Earlier today, Best Buy announced that it purchased GreatCall, an MVNO operating under Verizon’s network. The MVNO has a subscriber count of 900,000; mostly made up of the elderly and their families. According to the announcement, the acquisition cost $ 800 million.
If you can recall, GreatCall is most popular for its Jitterbug phones. These devices are equipped with large screens, easy-to-read buttons, and a dedicated 5Star Urgent Response system that best fit the MVNO’s intended market. At a push of this button, the subscriber gets help from one of the trained agents who proceeds to confirm the location and assess the situation of subscriber; in order to provide them the assistance they require. Because of its efficiency, the 5Star Urgent Response system has been known for helping during an emergency medical issue.
Two of the most popular devices available from the MVNO include the Jitterbug Smart and the Jitterbug flip phone. In addition to these phones, GreatCall sells wearable medical alert devices.
According to Best Buy, “the acquisition is a manifestation of the Best Buy 2020 strategy to enrich lives through technology by addressing key human needs. It is specifically focused on addressing the growing needs of the aging population with the help of technology products, services and solutions.” This is in reference to Best Buy’s “Assured Living” program that was unveiled in 2017. By purchasing GreatCall, Best Buy is able to move forward with the program and help give adult children peace of mind in knowing their aging parents are in safe hands.
Prior to the acquisition, Best Buy was the first retail partner of the MVNO. This acquisition is remarkably recognized as the largest transaction Best Buy has ever made. Despite purchasing the MVNO, however, Best Buy assured that GreatCall will continue to operate independently with CEO David Inns staying on board.
The acquisition, however, still has to go through regulatory approval. If all goes well, the deal could close before Best Buy’s fiscal 2019 third quarter.
Source: Best Buy