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MVNO Disney Mobile rises from the ashes through a new deal with Zact

on December 6, 2013

Gigaom

Back in the mid-2000s Walt Disney decided to get into the mobile carrier business. It launched two mobile network virtual operators (MVNOs) around the Disney(s dis) and ESPN brands, buying airtime for its phones from Sprint(s s). They both flopped, and Disney wound up shutting down both by 2008.

It turns out that customers didn’t want phones designed around specific exclusive content. They wanted generic phones on which they were free to customize their own content – a trend the smartphone revolution proved a year later. But Disney apparently hasn’t abandoned the idea of a Disney-branded phone and service entirely. Today it and a new-generation MVNO Zact Mobile began selling an Android phone customized with Disney games, apps and content intended for children.

The device, the ZTE Awe, is available for $99 today on Zact’s website, though the portal is a bit thin on details on the exact…

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