OmniSky's Future Clouded

OmniSky, the wireless Internet service provider, is in deep financial straits. Last week, it failed to release a financial report for its most recent quarter, a violation of SEC rules. The company has issued a statement that says that it "continues to evaluate various strategic options, including a reorganization, sale, or other form of restructuring under the federal bankruptcy code." Its stock is currently trading around 20 cents, off its yearly high of $12.50.

The company's IPO was just over a year ago and its stock price has dropped steadily. During the last quarter the company reported on, it lost 38 cents a share on revenues of $5.4 million.

The company continues to offer service to its approximately 42 thousand subscribers.

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Alternative...

Midknyte @ 11/26/2001 11:26:22 AM #
RE: Alternative...
mikecane @ 11/26/2001 11:40:47 AM #
Thanks for that link! Interesting!

RE: Alternative...
bcombee @ 11/26/2001 12:57:22 PM #
If you're not in a Verizon CDPD area, but you have AT&T Wireless CDPD, this is their unlimited service plan:

http://www.attws.com/bus/sm_biz/ps/unlimited_datarates.jhtml

It is either $30 (handheld) or $55 (other) for unlimited CDPD usage in the AT&T network.

I'm not sure what qualifies as "handheld", but I'm assuming that means Palm and PocketPC devices, as opposed to laptop CDPD modems.

Verizon great
rdinterm @ 11/26/2001 1:16:49 PM #
I was a former Omnisky customer...never really satisfied with their coverage.
I now use the Verizon Plan @ $24.95...I have used in the Washington DC Metro, Harrisburg (PA), Virginia Beach (VA), Raleigh (NC), and Nashville (TN) markets and it is extremely reliable and fast.


RE: Verizon Great...
I.M. Anonymous @ 11/26/2001 4:50:59 PM #
I just looked at Verizon's coverage map, and it is pathetic. I am able to get Omnisky coverage everywhere - from cornfields in the Midwest to the tip of Captiva Island in Florida.

Verizon's coverage map has about 25 cities on it, and of those, the coverage is only in the metro areas.

The map:
http://makeashorterlink.com/?P20F12F2


Please don't leave me Omnisky!!

RE: More on Alternatives...
I.M. Anonymous @ 11/26/2001 8:39:01 PM #
I used OS for a while. Ditched it when they kept postponing "official" m50x support. I now use Verizon because they service my principal home area.

But let's think about a few other things:

1. OS simply repackages (read: adds a service charge) to Verizon & AT&T's existing CDPD services. So while Vz or ATT each charge around $25/month, OS customers are paying $35-$40. Granted, OS had a few extra features thrown in, but depending how much you use them, it might be a good move to make the switch.

2. If you do travel a lot to areas covered by the other provider (Vz, ATT, or whoever), you may just get a roaming charge by the kb. While that's not all that desirable, it'd take a heck of a lot of roaming fees to make up the difference between $25 and $40 per month.

3. If you don't use your CDPD modem that much (other than checking email & the occasional web surf or PQA when on the road), then you may want to look into "GoAmerica.com." They have an "unlimited" package like OS for about (choke) $45. But they also have a $10/month 25kb plan that simply charges you extra if you go over 25kb. That may be an option for some (whatís more Go has even cooler extras than OS like the ability to send faxes and read documents and spreadsheets attached to email).

The bottom line is that the demise of OS doesn't mean the demise of wireless or CDPD. That will come later...when CMDA 64 or even 128 gets a large footprint on the US.

Respectfully submitted,

AH

RE: Alternative...
I.M. Anonymous @ 11/26/2001 11:31:07 PM #
It's actually $27.64 in Virginia. Taxes are not included.
Coverage is absolutely identical if you are in the same area. I used OS before, and switched to Verizon Wireless a month ago because of their lower fee (27.64 vs 39.95, a solid difference even with taxes). There is indeed an extra charge for roaming (i.e. use in the ATT area in my case) of $0.08 per KB if I remember well. I can afford some browsing and e-mail downloading while in Florida 2 weeks per year at this rate...

Ah ha!

Davy @ 11/26/2001 11:32:35 AM #
I knew something was up with their web site. Any subscribers, get out while you still can!

RE: Ah ha!
ptevesjr @ 11/26/2001 11:48:01 AM #
I still have about 6 months remaining on my annual fully paid subscription. Ant news on existing cutomers?

RE: Ah ha!
Midknyte @ 11/26/2001 1:14:14 PM #
Well, if they go under, you can console yourself with the fact that you will not owe your early termination fee...

