/// Exclusive: Meet The 22-Year Old College Student Who Hopes to Shake Up the Cell Phone Business
John Mardini still has another year left before he gets his college degree, but he’s already onto his third business and this time he’s aiming big. Mardini, with the backing of family and friends, is launching Voyager Mobile, a start-up that aims to bring cut-rate cell phone services to the masses. The company is launching with two rate plans with service via Sprint’s network. The company will charge $19 a month for unlimited talk and text and $39 (plus tax) for unlimited talk, text and Web. The 22-year-old, who is entering his senior year at New York University, told AllThingsD he decided to get into the cell phone business after noticing how high his bill had gotten. “It was just one of those things,” Mardini said in a telephone interview. “I pay so much for my cell phone. I was thinking there has to be a better way to make it cheaper for everyone.” Despite the low prices, Mardini said he believes he can offer a range of phones including some fairly high-end Android devices such as Samsung’s Galaxy S II, also known as the Epic 4G Touch. The company will also sell tablets, data cards and hotspots, though the rate plans for those have yet to be finalized. Voyager is the latest in a growing number of companies looking to resell service on another carrier’s network. Among the most high-profile such startups are Republic Wireless and FreedomPop . The notion of a virtual mobile network operator has been around for a while. Some have persisted while others, such as ESPN Mobile and Disney Mobile have faded. In recent months, though a new wave of companies have cropped up promising to bring new business models and economics to the wireless business.
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