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Could Qualcomm Scoop Up Amp'd?

I just talked to Allen Nogee, an analyst at consultancy In-Stat, who has an interesting idea about Amp??, the wireless service provider that just filed for bankruptcy (check out today?? story). Nogee thinks that Amp?? investor Qualcomm may wish to scoop the troubled company up. Nogee figures that Qualcomm could use the Mobile Virtual Network Operator (MVNO) as testing ground for new services. An interesting idea that makes a lot of sense.

Consider: Qualcomm already offers MediaFlo mobile TV service to carriers. It also develops a lot of the latest and greatest mobile applications for data services. Amp???? subscribers love data services; they are among the wireless industry?? biggest consumers of songs and video, in fact. They could prove to be the ideal testing ground for new mobile applications and technologies outside of Finland. I can see a lot of synergies here.

That said, Qualcomm makes a living out of selling its technologies to wireless service providers. Competing with its own customers might backfire. However, Amp?? is so small, with only 175,000 users, that it might not be viewed by the likes of AT&T and Verizon Wireless as much of a threat.

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