicago. The employees haven’t been paid since this transfer happened, reports LAT.
According to my sources, the company had about 1000-2000 subscribers at best. And it was premium: subscribers paid a $500 sign-up fee and $200 a month for unlimited minutes. Also included: a new high-end phone every year and unlimited use of the concierge service. Last year, in an attempt to attract more customers, the sign-up fee was eliminated and the monthly fee set at $118 for 2,000 talk minutes and 5 megabytes of data. Subscribers were charged extra for new phones.