Friday, 19 June 2009

Ventelo wins title of providing the best customer service – Norway

Ventelo, a telecommunications service provider offering broadband, fixed and mobile services in Norway, has won the prestigious title of providing the best customer service in the country, by an independent survey of 56 companies across nine industries. The results of the survey were announced during Call Center 2009 held recently in Oslo.

Avaya Communication Manager and Avaya Interaction Center provide Ventelo a single platform for the company's telephony and contact center needs. The Avaya system automates all customer inquiries and uses Ventelo's own network to route calls and produce consistent reporting across the company. The company has reduced call waiting times by half and enables more personalised interactions with customers by automatically providing agents with all the customer details necessary to attend to each call effectively.

Kamilla Sharma, Director of Customer Service for Ventelo, said: "A few years ago we embarked on an ambitious plan to provide the best customer service in Norway. In order to achieve this, we knew that we needed the best technology available to not only improve response time, but also integrate our various systems and reporting tools that contribute to providing superior service."

Also announced this week, Ventelo’s contract to provide the Norwegian Police (PDMT) with fixed and mobile telephone services has been extended.

Lycamobile launches MVNO service – Italy

Ethnic market MVNO Lycamobile has introduced its MVNO services in Italy by using 3 Italia’s network infrastructure. Lycamobile has launched a prepay SIM card, which will be available at more than 65,000 retail outlets from this week.

Customers will be able to make international calls from EUR 0.09 (USD 0.13) per minute and national calls from EUR 0.15 (USD 0.21) per minute. The company will also offer free on net calls to its own network for the first 15 minutes. In addition, under the promotional campaign, Lycamobile will also provide free text messaging globally until the end of July.

Lycamobile delays new product offering – UK

Ethnic market MVNO Lycamobile has delayed the launch of its new combined mobile and cheap fixed line calling service by almost a month to the first week of July. The new product will offer cheaper calls to existing Lycamobile customers while using a fixed line to dial abroad.

In order to subscriber to the service customers will be provided with a ‘0207’ or ‘0800’ dial-in number and credit will be automatically deducted from their existing Lycamobile SIM card.

‘3’ UK signs x-Mobility to increase MVNO base – UK

3 UK has signed a deal with virtual network aggregator x-Mobility in order to attract new MVNOs to its business. x-Mobility will bring six companies on board including iCard and Catalyst. Catalyst targets small and medium enterprises (SMEs) and students. While iCard targets the pre-pay calling market. It is anticipated that x-Mobility will pursue customers wanting to sell prepay voice services and 3 UK will look for MVNO opportunities within mobile broadband with these ventures.

x-Mobility is a Mobile Virtual Network Aggregator (MVNA), providing a white-labelled MVNO service for brands wishing to enter the mobile space. x-Mobility holds a full MVNO licence and provides all the services required for a brand to create its own MVNO proposition, claiming to be able to do so in 90 days.

Thursday, 18 June 2009

Timico to double core mobile dealers – UK

According to Clark White, Timico are looking to expand their mobile dealership business by doubling their current core mobile dealer numbers. Dealers that partner with Timico this year will receive an added incentive of three times the amount of revenue share for each product sold as well as an end of year bonus of "several thousands of pounds" if they connect more than 250 lines.

Timico’s Head of Indirect Sales Channels, Iain Sinnott said: "It’s an ongoing recruitment process with a lot of activity in the second half of the year. If we double the mobile channel by the end of the year I’d be very pleased. Dealers are predominantly better at solution orientated sales rather than the commodity market of fixed line minutes so our chosen route to market is the mobile channel as well as IT value added resellers. Some of the bigger players have waited patiently for their suppliers to come up with a unified communications solution."

Timico is a business ISP providing unified communications services to UK businesses. The company's portfolio of services includes IP services, network solutions, fixed line and mobile services.

klarmobil.de launches online handset portal – Germany

klarmobil.de, the discount MVNO, has launched its own online portal selling mobile handsets from Nokia, Sony Ericsson, Samsung and LG Electronics. The campaign for cheap calls is led by a promotional character called Robert "Trenki" Trenkwalder. Further information can be found at http://www.klar-handys.de.

