Friday, 19 December 2008

Lycamobile introduces festive text plan – UK

Lycamobile, an ethnic market MVNO, has launched a special festive offer on its Pay As You Go SIM for Christmas and New Year celebrations. Under the new offer, international mobile phone users will be able to send unlimited text messages to mobile users in any country globally from December 1 to January 2, 2009 by topping-up their cards with GBP 20 (USD 30.80) in the month of December. Every customer will receive an additional GBP 10 (USD 15.40) worth of calls on GBP 20 (USD 30.80) top-up vouchers, with new customers getting an extra GBP 2 (USD 3.08) credit on registration.

Commenting on the new offer, Milind Kangle, Chief Executive Officer of Lycamobile, said: “As always the focus of our festive promotion is to unite family and friends. In line with the increasing trend of sending text messages, we have developed a unique SMS promotion that allows our customers to interact on a global scale in a more straightforward and uncomplicated manner.”

Thursday, 18 December 2008

‘Office of Electronic Communications’ awards E-GSM spectrum – Poland

The Office of Electronic Communications, Poland’s telecom regulator, has announced the award of nationwide E-GSM radio spectrum to two network operators, namely P4 and Aero2. Both companies have committed to launch the provision of services (based on derived frequency) within 24 months of the issuance of the decision. The two companies are also obliged to meet population coverage of at least 30%, 55% and 80% by the end of 2009, 2010 and 2012, respectively.

Additionally, P4 and Aero2 will also have to provide wholesale telecommunications services to other telecom entities, including MVNOs, on the basis of equal, transparent conditions and a uniform offer. P4 and Aero2 will make a one-time payment of PLN 217 million (USD 75.38 million) and PLN 223 million (USD 77.46 million) as charges for frequency reservation.

012 Smile partners with MIRS for WiMAX service – Israel

According to Globes online, top officials of 012 Smile Communications and MIRS Communications are in negotiations for setting up a joint mobile WiMAX network. Both the companies are waiting for the final WiMAX policy announcement from the Ministry of Communication. Smile Communications is controlled by Shaul Alovitz’s Eurocom Group through Internet Gold Golden Lines Ltd. while MIRS Communications is owned by Motorola Inc.

According to Smile Communications, mobile WiMAX entry is required to counter other cellular operators’ entry into the Internet Service Provider (ISP) market. However, according to Smile, the feasibility of a nationwide WiMAX deployment is doubtful and a limited network together with MVNO operations is preferable.

Tuesday, 16 December 2008

MasMovil introduces free mobile scheme – Spain

According to Telecompaper, MasMovil, a low-cost Spanish MVNO launched in February this year, has announced a new scheme under which the company will offer free mobile phones to customers who purchase top-ups of EUR 100 (USD 135.02).

D3 Mobile launches MVNO service – Kosovo

D3 Mobile, a subsidiary of Dukagjini Telecommunications, has launched its MVNO service in Kosovo. The company will utilise the network infrastructure of IPKO, the second-largest mobile phone operator, and will use the 043 phone code. Initially the company offer around 20,000 SIM cards and will provide the same services that are currently in use in the country. Commenting on the launch of its MVNO service, Kujtim Gacaferri, Head of Dukagjini Telecommunications, said: “D3 Mobile is a new incentive for further development in telecommunication in Kosovo”.

Currently, there are two mobile operators officially operating in the country namely Vala (owned by Kosovo’s Post and Telecommunication) and IPKO (which launched in 2007). However, there are also some Serbian telecommunication operators that are unofficially operating in certain parts of the country.

Lebara crosses 600,000 customer mark – UK

Lebara Mobile, an ethnic market MVNO, has reached 600,000 prepay customers in the UK, after just 12 months since its launch. According to Lebara Mobile, the ethnic market for international calling is estimated at five million customers and the company has already captured 12% of the ‘addressable market’.

Commenting on the achievement, Yoganathan Ratheesan, Chief Executive Officer of Lebara Group, said: “Reaching the landmark of 600,000 customers so soon in our UK trading history is testament to the hard work and focus of our UK Mobile team. But to us, the most important thing is to have the right quality of relationship with our customers, so that they get the most out of our compelling proposition both now and in the future. We really believe that in the market today, Lebara Mobile offers the ideal mix of convenience; quality networks; great customer service and simple and honest rates with no hidden charges or strings attached. With our success in the UK in 2008 to build on we’re certain 2009 will be another very exciting year for Lebara Mobile."

Lebara Mobile first started operations with a low-cost MVNO for international calls in The Netherlands, in 2004. Since then the company has launched operations in other countries such as Norway, Denmark, Spain, Switzerland and the UK.

Monday, 15 December 2008

PosteMobile reaches 670,000 subscribers – Italy

According to Cellular Magazine, PosteMobile has reached 670,000 customers after one year of it operation in Italy. According to the company, the numbers testify popularity of its range of services offered in the market. The company’s services provide seamless integration between telephony, postal and financial services, therefore making it an ideal tool for communication and other electronic transactions, such as money transfers and payments.

Talkster launches new software application for operators – Canada

Talkster, a Canadian provider of mobile voice and text communication services to online communities, has introduced a new mobile application named ‘talki’ which eliminates the need of a carrier infrastructure for delivering new voice, text and multimedia services to customers. The application also allows companies to create new revenue and marketing opportunities.

Commenting on the new application, James Wanless, Chief Operating Officer of Talkster, said: “Telecommunications services are becoming increasingly commoditized and with phone number portability, subscribers are less inclined to remain loyal to their service providers. With retail prices for basic wireless services reaching a floor in most markets, a door has opened for providing new features that can stem subscriber churn. But being at the mercy of carriers forced to cut back on innovation during the economic slowdown for new services may keep companies at a competitive disadvantage for an unknown number of years. Talki lets MVNOs deliver innovative new services at the device level, completely bypassing the dependence on carrier infrastructure. At the same time media companies can use talki for expanding their brand to the mobile channel without the need to experiment with becoming their own MVNO."

The new application, built on Java Micro Edition (J2ME), enables a compelling voice, text and multimedia service which results in lower usage fees and saves customers money. The company has built healthy margins into the offer by combining advertising subsidies together with a recurring revenue subscription. The new application provides unlimited text and picture messaging between ‘talki’ clients and a mobile-optimised service for connecting long distance and international calls on the Talkster network at the cost of a local call.

Virgin Media introduces ultra high speed broadband service – UK

Virgin Media has launched its ultra high speed 50Mb broadband service via fiber optic cable network in the UK. The new broadband service is nearly nine times faster than the existing average broadband speed in the country.

By the end of this year, the company is expected to have deployed next generation infrastructure over 40% of its network (covering areas in Scotland, the Midlands and South London), with the rest expected to get complete by the summer of 2009.

This improve fixed broadband service will help to strengthen the appeal of Virgin’s bundle packages including their MVNO service, which also offers mobile broadband.