Friday, 1 May 2009

Mobilcom introduces new tariffs – Germany

Mobilcom, which is owned by telecommunications company Freenet, has released information regarding its five new mobile tariffs. There will be five new tariffs under the Vario brand name, each including five free Mload portal downloads.

The new Mobilcom tariffs will be offered at a range of price points: the Vario 30 tariff will cost EUR 10.95 and include 30 minutes or texts a month, the Vario 50 will cost EUR 15.95 and include 50 minutes or texts a month, the Vario 100 will cost EUR 20.95 and include 100 minutes or texts, the Vario 150 will cost EUR 25.95 and include 150 minutes or texts and finally the Vario 200 will cost EUR 30.95 and will include 200 free minutes or texts a month. All inclusive minutes are to the Vario tariffs are for use within Germany.

Tchibo Mobil offer spring handset discount – Germany

Tchibo Mobile, a joint venture between O2 Germany and Tchibo, has released details about its forthcoming spring discount. There will be a range of handsets being discounted, 7 in total, including the Nokia 1680 which will be reduced from EUR 49.95 to EUR 25. All phones will also come with a free Tchibo Mobile SIM card. The promotion will last from the 4th of May until the 18th of May.

Virgin Mobile India aims for 10 percent of market by 2011 – India

Virgin Mobile India expects to attract 5 million youth subscribers, approximately 10 percent of the projected youth market, by 2011 according to its Chief Executive Officer M. A. Madhusdan.

Commenting on Virgin Mobile India’s aims M. A. Madhusdan said: “By 2011, the number of mobile user among the youth is likely to go up to 50 million in India. We aim to win 10 per cent of that market.”

Thursday, 30 April 2009

Eroski launches new promotional plan – Spain

Eroski Movil has introduced a new tariff plan named ‘El Movil del Ahorro’ (‘Saving Mobile’). The new plan, valid until 15th August, will enable customers to call any national fixed or mobile number for EUR 0.08 (USD 0.11) (excluding VAT) per minute.

However, the scheme will only be applicable to customers having bills exceeding EUR 100 (USD 132.16) between 16th May and 15th August. Eroski Movil will also reward subscribers with a gift voucher worth EUR 20 (USD 26.43) which they can redeem at any Eroski supermarket.

SIM4travel offers United Mobile SIM replacement – UK

British MVNO SIM4travel, which targets the roaming market, has announced its plan to offer former United Mobile customers with a free SIM card. The SIM card will come with an additional GBP 5 worth of free credit when they top up their new SIM card with GBP 10.

Geraldine Wilson, Chief Executive Officer of Truphone (parent company of SIM4travel), said: “It's never a nice thing to see a business struggle, particularly in these tough economic times, but we're keen to ensure that as many customers as possible continue to make great savings on their roaming charges - and with SIM4travel quality offering that's what they'll get.”

Nomi Mobile enters distribution deals with Chytel and Get Connected – UK

Nomi Mobile, a UK-based ethnic market MVNO, has selected Chytel Communications in East London and Get Connected in Manchester as resellers for its international and home calling SIM cards.

The deal will see Chytel Communications and Get Connected, based in East London and Manchester respectively, offer Nomi Mobile’s international calling and home calling SIM cards. Chytel Communications and Get Connected will also act as distributors of Nomi Mobile’s products, targeting independent dealers. The MVNO plans to expand its presence in the Bangladeshi market by using the distribution network of Chytel and in the African, Asian, Middle Eastern and Eastern European markets through Get Connected.

Commenting on the deal, Nomi Mobile Marketing Director Robert Ashcroft said: "These are highly professional, well respected distributors, who were looking to add an ethnic MVNO to their portfolios. This will give us a strong presence in local communities."

The Managing Director of Get Connected, Ismail Dedat, said: "Nomi's home talking service, which means the SIM's credit can be used via the home phone, makes its proposition unique. The company is down to earth and its marketing is good. We know the end user well and know what they require from the product."

Macquarie paints positive profit outlook – Australia

Macquarie Telecom has revealed that it anticipates its earnings will rise for the current financial year.

Pre-tax profit is expected to be between AUD 22,000,000 and AUD 24,000,000 for the financial year ending June 30th. The previous financial year saw Macquarie Telecom post profits of AUD 13,800,000. Shares in the MVNO rose 8.57% to AUD 1.90 as a result of its profit expectations.

