How I Built A Wireless Carrier Company At 28 And Grew It To $430K/Monthly Revenue

Published: April 20th, 2023
Chaymeriyia Moncrief
Tesix Wireless Ne...
from Tallahassee, FL, USA
started December 2018
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Hello! Who are you and what business did you start?

My name is Chaymeriyia Moncrief, and I am 28 years old. In late 2018, I launched my company, Tesix Wireless Network, which is a prepaid wireless carrier that operates on all major networks in the United States.

Our primary services include prepaid mobile phone services for smartphones, tablets, and also mobile hotspot devices. Currently, we have around 7,000 mobile subscribers and generate an average monthly revenue of $430,000 from mobile subscriptions, box sells, and activations kits.

The entire idea was to cater to young adults and millennials who wanted lower phone services, zero fees, no contracts, and zero limits on their data.

Just before launching in 2018, we did about $40,000 in pre-orders for our Activation kits, from a 3,500+ subscriber waitlist. Later in February 2020, we opened our first storefront before ultimately pivoting to become a non-traditional, zero-store wireless carrier.


What's your backstory and how did you come up with the idea?

Since I was 8 years old, I have always loved technology, computers, and gadgets. My dream was always to have my own smartphone and electronic brand, and I used to draw for years how I wanted my smartphone to "look." After seeing the first iPhone, I knew then and there that I wanted to have my smartphone one day (Launched in 2020).

Entrepreneurship has been in my DNA since I was five years old according to my family and it just followed me into adulthood and I haven’t stopped since. From the time I was in elementary to 16 years old, I have started so many business ideas and ALWAYS sold something in school.

Fast forward to 2013, a year after I graduated from high school, I had gotten my first contract carrier. I was under the impression I would be paying only $90 per month, but as time went on, I was getting bills over $150 per month, and what crossed the line was a $200+ monthly bill.

I noticed I was being charged for over-data usage, activation fees, and many other fees. Eventually, I had to end it because my bills were heavily exceeding my bi-weekly paychecks; I was working at Taco Bell at the time, making just under $400 per month.

The "aha" moment came when I was sitting down to work on my smartphone idea again and doing some research, and it hit me: "If I want to have my smartphone, what if I have my phone service to go along with it"? In 2013, I didn't fully understand how to properly research this, and when I did look into things, I saw that I would need millions of dollars, land, towers, infrastructure, and more than I could even imagine having access to. So after a short research session, I left the idea alone and did not revisit it until 2017.

I remember being on Facebook and seeing that a new wireless carrier had launched and was based in New York, and at first, I thought maybe they had their towers, and then I saw the founders and thought, "Wow, these guys are young! How did they get the access to do this?". After looking deeply into the company, it was then that I realized what I needed to research: how to launch an MVNO (Mobile Virtual Network Operator) wireless carrier.

I can remember the exact day. I did the most research I'd done in my life once I realized that I did not need millions and millions of dollars and towers in all 50 states. I just needed approved access to the CURRENT major wireless carrier infrastructures to get my carrier started.

While I did need funding, developers, software, and more… I now had a clear idea of how to go about it, planned my launch, created pitch decks, and started planning the entire company. From the moment I started to launch, it took me 412 days!

The entire service was to cater to young adults and millennials who wanted lower phone services, zero fees, no contracts, and zero limits on their data, just as I wanted back in 2013.

Take us through the process of building the first version of your product.


The front end was simple - creating the website. However, the backend needed to include provisioning, billing, and customer accounts. In the beginning, I started building a prototype of how I wanted the customer accounts to look and function.

This was not an easy task, and even though I knew backend coding, it was a major fail, and I spent weeks trying to find a turnkey solution that would speed up the process because hiring a developer wasn't quite in my budget during the early stages of the company.

Getting the software built or acquiring it somehow had become a huge challenge for me. After weeks of searching, I finally found a company that had everything I needed to allow my customers to activate, access their accounts, pay their bills, and more.

