The MLM TelComm Battle and Why To Wait on Buzzirk Mobile
Ladies and Gentlemen, Start Your Cell Phones!
There is about to be a major explosion in the world of network marketing in the area of telecommunications. To better explain what is about to happen, here is a little history.
In the late 1970’s and early 1980’s MCI contracted Amway to market their “Family & Friends” long distance service. In the 1980’s Sprint launched their wireless PCS division with a network marketing division called Network2000. When both MCI & Sprint gained enough customers to give them a solid financial base, and alternative marketing channels became available, they terminated their MLM agreements.
In 1988 Excel Communications was founded and in 7 years became the 4th largest phone company in the US. In the early years Excel was a reseller for companies such as Frontier, but bought its own network in 1997. By 2002 competition and ever lower phone rates in the long distance market began to put a real squeeze on profits. In 2004, Excel's parent company filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. By 2005, Excel emerged from bankruptcy after having cut loose its MLM sales force.
American Communications Network (ACN) began operations in the U.S in 1993. It extended operations to Europe in 1999 and to Asia-Pacific in 2004, and now operates in 20 countries. ACN began operations as a reseller for LCI Communications. In 2007 ACN began offering wireless phone plans as a reseller of major carriers such as Verizon Wireless, Sprint PCS, AT&T, Nextel, Alltel, and T-Mobile. They now claim to be the world's largest direct seller of telecommunication services. Their main focus product is VOIP and video conferencing services, using their videophone. They also act as a reseller for internet and satellite TV services. At one point they even received an endorsement from Donald Trump and paid to be featured on an episode of Celebrity Apprentice. Shortly after that, Trump pulled his endorsement of ACN to focus on a nutrition company to be rebranded in his own name. If you check around the web, there are quite a number of complaints surrounding customer service issues and the video phone itself.
Another major player was Lightyear Communications, which filed for bankruptcy in 2002. In fall 2003, while still in bankruptcy court proceedings, Lightyear Network Solutions branched into the residential sector with a new division called Lightyear Alliance. Also in 2003, Lightyear Wireless was created as a division of Lightyear Network Solutions to focus solely on wireless services. Basically, they resell service from Verizon and Sprint. Recently, there was troubling news that a couple top Lightyear distributors decided to move on to a non-telcomm company and they and Lightyear Wireless are now in litigation over their former business relationship.
One of the newest entries into the field is Buzzirk Wireless, the wireless marketing arm of Global Verge. This is actually a second try for Buzzirk, which originally tried to launch in 2006 using the services of a company called Amped Mobile. Before they could get things off the ground, Amped Mobile went out of business. Global Verge offers a series of discount programs, an online shopping mall, and other products. Global Verge partnered with Zer01 to become the exclusive MLM marketer of the Zer01 proprietary Sim Chip Technology. Zer01 uses Internet calling, tapping only the data networks of traditional cellphone companies to deliver voice connections to mobile handsets. Zer01 will be shopping additional distribution channels in non MLM markets which could be a concern. The launch of this new product was slated for 1 July 2009. That was postponed. Other cautions are that Buzzirk is not able to process credit cards and delayed its first commission run. Hopefully, all these things will be resolved, but I would be hesitant before leaping in at the present time.
UPDATE - Global Verge is supposed to be able to process credit card charges again the week of 7/20/09. As is always true, it pays to do your homework and due diligence before parting with hard earning money.
Somewhat unknown to most network marketers in the USA, in 2008 a company called GI Connect began US operations. They were different from the other companies currently marketing services for others. The man behind GI Connect has 16 years in the Tele-Com industry, the last 6 running what may well be the world’s largest wireless MLM company. They are said to have over 800,000 distributors worldwide, and millions of customers in over 60 countries. It is quite unusual to see a company grow so large overseas and then come to the US.
On July 4th, 2009 Financial Destinations Inc., a 6 year marketer of membership services to help consumers save money and control debt, announced that Kuba Farbiarz, the founder of GI Connect and the creator of its proprietary technology and worldwide communication platform, was joining with FDI for the pre-launch and formation of FDI International. FDI Owner, Bill Andreoli, introduced Kuba Farbiarz as the newest member of the corporate staff. The new service for FDI is scheduled for release on 14 August 2009. A few highlights of the new service are:
- Make cell phone to cell phone calls to and from anyone in the world without roaming, long distance, connection charges, or per minute fees of any kind.
- Talk on your cell phone while flying in a commercial aircraft from coast to coast, without violating the “no cell phone” law, and at 0 cents per minute
- Free VoIP calls on Internet connections as slow as dial-up, that is, NOT requiring expensive broadband connections.
- Browse the internet on your laptop at broadband speeds, using your cell phone to connect, while simultaneously talking on the same phone, at 0 cents per minute
- Unlimited data download, with no data card, no credit check, and no contract for as little as $10 a month.
I personally believe that FDI will offer the stronger option. This is not another reseller. Besides Kuba’s proprietary technology, you are NOT having to deal with a startup company and all the potential problems that typically plague new companies. For reviews of these and other MLM companies, visit www.looknow.info and request a copy of the Network Marketing Report.