A press statement released by the company said: “Macquarie Telecom’s revenue mix continues to improve, with its higher margin data and hosting businesses generating increased contributions.”

Tesco Mobile introduces new tariff – UK

British MVNO Tesco Mobile has released details of its new SIM only tariff. The tariff will cost GBP 10 a month and Tesco Mobile will give customers quadruple credit in return. Due to the extra credit – equal to a total of GBP 40 a month – the tariff will give customers an inclusive allowance of 400 minutes or 800 texts.

An Post announces 2008 results – Ireland

An Post, the state-owned postal service provider in Ireland, has reported revenues of EUR 850 million (USD 1,123.32 million), down EUR 26 million (USD 34.36 million) or 2.9%, for the year 2008. For the same period, An Post’s operating profit and profit after tax stood at EUR 31.2 million (USD 41.23 million) and 33.2 million (USD 43.88 million), respectively. With this, An Post has registered their fifth successive year of profitability. An Post plans to launch its MVNO service later this year, using Vodafone’s network.

Wednesday, 29 April 2009

France Telecom reports Q109 MVNO numbers – France

France Telecom has registered 4.4% decrease in profits and EBITDA in Q1 09 on account of the costs incurred by its French television services. France Telecom’s Q1 revenues grew by 0.4% on a comparable basis. However, the increase in revenues was offset by currency fluctuations to reach EUR 12.7 billion (USD 16.56 billion) from EUR 13 billion (USD 16.95 billion) a year ago.

As of 31 March 2009, France Telecom had a total of 122.9 million customers (excluding MVNOs), a 9.5% increase on a y-o-y basis. In Europe, France Telecom’s MVNO subscriber base rose to 3.6 million (1.9 million in France) as compared to 2.2 million (1.5 million in France) a year ago.

Virgin Mobile gives free calls between customers – UK

Virgin Mobile has announced that it will offer its existing customers free calls to other Virgin Mobile numbers. The free inclusive minutes will be available on its Addict, £8.50 and £20 a month tariffs.

Announcing the new add-on, Managing Director of Mobile, Graeme Oxby said: "The launch of these new tariffs has been a resounding success and we are delighted to offer further, fantastic incentives to our customers. Virgin Media customers can now get free mobile calling between family members, whether they choose to pay monthly, or pay-as-you-go."

Jazztel share issue – Spain

Jazztel has disclosed its intention to issue shares to pay interest payments on a convertible bond issue it made in April 2005.

Jazztel, which uses the Orange Spain network, has decided to issue 50.3 million shares, equivalent to 3.3 percent of its total capital. The shares will be sold at EUR 0.28 per share.

Google may become an MVNO – USA

According to MarketWatch, Google along with other companies namely Intel, Comcast and Time Warner are likely to benefit from their investments in Clearwire. The WiMAX service provider has abundant spectrum, which these companies can use to pursue other wireless innovations.

Google has already been granted the right to use Clearwire’s excess spectrum for unspecified “experimental tests”. Though, it is not clear how Google will use the network, there is a possibility that it may become an MVNO to gain more control over its Android mobile phone platform. Additionally, Google and Intel have the right to “wholesale” the spectrum as operators.

Google is no stranger to MVNO speculation and as ever has made no official comment to give the market any indication that it will launch an MVNO. These are simply speculations made by the industry. More pressing for Google is likely to be finding a revenue stream from YouTube which runs at a loss and maintaining their e-advertising revenues during the crunch.

Vietnam to allow potential MVNO entry – Vietnam

According to local media reports (VietNamNet Bridge) the Vietnamese Ministry of Information and Communications (MIC) has agreed to let the Vietnam Multimedia Corporation, which is owned and run by the Vietnamese government, provide mobile services.

The Vietnam Multimedia Corporation will reportedly be allowed to share infrastructure with mobile operators already present in Vietnam.

Vectone introduces calling card ‘ZeroZero’ – UK

Vectone, a London-based privately-owned MVNO, has introduced a prepaid calling card ‘ZeroZero’ for its subscribers in the UK. The calling card identifies an international number and routes the call through a local access number, using Vectone’s low-cost international network to make the call. As a result, customers will be able to make international calls at a much cheaper rate than the usual cost. The new card is likely to attract contract customers having free minutes in their kitty to get low-rate international calls.