RE: Ah ha!
I.M. Anonymous @ 11/27/2001 1:35:48 PM #
It now becomes OnlySky.

Ed, Cute Headline

I.M. Anonymous @ 11/26/2001 11:55:56 AM #
Or how about: Gloomy Forecast for OmniSky Users Who Prepaid! I had the service until June of this year. It was interesting at first, but I found that service was sketchy even just outside of Washington, DC, and I was always having to do a search to find a good signal. The service just lost its appeal after the novelty wore off. I don't think services like this can compete with the pda/cellphone combo units, but I'm sad to see it go nonetheless.

JBH

They are still missing the point....

I.M. Anonymous @ 11/26/2001 12:11:33 PM #
I sent a comment to this board about a year ago.....and got flamed big time. My comment was basically that OmniSky and the others were going to have a hard time selling the product for (what was then) $299.95 for the wireless modem plus an additional $39.95 for the service.

I would have to guess that a large percentage of people who have a PDA and want wireless access also have a Cell phone....and when you start adding up the cost......It just doesn't make sense for ANYONE to have to pay a monthly fee for cell phone usage and a monthly fee for wireless accesss to a Palm.....especally at $39.95.

At $9.95 or even $14.95 per month.....they might have stood a chance........

RE: They are still missing the point....
MadMax @ 11/26/2001 1:09:03 PM #
... "$9.95 or even $14.95 per month" -I don't think the extra $10 per month makes a diiference to those who 'use' the service.
The real point that 'may';) be missed here is what 'might' have been Omnisky's initial objective: Build a wireless pda market based on AT&T's network, and sell it's self to -er' merge with AT&T. Unfortunatley, AT&T spun off its wireless division, the dot coms began to fall, and aqusitions lost their appeal. All the makings of worthless stock options for those coroporate heads.


RE: They are still missing the point....
mikecane @ 11/26/2001 1:22:49 PM #
I must agree. $9.95 or even less a month is the magic number. (Oh, stop screaming about how little money that is, children. Were any of you even born when CompuServe and The Source cost $5-$6 per *hour*?)

RE: They are still missing the point....
I.M. Anonymous @ 11/26/2001 4:52:51 PM #
Ah.......But you are wrong. The extra $10.00 make's a huge difference. In order for anything like this to be successful.....it's going to need to appeal to more than the techheads that read this column.......And that would mean making it affordiable to the masses. The guy next door might be a player at $9.95 a month, which when multiplied by thousands of users is way more than the few who have signed up at $39.95 a month.

I got out after the BETA!

I.M. Anonymous @ 11/26/2001 2:20:19 PM #
Service coverage was awful where I lived, and I have found that I have MUCH better coverage, both locally and out-and-about, with my Voicestream 8290 cellphone, acceessed by IR with my Sony Clie N710C.

Hopefully others can get out while they still can.

Oh yeah, and data with a Voicestream phone is free. They'll try and talk you into getting DataStream for a bucket of 1500 data minutes (separate from your voice minutes) - for an extra charge. But, if you don't want that, you can still use data [consuming your voice minutes] just fine, with no difficulties. :)

Omisky

I.M. Anonymous @ 11/26/2001 3:07:14 PM #
What if Omnisky goes out of business. I payed $359 for a year in August so I have a wayz to go. If they go out in January that leaves me with 8months of un used service $29= around $240 they should pay you back what you have not used. I like my omnisky and it is great to use at school and Icq and yahoo instant messenger. It is to expensive to hook up to a cell phone making only $7.50 an hour. being a student omnisky is great and should stick around. it costs more to call home from the east coast then to use omnisky for a chat session...

Goober


RE: Omisky
I.M. Anonymous @ 11/26/2001 4:47:20 PM #
Tru that! Great here on BYU campus. Speaking of those Cougars how about 11-0 and still no respect from those BCS ***s. DANG!

THE BIG PICTURE

MadMax @ 11/26/2001 6:46:28 PM #
THE BIG PICTURE is what the original plan 'might' have been. That's really what I'm trying to point out. It was not to be some rebranding ISP. It was to show AT&T a "great opportunity to get a turn key business in a segment they're not, in an industry they are.
... Build a wireless pda market based on AT&T's network, and sell it's self to -er' merge with AT&T. Unfortunatley, AT&T spun off its wireless division, the dot coms began to fall, and aqusitions lost their appeal. All the makings of worthless stock options for those coroporate heads.

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