Saturday, 25 July 2009

FRiENDi mobile tours labour camps – Oman

Squarely aimed at attracting business from the immigrant worker communities resident in Oman, FRiENDi mobile has been touring labour camps promoting its new offering. Within Oman many workers recruited into the construction industry have come from abroad, especially from India. Following the recent agreement with IDEA Cellular (Indian MNO), FRiENDi subscribers can receive cost savings to place their international calls.

Antti Arponen, Chief Executive Officer of FRiENDi mobile said: “The majority of Oman will now have heard of FRiENDi mobile. However, due to lack of access to the media and Internet, we realise that labourers, who make up a massive portion of Oman's expatriate community, may not really be aware of what we do or, more importantly, what we can offer them. By visiting the labour camps our roadshows go straight to the heart of this often overlooked audience.”

As part of the tour the operator is giving away welcome packs containing 100 free minutes, an additional 100 minutes of texts and free SIMs plus a welcome gift.

Friday, 24 July 2009

Lycamobile reaches 1,000,000 subscribers after 10 months – United Kingdom

Lycamobile announced that it exceeded 1 million active subscribers in 10 months. Following its UK launch in September last year, the London based company is now well on track to exceed its first year target of 1.2 million UK subscribers.

Lycamobile’s Chief Executive Officer, Milind Kangle, says: “Through continued focus on providing customers with an unbeatable product proposition we have continuously built up subscriber numbers in specific consumer segements. We are committed to making substantial investments in people, process and technology to broaden the range of services to Lycamobile’s global ethnic customer base of over 4 milion subscribers.”

Lycamobile targets the UK ethnic mobile market competing with Lebara Mobile as well as the market as a whole. The two operators focus on the pre-pay market with a focus on large urban areas where immigrants settle within the UK.

Wednesday, 22 July 2009

Zer01 gets a scathing review all round – USA

Having only recently launched their unlimited data MVNO / MVNE / VoIP service at USD 79.95 a month the wireless industry seems to have turned on Zer01. Market sentiment is that the offer is too good to be true with a techdirt article even analysing whether the new operator is actually a pyramid scheme (namely people sell the concept to people below them and they then sell it on too, with no actual value in the project the pyramid eventually crumbles and those last in lose most).

The negative revelations started when Computerworld’s Nancy Gohring posted a lengthy article about Zer01 and similar operations dated 20th July. In it she worked through the set up of the organisations and revealed many unsettling practices including non-contactable offices and fraud cases against at least one senior executive involved in the distribution setup which has amassed 50,000 paying agents for Zer01, that is 50,000 people who have paid (not been paid) to sell the product.

These are still very early days for the operator and it may prove itself to be the revolution in wireless telecoms it claims to be. But this massively bumpy start could easily be enough to see it go the same way that data focused MVNO Helio did, not that Helio was ever accused of illegal practices.

Monday, 20 July 2009

Lycamobile launches with Vodafone – The Netherlands

Lycamobile, after announcing a partnership with Vodafone back in April, has launched its new pre-pay offering. The MVNO already operates with T-Mobile but is switching focus towards Vodafone. The operator will wind down its T-Mobile venture and begin porting subscribers across to its Vodafone MVNO.

Commenting back in April, Lycamobile’s Chief Executive Officer, Milind Kangle said: “We are delighted to have signed this partnership deal with Vodafone Netherlands, and chose them for their dedicated partnership approach to the MVNO market and their superior network coverage and quality. Thanks to the full MVNO technical architecture Lycamobile has developed, we are able to provide an enhanced low-cost, high-quality mobile service to our Dutch customers. It’s all about adding value and supplying a premium product without any compromises.”

Also commenting from Vodafone Netherlands, General Manager Wholesale, Gary Bhomer stated: “This is a big win for Vodafone. Lycamobile has an extremely strong user base in the Netherlands and we look forward to working with Lycamobile to migrate that base, and to build further on their success to date.”