Wednesday, 15 July 2009

Sonim’s tough phone available on Tesco Mobile, plus new stores – United Kingdom

In the hope that they can make a market for phones which can cope with being dropped, bashed and generally badly treated by subscribers, Tesco Mobile has launched Sonim’s tough handset in store. The phone is called the Land Rover S1, so called as it is reportedly as tough as a Land Rover vehicle.

Lance Batchelor, Chief Executive Officer of Tesco Mobile, commented: “It’s the first phone in the world to be as tough as a Land Rover and is the world’s only IP67 military-rated GSM mobile phone – making it resistant to humidity, dust, shock, salt and heat.”

Lance went on to point out that the phone would even survive being dropped in a public toilet.

The phone has a 1500 hour standby time, 2 metre drop resistance onto concrete from any angle, temperature resistance from -20 to 55 degrees celcius, 100db speakers (great for use on public transport), 2 megapixel camera and all the other features you would expect.

The company is also venturing into opening stand alone own brand telecoms stores outside of its supermarkets with a target of 2 new stores per week in the run up to Christmas.

Primus emerges from Chapter 11 – Global

Primus Telecommunications has announced that it has come out of Chapter 11 Bankruptcy following negotiations with its lenders and a complete restructuring of its finances and share allocations. None of its operating companies in the USA, Australia, Canada, India, Europe or Brazil were included in the restructuring. The operating units have and will continue to manage and to operate their businesses normally.

Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, K. Paul Singh, commented: "Our ability to achieve an efficient and effective financial restructuring is due, in large part, to the dedication of our employees, the loyalty of our customers, and the support and cooperation of our vendors and major creditor group. We now ask them to join us as our new journey begins."

Amazon’s Kindle to cross the Atlantic – United Kingdom, Europe

Amazon’s Kindle is coming to Europe after its successful roll out in the US. Speculation is that Kindle will be launched within the UK by Christmas in time for the gift buying and giving season. The Kindle product is an electronic wireless device which allows users to download electronic books over a mobile phone network. Currently the US service does not function as a typical network too whereby subscribers could text and talk to each other, instead the service focuses only on the eBooks.

Amazon has commented: "We have previously announced that we are looking to release the Kindle with our international customers. At the moment we have no timeline." Mobile Today reports that Amazon has outsourced manufacturing for Kindle in the UK to Qualcomm, including the management of the MVNO. Negotiations for which MNO Kindle will operate over are still ongoing.

Cellular News reports that both Orange and Vodafone are working on their own eBook ventures. This leaves T-Mobile, 3 and O2 as remaining potential partners. Recently 3 have been ramping up their efforts within the MVNO market with a specific interest in data operations and could be the front runner to host Kindle UK.

Telenet awards MVNO work to Alcatel Lucent – Belgium

Telenet, a Belgian cable operator, has awarded a 7 year contract to Alcatel Lucent in regard to its full service MVNO goal. The contract makes Alcatel the overall network integrator for the next generation mobile core and of the VAS network components

Telenet’s Executive Vice President of Technology and Solutions, Jan Vorstermans, commented: "This investment shows our commitment towards the implementation of Telenet Mobile. This project enables us to expand both our current product offering and to create new mobile and converged services for our customers. The co-operation with Alcatel-Lucent demonstrates the commitment of both parties to Flanders' innovation driven economy. Alcatel-Lucent global experience in managing complex, multi-party network integration projects across the world will support our ambition for this project."

Paul Depuydt, Head of Alcatel-Lucent's Business in the Benelux region added: "We are excited to be working on this project together with Telenet. We notice a trend of fixed network operators evolving towards offering mobile services, but Telenet is aggressively implementing this strategy, making Telenet the first European cable operator to become a full MVNO."

Tuesday, 14 July 2009

Uni-Tel selects x-Mobility for MVNO launch – UK

New student MVNO Uni-Tel has launched its service and is offering cheap national and international calls. Uni-Tel uses 3’s network and is being managed by MVNA x-Mobility.

Commenting on the development, Wayne Myers, Chief Executive Officer of x-Mobility, said: “This is a culmination of a lot of hard work and planning. But now as we have launched, we’re able to help even more brands that want to launch an MVNO service within 120 days and at a fraction of the cost of the traditional, direct route."

David Bickett, Business Development Director at 3, added: “X-Mobility has created a very compelling service which suits the excellent network that we have built in the UK. We believe that the smaller, niche MVNO players will be able to profit from the combination of 3UK’s network and X-Mobility’s MVNA service."

Mike Hall, Mobile Operations Director at Uni-Tel, further commented: “I’m really impressed with the X-Mobility business model and really grateful of it to. Thanks to X-Mobility we’ve been able to get our MVNO service up and running quickly. We think that we have a very compelling offering to the student market. We’re extremely excited about the possibilities."

Ortel to sponsor Rotterdam Carnival – The Netherlands

Ethnic MVNO Ortel Mobile is going to be the sponsor of the 25th Rotterdam Summer Carnival to be held on 24 and 25 July. In addition, Ortel will sponsor the Dunya festival and the Nelson Mandela festival.

Monday, 13 July 2009

Kajeet partners with HarperCollins for Children Book Launch – USA

Pay-as-you-go MVNO for kids, Kajeet, has partnered with HarperCollins for the promotion of a new childrens book, ‘Mackenzie Blue’. The move will allow Kajeet’s customers to access graphics featuring Mackenzie and crew. Additionally, they will be able to access Marcus’s Money Tips, which will help kids to learn about fiscal responsibility.

The promotion is not expected to bring any new customers to Kajeet, but may indirectly generate demand for the company’s services among kids.

Halafoni launches as third MVNO – Oman

According to The Times of Oman, a new MVNO called Halafoni has launched its services in Oman. Halafoni, the third MVNO in the country, is a joint venture of radio stations Hala FM and Hi FM, and Connect Arabia, the company behind Friendi Mobile. Halafoni aims to target the youth segment with its prepaid SIM packages.

Commenting on the development, Eleanor Azar, Chief Marketing Officer of Connect Arabia, said: “Halafoni is a totally new concept in the Sultanate. Our pre-paid SIM card has all of the standard functions you would expect like SMS and international roaming but what makes us different is that our product is centred on the needs and aspirations of the young and trend-setting crowd.”

The Halafoni starter pack, dubbed as ‘Easy Kool’, will be available for OMR 3 (USD 7.81) and includes 50 free minutes and 50 free SMS for the first two months of subscription. The pack offers 50 free ‘download points’, which will allow users to download free ringtones and wallpapers.