All I needed to do was bring my coding A-game and customize the platform for the brand, configure some APIs, and get the platform ready to take back to carriers to show that I had a fully functioning provisioning platform that would allow me to integrate with the infrastructure.

The investment cost of this wasn't something I wanted to pay out of pocket because it was a huge hit to my wallet. But since I was bootstrapping the company in the beginning, I had to take the risk and purchase the company's custom option to get me started and onboarded on the platform. Thinking back, it was the best $4,000 I had ever spent, but the challenges didn't stop there. It was just one off the table.

Outside of getting the company licensed, structured, trademarked, and more, it was now time to start building traction and awareness for the company and finding ways to raise money to invest in the company.

Honestly, I had no idea how to go about this. I started thinking, "I am a phone carrier, right? Maybe I can start selling phones to bring in some very early revenue and put Tesix Wireless flyers inside to start putting the name out there to whoever purchased a phone." I used Facebook Marketplace and eBay to start selling smartphones.



Even after selling smartphones, I still needed $125,000 to get started with just one of the carriers, and I was still far away from that target without any funding raised yet. I had to move forward with the thing that scared me the most, which was openly announcing my plan to launch a wireless carrier.

Fast forward, to secure the first set of funding, I assessed what I had and who I knew, and as daring as it was, I decided to reach out to some of my biggest branding clients for whom I had done work. Some of these clients were franchise owners of major brands, and I hoped that asking them to invest in the idea wouldn't put them off.

Let’s just say this was the start of Tesix Wireless's funding-raising efforts and was the start of an amazing journey to launching the company once and for all.

Describe the process of launching the business.

The process of launching began with my opening a waitlist for company activations to keep track of the demand for joining once I announced the launch across social media. I decided to make a small announcement and first posted about the carrier launch on my LinkedIn to get more professional opinions and increase interest in the company.

To my surprise, the waitlist went from 6 to 220 people after I posted on LinkedIn and tagged all my connections. This bold move got things moving, people started asking questions about the company, and things just went from there. About 2 weeks later, I took the news to Facebook, and the post went viral, leading to a waitlist of over 3,500 people.

Once I was ready to go back to carriers, I officially started the launch process, which took a few weeks. After sending over everything and waiting to hear back, including presenting the platform for provisioning, waitlist, funding ability, website, and more, we finally received the good news that we could utilize the network to operate the carrier.

To raise my first set of funding for Tesix Wireless, I presented my business plan and pitch deck to seven investors, and four of them invested a total of $350,000 to go toward company development, marketing, packaging, and activating SIM kits.

Now that we had the funding to start marketing, I created more social media pages for the company to build our online presence. Our Instagram became our biggest hit, with the carrier launch announcement going viral on the platform, and we now have over 24K Instagram followers.

When going viral, a company that I won't mention reached out to me and offered $4.4 million for Tesix Wireless even before we launched. This company was one of the ones I had pitched my carrier idea to some time ago. However, I ultimately declined the offer because, as a numbers person, I knew that I could generate more revenue. Selling the company before even experiencing it would have been a waste.

If I learned anything in this process, it was that closed mouths don't get fed, and overthinking is the killer of simple solutions.

Since launch, what has worked to attract and retain customers?

One of the most important strategies I've heavily utilized since launch is leveraging influencers to increase brand awareness and user-generated content. As a carrier targeting millennials, it was crucial to put my brand where my ideal customers were.

Additionally, sometime after the launch, I raised more funding, and many of our investors became huge advocates of the company, referring over 200 mobile subscribers each in the last 5 years. This played a significant role in retaining more customers and growing the business.

One of our most successful influencer collaborations brought us around 400+ new subscribers in a matter of days.


As a wireless carrier, running social media ads to maintain strong brand awareness and website traffic was critical. We had to keep pushing the branding, building credibility, and promoting the company as much as possible.

Thanks to all the traction, we were featured in major blogs and social media press, such as Black Enterprise, AfroTech, Travel Norie, Marie Claire, and even the front page of newspapers. We even found ourselves being mentioned in blogs and quotes alone Alabama Mayors— this played a significant role in our growth and brand credibility.