SafeLink Wireless launches in West Virginia via TracFone – USA

The SafeLink Wireless service will provide eligible low-income households a free cell phone, mobile access to emergency services and 68 minutes of free airtime, monthly, for one year. The cell phones offered in-demand features are voicemail, text, call waiting, international calling to over 60 destinations and caller ID.

Lifeline is part of the Low Income Program of the Universal Service Fund (USF), which is administered by the Universal Service Administrative Company (USAC) and is designed to ensure that quality telecommunications services are available to low-income customers at reasonable and affordable rates. Over 1700 carriers are eligible to provide the program but TracFone is the first pre-paid company to have elevated the program to modern day communications. The Lifeline program is not funded from federal taxpayer dollars, but rather from contributions to the USF by telecommunications carriers collected in part from the Universal Service Charge billed to cell phone users.

Jose Fuentes, Director of Government Relations for TracFone, commented: “Over 309,000 households in West Virginia qualify for the Lifeline services – offering these participants the opportunity to have the same access and privileges many individuals take for granted when it comes to using cell phones.”

Hits to use DIGITALK Multiservice platform – Spain

Hits Mobile, recent entrant to the Spanish mobile market, has signed an agreement with DIGITALK. The deal introduces account based services using the DIGITALK Prepaid Residential application that will Hits to extend their market reach and to deliver complementary products across their customer base.

Arturo Grau, Chief Executive Officer of Hits Mobile, outlined the intended plans for the Spanish market: “The DIGITALK solution was the best fit for our business growth plans as now we have brand recognition for our mobile service; we can now start to introduce new services into existing and new markets.”

Mark Ashdown, Executive Vice President of Sales and Marketing, added: “Strategically the relationship is mutually beneficial as Hits Mobile is able to expand it’s service offerings in line with it’s business and market needs, thus proving the effectiveness of the complete-solution model and it’s ability to deliver on real business needs that operate within the current economic constraints.“

Cardiac Network partners with Med Mobile – USA

Cardiac Network has signed an agreement with Med mobile whereby Cardiac will be able to offer Personal Emergency Response Systems (PERS) to its patients and HeartOne Club members. PERS is a device containing a distress button and integrated active GPS system.

Therefore, at the touch of a button, patients can connect directly with the Cardiac Network monitoring station. Cardiac Network’s medical technicians, in turn, can talk directly with a patient’s doctor or emergency response team.

Med Mobile is an MVNO subsidiary of Capital Marketing Group, which serves the medical industry. Cardiac Network is a medical technology company providing cardiac monitoring and diagnostic services to practitioners and physicians.

SmartyCard and Kajeet contra on mobile phone privileges – USA

SmartyCard has announced a strategic partnership with kajeet. Starting today, tweens can unlock and redeem SmartyCard points for kajeet's popular pay-as-you-go mobile phones from the SmartyCard catalogue of real and virtual rewards.

Chris Carvalho, General Manager, SmartyCard, said: "Everyday, we talk to another family that wants to provide incentive phone privileges utilizing SmartyCard's learn-stuff-earn-stuff approach. Both SmartyCard and kajeet are designed to provide family friendly services to tweens while ensuring just the right amount of parental controls and safety. This is just another example of SmartyCard helping parents reinforce the universal values of hard work and goal achievement while at the same time providing ample motivation for children to learn by providing a highly sought after reward."

kajeet is mobile phone service designed specifically for kids and their families. The kajeet pay-as-you-go service has no contracts, no activation fees, and no termination fees. SmartyCard provides real and virtual rewards to tens of millions of families that believe learning at home can be fun and rewarding.

MasMovil to sponsor Marc Roig’s event – Spain

According to TelecomPaper, Spanish MVNO MasMovil is to sponsor young athlete Marc Roig in his humanitarian cause. Marc will participate in nine races to be organised in Belgium, Holland, Denmark, Sweden, the UK and France.

Around 10% of the sponsorship amount will be donated to the association, Ex-Street Children of Kenya. Marc has been a MasMovil client for over a year.

SageQuest selects KORE Telematics for fleet tracking and workforce solution – USA

KORE Telematics has announced that SageQuest has selected the KORE network for its fleet tracking and workforce management solutions.

Alex Brisbourne, President and Chief Operating Officer for KORE Telematics said: “There is no ‘single solution’ that meets all M2M applications’ requirements. Each of our partners has unique needs that require a personalized approach. We recognize that our network is a critical, component of our partners’ success. Our goal is to constantly improve our service offerings and bring new solutions to market that enable our partners to operate more efficiently and enhance the value of their own solutions.”

