On Wednesday, Disney announced its plans to unveil its own cellular service in June making use of Sprint Nextel’s cdmaOne network. The announcement was made at the CTIA wireless industry show in Las Vegas. Disney Mobile, the Mobile Virtual Network Operator from the Walt Disney Company would be selling phones with GPS functionality that would allow parents to locate their children using their mobile phone or the internet.
Disney Mobile will target the growing “tween” segment of the market, which covers children between the ages of 8 and 12. Two phones will be offered initially with features such as built-in cameras, text messaging, ring tones and exclusive Disney content for kids and their parents. Parents will be able to control how much their kids can talk, and give priority to family messages and phone numbers.
Walt Disney Internet group president, Steve Wadsworth claims that though the service will be used by the youth, it is actually the parents who have kept in mind whilst designing the service. USA Today quotes Wadsworth as saying that a ‘family manager’ will have control over the handset’s expenditure.
The most essential decision is to offer two handsets from Korean vendors, LG and Pantech; neither of which will look remotely like Mickey Mouse.
The Disney Mobile handsets will support GPS for location awareness indicating how serious the company is about offering location based services.