ZeroZero requires one-time installation and then can be topped up at various retail outlets, including Epay or Payzone, directly through Interactive Voice Response from the users’ handset or online.

Jon Fisher, Chief Marketing Officer of Vectone, said: "We are delighted to offer our calling card customers the next generation of the international calling card, a product that delivers simplicity of installation and use, ease of top up coupled with the amazing value Vectone offers for international calls."

Vodafone partners with CallPlus and Slingshot – New Zealand

Vodafone has entered into new MVNO agreements with CallPlus, a New Zealand-based Internet and telecom services provider, and Slingshot, a New Zealand-based phone and Internet Service Provider (ISP). The agreement will enable CallPlus and Slingshot customers to directly purchase mobile services from them on the Vodafone network.

According to Mark Callander, General Manager of CallPlus, the company has been planning mobile services for a long time and the agreement with Vodafone will follow on from the existing agreement in regard to wholesale fixed line services on the Vodafone Red Network. Callander stated: “We stand out in the crowd already and we’ll continue to do so in the mobile market. It will be worth the wait for our customers as some of the initial product concepts are amazing. Our current focus is on gaining an intimate understanding of the mobile market, and working closely with Vodafone through this process to ensure we hit the targeted launch date.”

Commenting on the partnership, Steve Reiger, General Manager of Wholesale at Vodafone, said: “The mobile marketplace has never been more dynamic and we’re thrilled to see CallPlus place its trust and its business with us. We’ve got a good working relationship with CallPlus in the fixed line world and I’m looking forward to extending that into the mobile world.”

Israeli Ministry of Communications to set MVNO fees – Israel

Media reports have surfaced claiming that the Israeli Ministry of Communications (MoC) will be allowed to step in and take action when a potential MVNO cannot agree pricing terms with an MNO.

The MoC has released details regarding the criteria which must be met before the MoC can take action. The prospective MVNO will have up to six months to negotiate with a network operator, if no agreement can be made within this time frame then the MoC will be able to investigate and determine the reason for the failure. If the subsequent investigation discovers that the price negotiations fell through due to ‘anti-competitive conduct’ then the MoC can determine the fees which will be due.

The Moc and the Ministry of Finance have also agreed to jointly work towards developing this area by hiring a consultancy firm to handle connectivity issues. Previously, the Gronau committee had recommended a further reduction in cellular connectivity rates. However, former Minister of Communications, Ariel Atias, was unable to proceed as the Ministry of Finance rejected the budget allocation for the implementation of Gronau committee's recommendations.

Symsoft introduces ‘Nobill MVNO’ solution for the Middle-East – Sweden

Symsoft, a Stockholm-based telecom solutions provider, has launched Nobill MVNO, a complete platform for charging, billing, and provisioning and value-added services delivery. The new platform allows MVNOs to swiftly raise attractive campaigns related to the promotion of new services, rewarding customers and other value-added services.

In addition, Nobill MVNO supports voice as well as non-voice services, such as SMS, MMS, GPRS and 3G. According to Symsoft, the platform will provide full flexibility and control to MVNOs over the creation and delivery of their services.

Virgin Mobile considers 3G network licence – France

Virgin Mobile France’s Chief Executive Officer Geoffroy Roux de Bezieux has announced that they are considering bidding for the fourth French MVNO licence, with the possibility of partnering with another company.

Commenting on the development, Goeffroy Roux de Bezieux, Chief Executive Officer of Virgin Mobile France, said: “We are currently studying the matter seriously. We are almost obliged to do so as the fourth mobile operator [in terms of numbers of customers], with growth prospects that we have. The price of the licence (EUR 206 million (USD 268.62 million)) is still quite cheap.”

Virgin Mobile France recently released subscriber data, boasting 1.13 million customers, with a further 90,000 at Virgin Mobile and The Carphone Warehouse joint-venture Briezh Mobile, giving the MVNO a 1.95% total market share.

Tuesday, 28 April 2009

Bay Mobile rewards customers – Malta

Maltese MVNO Bay Mobile has decided to give all of its customers an additional 100% extra credit to thank them for their support since its launch 6 months ago.

