Alright, we give Xero Mobile
a pretty hard time around here -- mostly deserved, we'd argue -- but at least its business model has now been partially validated by the launch of a similar setup across the pond, Blyk
. Currently open only to 16 to 24 year olds (by invitation only, no less), the MVNO offers users 217 free text messages and 43 voice minutes per month in exchange for an agreement to receive six SMS ads a day, participate in some polls, and fill out some profiling information; any additional usage will cost cold, hard cash. Blyk operates atop Orange's British network; there aren't any immediate plans to launch elsewhere, though the company says it's in talks to do so. At this point, Xero might want to hold out and see whether this is successful before they bother launching. And no, we can't believe we just suggested Xero should delay its launch even longer than it already has.