Later in 2020, we opened our first store in Montgomery, AL, which was not only my hometown but also the founding place of the startup. However, we later decided to become a virtual carrier only, which eliminated the need for physical stores. At the time of the store opening, our company value had increased, and we were growing much faster than I had anticipated.




How are you doing today and what does the future look like?

Since our inception, we have encountered numerous growing pains and challenges, which were expected. One of the biggest obstacles was the COVID-19 pandemic, which drastically impacted our brand. Our carrier costs increased, reducing our profit margins, customers downgraded their plans to manage their bills during the pandemic, income decreased, subscribers fell behind on their bills, and sim kit purchases declined.

Similar to many other businesses, we suffered a significant setback during the pandemic, and even our storefront saw a reduction in foot traffic to nearly 2-3 customers per week as people were staying at home and avoiding public places.

Consequently, I decided to increase our ad spending significantly to nearly $750 per day in Facebook and Instagram campaigns and to actively search for more influencers to ensure that our brand remained at the forefront.

Although things started to pick up after the pandemic panic began to subside, we still saw a considerable impact from its effects. However, as we transitioned from 2021 to the present, we were issued our trademark, and we are now planning and preparing for our 2.0 launch, a complete rebranding, and our expansion into the Canadian market.

Currently, our operations are entirely virtual, which enables us to keep our costs low and reduce overheads, allowing us to reinvest more in the company to ensure continued growth.

To cap off the year, we secured an additional $275K from three of our most prominent investors to expand our carrier into the Hawaii territory, where we had only covered 3% of the state in the past five years. With this investment, we will now be able to cover over 80% of the state.

This is just the beginning of Tesix Wireless's vision for the next 2-3 years. Our primary focus is to establish the company's credibility on a larger scale, pursue more meaningful collaborations and partner acquisitions, and increase our subscriber base.



Through starting the business, have you learned anything particularly helpful or advantageous?

Looking back over the past 5 years, I have gained valuable experience and learned some tough lessons. One of my most significant mistakes was pushing the company to grow too rapidly before we were ready, which resulted in costly errors.

For example, I attempted to outdo my competitors by offering our customers features that ultimately caused us to suffer financially. One example was offering a full year of Netflix incentives to new subscribers and non-throttling data. Unfortunately, this resulted in excessive data abuse by some users, leading to heavy penalties.

The sudden influx of customers and expenditures associated with these incentives proved unsustainable at the time.

I realized that it was crucial to grow at a more sustainable pace and avoid making unnecessary mistakes. To regain control, make necessary backend changes, and upgrade our infrastructure, I decided to temporarily halt all activations and sim kit purchases.

This allowed us to take a step back and regroup. I am excited to see that this decision has made all the difference. We are returning with a fresh perspective, improved insights, and well-planned strategies to propel our company forward.

What platform/tools do you use for your business?

For our website, we use Wix and for Sim kits sales and any e-commerce purchases, we utilize Shopify.

Platforms for Support we use G-Suite and Live Chat.

For teams and other management, we utilize and Slack.

What have been the most influential books, podcasts, or other resources?

One of my favorite podcasts is Your First Million by Arlan Hamilton. Some of my favorite books are Crush It by Gary Vee, Power of Broke by Daymond John, and The Wolf on Wall Street by Jordan Belfort.

Advice for other entrepreneurs who want to get started or are just starting out?

I want to stress the importance of being passionate about what you do. Building a business is not an easy feat, and there will be moments of frustration, disappointment, and self-doubt. But, if you genuinely love what you do, this will give you the drive and determination to persevere through those tough times. If I did not love the brand and enjoy this process, I would have given up 3 years ago.

Also, remember, making mistakes is just a natural part of the entrepreneurial process. Instead of beating yourself up over them, use them as a learning opportunity. Figure out what went wrong, and fix that thing, it's how you avoid making the same mistake in the future. All those failures you may face will teach you valuable lessons that will help you grow and succeed in the long run.

Where can we go to learn more?