ROK Mobile, the new music focused MVNO that was supposed to launch July 4? It's now July 7 and ROK is still invite only.
According to a GigaOm post, ROK is only sending invites people close to the company and a few of the people who requested an invite from the ROK site. ROK COO Gabriel René told GigaOM that the service will be opened to all but didn't provide a date for general availability. René claims that the limited rollout is intended to generate buzz through exclusivity. I think it's more likely that ROK wants to test and tweak the system under light loads before opening it to the masses.
Invited users can preview ROK's music service with a 14 day free trial using ROK's Android and iOS app. The app is only a demo, there's no way to use it past the trial period without signing up for ROK's $49.99 mobile service which includes unlimited voice, messaging, data and music.
Initial reports indicated that ROK would offer service on both the T-Mobile and Sprint networks, using different phones for each. For now at least, the service uses T-Mobile only. ROK users also get access to "over 5 million curated WiFi hotspots". ROK will sell high end Android and iOS phones and will also let customers use their own compatible devices.
ROK was founded by Paul Mitchell Shampoo and Patron Tequila billionaire John Paul DeJoria and British mobile and entertainment entrepreneur Jonathan Kendrick.
ROK's signature feature is its music service which promises to combine the best features of Spotify, Pandora and Beats Music. Like Spotify it allows users create their own playlists from a library of 20 millions songs from the Sony, Warner Music and Universal catalogs. Like Pandora and Beats Music ROK can deliver a customized music stream based on the user's favorite songs, artists and genres. It will also use technology from Gracenote to modify streaming music selections to suit the user's mood.
I have no idea how many people ROK has accepted into the program. If you have managed to get an invite please leave a comment about your experiences with the service. I'm especially interested in hearing about the music service's selection and audio quality and whether the $50/month price is all inclusive or if their are additional taxes and fees.
New MVNO ROK Mobile to Launch July 4 With Unlimited Streaming Music, Talk, Text and Data for $49.99/Month