KORE Telematics is the world’s largest fully digital wireless network provider specialising exclusively in the machine-to-machine (M2M) communications market. SageQuest LLC provides GPS fleet tracking and management solutions that improve the overall efficiency and productivity of any mobile workforce.

Management change at Telenet – Belgium

Telenet has announced a new management team to deal with its MVNO activity. Ronny Verhelst has been made the new Mobile Chief Executive Officer and will be joined by Philip Macridis as the new Mobile Chief Operating Officer. The move follows a strengthening of activities after agreeing with its network partner, Mobistar, that they would invest more in the venture including into infrastructure, excluding the actual base station and antenna network.

Telenet Group Chief Executive Officer, Duco Sickinghe, said: "The new structure underlines our mobile ambitions with its strong focus.” He went on to note Telenet’s drive to become a green company targeting CO2 reductions with targets being implemented this year.

Piet Spiessens will be responsible for marketing for the separated business unit and Claudia Poels will be in charge of human resources. Jan de Grave will head up corporate communications.

Virgin Mobile selects Miyowa’s platform – France

Virgin Mobile France has selected Miyowa’s instant messaging platform ‘MoveMessenger’ in order to provide unlimited access to instant messaging to its subscribers (as part of the Paradyse offer). Virgin Mobile France has already been providing instant messaging with Miyowa since August last year.

Chief Executive Officer, Geoffroys Roux de Bezieux, has also been playing down reports that Virgin intends to bid for a spectrum licence. Current pricing for the licence would be EUR 240 million.

Wednesday, 17 June 2009

Mobile Vikings concludes new customer sign-up limit – Belgium

Mobile Vikings has ended its limit on signing up new customers. Previously, the MVNO had been accepting applications only on the basis of invite codes. This was due to limits imposed by its network partner, BASE. Therefore from July 1 Mobile Vikings will be commercially available to all. User conditions may differ for new customers but existing customers will see their service unchanged.

The MVNO launched last February and is another online proposition to the Belgium market.

Tuesday, 16 June 2009

Prixtel introduces new unlimited plan – France

French discount MVNO Prixtel has launched a new unlimited voice plan for its customers, which will be available from 22 June onwards. Under the new plan, Prixtel customers will be able to make unlimited calls to all fixed and mobile numbers in France. However, the scheme will be applicable only for the first two hours of each call.

Customers will have to pay EUR 54.90 (USD 76.23) per month for a one-year contract, while a two-year contract will cost EUR 49.90 (USD 69.29) per month.

In addition, Prixtel will also provide SMS and mobile Internet plans, whereby customers will receive 1,000 free SMSs for EUR 10 (USD 13.89) and 500 MB of monthly data transfer for EUR 20 (USD 27.78).

Elephant Talk signs MVNE contract with Vizzavi – Spain

Elephant Talk Communications, an international telecom and multimedia content distributor operating as an MVNE in The Netherlands, has entered into an MVNE contract with Vizzavi Espana, a subsidiary of Vodafone Group Plc.

The deal will enable MVNOs to operate voice and data services in Spain over the Vodafone network. The contract will cover the deployment and operation of a redundant mobile communications platform for features such as voice, data, messaging, media and converged technology across several locations in Spain.

Commenting on the development, Martin Zuurbier, Chief Technical Officer of Elephant Talk, said: “Together with our CRM & Billing system and end to end business processing support, this enables Vizzavi Espana to concentrate on their core business of attracting and retaining new subscribers in targeted segments of the market. In addition, our internal experts are constantly improving our technology capabilities which allow us to keep delivery times to an absolute minimum and allow us to add customer specific functionalities quickly."

Monday, 15 June 2009

CIC Mobile launches services for Iberbanco population – France

CIC Iberbanco together with CIC Mobile, a licensed brand of French MVNO NRJ Mobile, has introduced Ibericall and Soleo services for Spanish and Portuguese customers residing in France. CIC Iberbanco is a subsidiary of French banking group Credit Mutuel-CIC.

Customers of “C le Mobile” contracts, who select Ibericall option, will be able to make calls at EUR 0.20 (USD 0.28) per minute to Spanish and Portuguese fixed and mobile numbers.

