Folks may have thought the days of the MVNO were mostly over, with players like Helio, Disney, and others having long since thrown in the towel on rebranding mobile service under their own names. But electronics retail giant Best Buy seems to want to get in on the business: according to reports in the Wall Street Journal (subscription required) and elsewhere, Best Buy plans to launch a Best Buy Connect brand that will offering store-branded mobile services to go along with selected products it sells. Like most MVNOs, the service will apparently be back-ended by Sprint…and Best Buy apparently plans to tap into Sprint’s WiMax network to offer 4G data services in markets where WiMax is available.
The company published an advertising insert this weekend that advertised mobile broadband plans starting at $29.99 a month for 250 MB of data service without a contract, with high-end plans offering up to 5 GB of data service a month for $59.99. Best Buy Connect will also offer service contracts with lower rates and a $35 activation fee, which they’ll waive for a two-year signup. Data overage charges would vary depending on the length of a customer’s service agreement; the service would also grant customers RewardZone points they can use for discounts and other promotions at Best Buy.
Reports have Best Buy looking to launch the service in its stores in early to mid July. There’s no word yet what devices available at Best Buy will be eligible for Best Buy Connect service…but we’ll hazard a guess that it won’t include the iPhone 4 or iPad.