Updated: Verizon service shuts down for MVNO Rok Mobile, customers urged to port to another carrier

MVNO Rok Mobile confirmed that it is no longer using Verizon’s network and said that its current customers on Verizon’s network will need to port their service to a different operator.

“Rok Mobile has decided not to move forward with utilizing Verizon Wireless service on our platform,” Rok said in a statement to FierceWireless. “Unfortunately, this has caused an inconvenience for our customers and since July 30th we have been in the process of notifying them to port to a different carrier. Customers who are impacted may contact our customer support by email at [email protected] to discuss their account status. We will continue to support our other wireless carriers and those customers that are on that service.”

The statement appears to confirm earlier reports from wireless dealers, news outlets and associations that Rok lost its MVNO agreement with Verizon. Verizon representatives did not respond to questions on the topic.

On its website, Rok added that "We will issue refunds to impacted Verizon customers. And ROK Mobile is also offering 3 months of unlimited FREE Wi-Fi calling worldwide. We will continue to support our other wireless carriers and those customers who are on those services."

Rok Mobile is one of the many minor prepaid MVNO players that has worked to make a dent in an industry largely dominated by major network operators like Verizon, AT&T and T-Mobile. As an MVNO, Rok essentially piggybacks on the wireless networks of Verizon and others, handling billing and customer service through its own branded operations. As noted by Prepaid Phone News in May, Rok sold services on “three of the top four wireless networks” in the United States.

Rok isn’t the only MVNO to suffer difficulties. For example, MVNOs like Defense MobileScratch Wireless and Solavei have discontinued operations over the years.

But Rok’s apparent loss of Verizon’s network is a relatively surprising development in the space, since the situation essentially leaves Rok customers on Verizon’s network stranded without service.

Indeed, following the publication of this article, a number of Rok customers have complained to FierceWireless that Rok's Verizon service was shut off without any warning from the company. Rok and Verizon have not responded to followup questions about the situation.

And at least one other MVNO, US Mobile, is looking to take advantage of the situation. The company said that it is offering Rok customers a free starter kit and 50% off their first month's plan.

Article updated Aug. 1 with additional information.