The Ibericall option starts at EUR 7 (USD 9.81) per month for 30 minutes of calls, followed by EUR 13 (USD 18.23) offering one hour, EUR 25 (USD 35.05) for two hours and EUR 48 (USD 67.30) for four hours.

The Soleo option enables visitors in Spain and Portugal to make local calls, calls to France and receive free incoming calls. For example, customers opting for EUR 15 (USD 21.03) Soleo plan can make 30 minutes of calls from Spain or Portugal and also receive 30 minutes of calls. Other plan options available are EUR 30 (USD 42.06) for one hour, EUR 45 (USD 63.09) for 1.5 hours and EUR 60 (USD 84.13) for two hours.

Hits Mobile to use DIGITALK Multiservice Platform – Spain

Spanish MVNO Hits Mobile has entered into an agreement with DIGITALK for the deployment of DIGITALK Multiservice Platform to launch new competitive services. Initially, the installation of the platform will help Hits introduce account-based services. This will enable Hits Mobile to broaden their market reach and provide complementary products to its customers.

Commenting on the new service, Arturo Grau, Chief Executive Officer of Hits Mobile, said: “The DIGITALK solution was the best fit for our business growth plans as now we have brand recognition for our mobile service; we can now start to introduce new services into existing and new markets.”

Primus bankruptcy reorganisation to go ahead – USA

Primus Telecommunication, which operates the Primus Wireless MVNO in the United States, has confirmed its plans for reorganisation.

Primus is currently under court protection after it filed for bankruptcy in March 2009, although this security offered by the bankruptcy procedure is expected to run out 1 July 2009. Primus has revealed that after court protection ceases its debts will be reduced by about 50 percent, down to USD 316,000,000, and interest rates they expect to be pay will be halved. The reorganisation will also see the cancellation of existing stock offerings.


The company’s operating company and other ventures outside of the United States will not be affected by the reorganisation.

Virgin Mobile signs deal with GetJar application store – France

Virgin Mobile France has announced that it has partnered with GetJar to produce a branded mobile application store.

The store, which is scheduled to launch on the 17th of June, will sell all of GetJar’s 45,000 handset and platform independent applications.

Commenting on the deal Julien Allisy, Marketing and Communication Director of Virgin Mobile France, said: “GetJar’s track record, extensive cross platform catalogue, scale and expertise were really what we were looking for in an app store partner. We can immediately offer our consumers who subscribed to our new unlimited data plans the largest range of apps on the largest range of handsets, via a platform which is trusted around the world.”

Founder and Chief Executive Officer of GetJar, Ilja Laurs, added: “This important partnership underlines the broad international demand for mobile apps across all handsets and platforms, and the reputation GetJar has developed as a one-stop-shop for companies looking to provide exciting mobile applications to their consumers. Demand for mobile apps is growing at a huge rate and this partnership will allow Virgin Mobile France to offer its customers new and exciting content across a large range of mobile phones.”

Tesco Mobile wins credit crunch honour – UK

Tesco Mobile, which is a joint venture between supermarket chain Tesco and MNO O2, has won the special ‘Credit Crunch Award’ at the Mobile Industry Awards 2009. The award is given to the company which demonstrates that it had delivered: ‘most outstanding value, value that resonates with customers and clear communication.’

MVNOs were well represented in the ‘credit crunch’ category, with nominations also being given to Lebara Mobile and Lycamobile. As well as beating the other MVNOs in the category Tesco Mobile bested T-Mobile and Carphone Warehouse for the award.

Judges in the category made special mention of Tesco Mobile’s ‘triple your credit’ deal with one member of the panel saying: "It is so simple to understand, and especially with so many offers available, this is something that immediately pulls me in.”

Commenting on the award a Tesco spokesman said: "This is an excellent achievement by the whole team, of which we should all be every proud. It goes to show what can happen when we put excellent customer insight together with fantastic execution."

BILDmobil extends promotion – Germany

German MVNO BILDmobil, which uses Vodafone Germany’s network, will extend its starter pack promotion until the 30th of June.

The MVNO is offering customers 150 free minutes, which will be available to use for 12 months from SIM registration, to use for calls with-in Germany when they sign up to the starter package. The price of the starter package will remain the same at EUR 9.95 (USD 13.80) until the end of the promotion.