The promotional credit will run until the end of April and can be used for any purpose, although it must be used within 30 days of application. The free credit can take up to 12 hours to be applied.

Tunetalk selects Megasoft’s mobile services platform – India

Tunetalk, the planned Malaysian MVNO, has joined hands with Megasoft Limited, an Indian IT-services provider, to offer its services in Southeast Asia. The MVNO will launch its services using the Mobile Services Platform (MSP) of XIUS-bcgi, the telecom brand of Megasoft. The deal will enable Tunetalk to launch and deliver its advertising-supported mobile phone services in Malaysia and subsequently in Southeast Asian countries.

Commenting on the development, GV Kumar, Chief Executive Officer of XIUS-bcgi, said: “XIUS-bcgi will be responsible for the supply and turnkey management of the customised core network infrastructure for enabling Tunetalk's mobile launch through its multi-country rollout.”

Renna introduces pre-launch advertising campaign – Oman

Renna, the MVNO brand of Majan Telecommunications, has started a pre-launch market campaign for its upcoming MVNO service in Oman. The advertising slogan which will be used for the new marketing campaign will be ‘Renna is coming soon’.

Renna has aligned a series of activities that include radio competitions, youth-oriented activities and cinema screenings to spread awareness about its new service among the potential customers, targeting locations such as Muscat, Batinah, Nizwa, Sohar and Sur.

Monday, 27 April 2009

Lebara partners with Pulse Marketing Group – Australia

Lebara Mobile, who recently announced details of their Australian MVNO launch, has signed an agreement with Sydney based marketing agency Pulse Marketing Group. Pulse Marketing Group will be responsible for developing advertising campaigns and local marketing strategies for its Australian operation.

Orcon set for Spring launch – New Zealand

New Zealand ISP Orcon has revealed that it will launch its MVNO in August or September 2009. The launch has been pending since initially being announced in October 2008.

Orcon will partner with Vodafone New Zealand for its services, getting full use of its 3G network.

Explaining their decision the Chief Executive of Orcon Scott Bartlett said: “We’re going to let the 800lb gorillas go first. They’ll spend millions of dollars, and if we launched now we’d just get lost in the noise. We’ll wait for dust to settle then do something in August or September.”

Orcon will likely target high-end residential customers and small businesses when it launches.

FRiENDi set to launch its MVNO service – Oman

FRiENDi mobile, a UAE-based international mobile reseller company, will launch its MVNO service in Oman on Tuesday, 28 April. To activate the service, customers will be required to buy a FRiENDi mobile starter pack available with an introductory promotional offer of 100 free minutes, as well as 100 free SMS. However, the scheme will be applicable to a pre-defined number of customers on a first come first serve basis.

FRiENDi will introduce three different recharge vouchers with the lowest priced card at Bz 500 (USD 1.30). In addition, customers will have the option to recharge for as low as Bz 10 (USD 0.03).

Commenting on the new service, Antti Arponen, Chief Executive Officer of FRiENDi Oman, said: “'A FRiENDi mobile SIM will not only offer a competitive rate for local calls as well as exciting value added services, but our international call rates are the lowest mobile rates in the market, with for example calls to the UK for as low as Bz 179 (USD 0.47) and India Bz 159 (USD 0.41). The call rate for FRiENDi mobile to FRiENDi mobile is a flat rate of Bz 39 (USD 0.10) per minute anytime, with no peak or off-peak timing, while FRiENDi mobile users can call to other local networks for Bz 39 (USD 0.10) per minute off-peak.”

FRiENDi mobile starter packs will be available at various outlets, such as Lulu, Safeer, Zahra phones, KM Trading, Zahrath Al Hanna including others. Customers will also get a chance to select their chosen number by booking for the service in advance. These customers will be required to bring their code to the dealer to get the number reserved via the FRiENDi mobile website.

Sunday, 26 April 2009

Israel contemplates potential 3G MVNO – Israel

According to a report by Globes, a local business newspaper, Israel's Ministry of Communications is mulling the option of holding a public consultation to decide the allocation of unused 3G radio spectrum. The move came after receiving a request from MIRS Communications, an Israel-based Motorola subsidiary, which was earlier blocked from bidding for WiMAX licences.

MIRS Communications are apparently seeking to enter the market as an MVNO, possibly due to recent deregulation, if they do not get awarded the unused radio spectrum.