Wednesday, 29 July 2009

200,000 Blyk subscribers lose their network – United Kingdom, Netherlands, USA

Contrary to previous denials the Blyk MVNO operation is to end. By the end of August the current 200,000 subscriber base needs to port their numbers to other operators of their choice. The main operator to receive these subscribers is expected to be Orange which recently entered into a marketing contra deal allowing Orange to access the Blyk setup.

The interesting difference with these subscribers is that they do not come with an ARPU. The Blyk offering revolved around an exchange of adverts for credit therefore the revenue stream came from advertisers and not the 200,000 subscribers. Based upon this, Orange, assuming it sets up a similar service, will bring on board the subscribers. Other than this option the subscribers are open to the market. Whether the subscribers already carry a 2nd SIM already is unknown so potentially there may be no impact on the market. Also unknown is how much credit each user was typically receiving so we are unable to tell if new money will come to the market to offset what was being provided for free.

The future for Blyk seems to rest in becoming a vendor of mobile content-marketing solutions with no direct consumer interaction, a likely route for its wider European enterprises. Elsewhere Blyk has announced in The Netherlands that it will work with Vodafone. Also commenting to Moconews, Chief Executive Officer, Pekka Ala-Pietilä said: "The US for us would have been a very, very difficult market to enter under the MVNO approach. Now, when we have a partnering approach, it's a completely different thing; that means the US is definitely back on our roadmap.”