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Voyager postpones mobile service launch, citing Web attack

Voyager postpones mobile service launch, citing Web attack

The mobile startup had planned to open for business on Tuesday morning

Voyager Mobile, a startup promising cheap, unlimited mobile service around the U.S., has postponed the launch it planned for Tuesday, saying a malicious attack took down its website.

Voyager announced on Monday that it would launch a nationwide 3G and 4G service with unlimited plans starting at US$19 per month, with no contracts or credit checks. The service would also include Voyager Rewards, which would let users earn points by talking on the phone and exchange them for airline miles, phone upgrades, gift cards and free monthly service.

The launch was set for 6 a.m. Eastern Time Tuesday. But a few hours later, the company's home page showed only a message saying the launch was postponed.

"During its Tuesday, May 15 launch, Voyager Mobile experienced a malicious network attack to its primary website: voyagermobile.com. Due to the network outage, Voyager Mobile is postponing its launch to a time and date in the very near future," the site said. "Our goal of low cost wireless service for all will not be undermined and we strive to continue the voyage for a better wireless world."

The Voyager Mobile Twitter account had said the site was live but shortly after tweeted, "Someone just packet-attacked the Voyager Mobile website. We're restoring services shortly." The company could not immediately be reached for comment on Tuesday.

Voyager is based in Knoxville, Tennessee. It said Monday it would launch first in selected states and later expand to cover the whole country. The company said it would offer "most Android and Windows smartphones."

The market for low-cost, no-contract mobile services is heating up. FreedomPop, a startup backed by Skype co-founder Niklas Zennstrom, is preparing to launch free 4G mobile service and plans to use Sprint Nextel's network. Last week, Sprint's own no-contract brands, Boost and Virgin Mobile, started offering 4G service over Clearwire's WiMax network.

Stephen Lawson covers mobile, storage and networking technologies for The IDG News Service. Follow Stephen on Twitter at @sdlawsonmedia. Stephen's e-mail address is stephen_lawson@idg.com


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