Back in May TPO Mobile informed its investors that it was looking to exit the USA market. Early last month the company sent another note to its investors discussing its exit strategy. TPO Mobile intends to sell its subscriber base to Ting for $75 per migrated customer. The note also offered a rare glimpse into the financial details of an MVNO.
TPO Mobile Plans To Migrate Its Customers To Ting
No date has been given yet as to when TPO Mobile will officially exit the USA market. However a proposal was sent out to TPO Mobile shareholders informing them that a deal is in place that will allow the company to sell its subscriber base to Ting for $75 per subscriber. The proceeds of the sale will allow TPO Mobile to pay down a portion of its debt and give the company some working capital. TPO Mobile will continue to operate as an MVNO in the UK.
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TPO Mobile says that the maximum amount of revenue that it could get from the deal amounts to $700,000. Assuming that number accounts for the migration of all TPO Mobile subscribers to Ting, it appears that MVNO currently has a little over 9,300 USA subscribers.
As a result of the sale, the company expects its overall revenue to decline by about 50% with expenses declining by 33%.
Shareholders were asked to attend a special meeting on June 21 to vote on the approval of the outlined plan. A proxy form was made available to those who could not attend the meeting. The results of the vote have not been released yet, but it's probably safe to assume that the plan has been approved.
TPO Mobile says that at the end of 2017 its USA business employed 3 individuals and brought in revenue of $2.67 million (unaudited). Overall the company reported a loss of $2.37 million on its USA operations before interest, depreciation and tax.
If You Allow TPO Mobile To Migrate You To Ting, Your Account Balance May Or May Not Transfer Over
An interesting note in the letter to shareholders says that if a TPO Mobile subscriber migrates over to Ting, they may or may not retain their account balance. Whether or not they do will ultimately be decided on by TPO Mobile USA. If the company elects to credit account balances to Ting, TPO Mobile will be required to pay Ting 75% of the amount that Ting has credited to its customer's account balance. TPO Mobile will retain 25% of the customer's balance.
I Don't Want To Be Migrated To Ting, What Are My Options?
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TPO Mobile operated in the USA as an MVNO on the Sprint and T-Mobile networks. If you have service on a TPO Mobile CDMA plan, you are on the Sprint network. You may want to consider porting out to one of the Sprint MVNO's listed here. If you have a GSM plan, you'll want to consider a T-Mobile MVNO.
If You Need Service On Sprint
If you need service on Sprint, you may want to have a look at Tello. Tello plans start at just $5 a month, and they do offer some of the best valued single month plans around. For instance you can get unlimited talk, text and data with the first 3GB at LTE speeds for just $24/month. A similar plan, albeit without unlimited 2G data would cost you $35/month on TPO Mobile, so your savings would be significant with Tello. If this sounds interesting to you, you may want to check out my review of Tello before you jump ship.
If you are willing to commit to a provider for a year at a time, Red Pocket Mobile may work for you. The company has an annual eBay plan priced at $240 or an average cost of $20/month. It includes unlimited talk, text and data with the first 5GB at 4G LTE data speeds. Red Pocket Mobile also offers other eBay exclusive plans, that don't require a long commitment but still provide good value.
If You Need Service On T-Mobile
If you need service on T-Mobile, Mint Mobile may be a good choice for you. The company just announced that it has tripled the size of its customer service team and added a new $5 trial kit.
Mint Mobile does have one drawback in that it requires you to pay for service several months in advance. In exchange for the advance payment, subscribers get great savings compared to the competition. Mint Mobile's's plans start at $15/month, or $45 up front for a trial of 3 months of unlimited talk, text and data with the first 2GB at 4G LTE data speeds. This again is significant savings over TPO Mobile.
I'm currently reviewing Mint Mobile, but the review likely won't be finished by the time TPO Mobile publicly announces to its subscribers the discontinuation of its service.