Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Qualcomm plans health-care-focused MVNO

MVNOs, or privately-branded wireless operators, continue to make slow but steady progress in the USA. The latest announced today is LifeComm, a company spun out of wireless giant Qualcomm, which reportedly will operate over the Verizon Wireless network. Read the Wireless Week story here.

Health is an ideal niche for MVNOs to target, given the huge expenditures in healthcare and the ability to create wireless applications that help users better manage their health. (This company, though not an MVNO, has an interesting wireless health application for diabetics.) A barrier to this point has been carriers allowing MVNOs to use the full richness of the 3G application environments to develop applications that could compete with those of their carrier hosts.

For Qualcomm, provider of Verizon's wireless application environment Brew, that was apparently not a problem.