Disney pulls plug on mobile phone service

Posted by Mark Raby

Burbank (CA) - Disney has announced that it will stop offering specialized cell phone service by the end of the year.

The Disney service was targeted at children, allowing parents to set very strict safeguards.  Parents could keep tabs on their kids with location-tracking software, and could set it so only certain numbers could be dialed out.

It also provided easy access to mobile Disney content, including ringtones, games, and videos.  The service borrowed mobile spectrum from partner Sprint Nextel.

Disney said it has been struggling to secure retail partners for the phone and its service, and has announced that it is no longer selling it to new customers.  Existing customers will be able to use the service for the rest of the year.

The entertainment giant is looking to market the service applications to other mobile phone service provider.

Last year, ESPN, which is owned by Disney, pulled the plug on its own special mobile service as well.  Exclusive content carried by ESPN Mobile eventually found its way to Verizon's V Cast service.