By Joe Paonessa May 19, 2017
Mast Mobile launched with much promise over 1 year ago. The company was started in part by two former Virgin Mobile executives who together with a couple of other partners were able to raise $12 million in venture funding. That's no small feat given how highly competitive the MVNO market is and that starting one doesn't require nearly as much capital as the Mast Mobile team managed to raise.
Mast Mobile originally launched on the Sprint network, which wasn't surprising given that former Virgin Mobile executives were part of the team. Later it was able to add Verizon, AT&T and T-Mobile to the mix.
Mast Mobile sold phone plans and a software system aimed at businesses and sole proprietors. It gave business owners the ability to have two phone numbers on one phone. The idea of two phone numbers on one phone wasn't exactly a novel concept as there were and still are a plethora of free calling apps available in the various app stores that exist. Applications such as FreedomPop, TextNOW, or Google Voice/Hangouts could have been downloaded to obtain a second phone number to use with a business free of charge. Furthermore, at launch the company offered a base plan that featured unlimited talk, text and 1 GB of data for $50/month, which was a bit high even for the services being rendered.
There was of course more to Mast Mobile than offering its customers the ability to have two phone numbers on one phone. Their software system was integrated with Salesforce which allowed businesses to keep track of their sales teams calls and to track performance. Users of the system could also assign contacts as business contacts and others as personal so that the phones software would automatically know which number to use when contacting someone. The software also allowed subscribers the ability to attach notes to a phone call record to better be able to keep track of sales opportunities.
Unfortunately Mast Mobile's closing is just another example of how quickly MVNO's sometimes come and go. Even with big money behind them they don't always succeed.