'Apprentice' Star & Telecom Entrepreneur Dies
Stuart Baggs, a telecom entrepreneur and former star of the UK version of The Apprentice, was found dead at age 27 in his home in Britain on Thursday, just as his company was on the verge of launching an innovative wireless home broadband service.
Baggs was the youngest-ever contestant on the BBC program when he appeared in 2010 at age 21, calling himself "Baggs the Brand," The Guardian reports.
His body was discovered by a friend in his home on the Isle of Man, and local police say they're not treating his death as suspicious.
A colleague at Blue Wave Communications, the ten-person company Baggs founded in 2007, told the Guardian he'd seen Baggs at a local store 9 p.m. Wednesday, and another colleague talked to Baggs on the phone at 11 p.m. and he seemed in good spirits on both occasions.
On the TV show, Baggs "became well known for his immodest though oddly endearing exclamations," the Guardian reported. Examples: "Everything I touch turns to sold," "I'm not a one-trick pony, I'm not a ten-trick pony, I've got a whole field of ponies, waiting to literally run towards this," and "I'm Stuart Baggs, 'the Brand' -- I've got a certain type of charisma."
Blue Wave focused on providing 4G data, and had 4,000 customers, according to his final interview, published Wednesday on Isle of Man Today, less than a day before his death. He said he worked 18 hours and slept four hours per day.
Blue Wave's service for the Isle of Man is an alternative to fixed-line broadband in the home, and is intended for people who are unable to afford or commit to a long-term Internet contract, including short-term residents, according to the interview.
The first project, the BlueWave Home Hub, would enable consumers to connect to broadband in three hours, without an engineer site visits, according to the interview. The device would connect to Blue Wave's 4G network using a BlueWave SIM card and transmit WiFi within the home. Baggs described it to Isle of Man Today as "broadband without a landline."
Baggs said he expected the service to go online in mid-August, priced at £27.95 ($43.60 US) per month for unlimited coverage for an unlimited number of devices, without a contract. The device would include a phone connection for free calls.
A company named Relish offers a similar service in London, he noted.
— Mitch Wagner, , West Coast Bureau Chief, Light Reading. Got a tip about SDN or NFV? Send it to [email protected]