Thursday, 15 October 2009

Tesco Mobile ramping up high street presence – United Kingdom

In effort to compete head on with Carphone Warehouse, Tesco Mobile plans to expand its 50 high street mobile stores into 100 by April 2010. The two companies both run their own MVNOs and actively sell third party offers. The Carphone Warehouse has a major UK high street presence selling pre and post paid mobile offering and also runs TalkTalk, a triple play offering. Tesco on the other hand does that too but also has a massive consumer supermarket presence with interested in food and beverages, clothing, electronics, finances, catalogue and Internet businesses and specifically to this story, telecoms.

Gamma starts dealer campaign – United Kingdom

Gamma is targeting 100 new dealers to sign up to its BrandBuilder white label offering. BrandBuilder enables dealers to basically design their own white label MVNO offering. By this the dealers are able to select their own tariffs and add-ons at the same time as passing the service off as their own.

Rob Davies, Senior Product Manager for Gamma commented: “We don’t believe in just sitting in our corporate headquarters expecting the channel be dictated to. We want to go on the road with our network partners at 3 so that we can listen to the channel and highlight the many opportunities that exist that can help them build their brand and value of their businesses.”

XOX passes 100,000 subscribers – Malaysia

The Malaysian National News Agency has reported that XOX, which only launched February this year, has passed the 100,000 subscriber mark. XOX launched services in February as a pre-pay offering on Celcom’s network and intended to add post-pay services in May.

XOX’s President, Ng Kok Heng said: “This very much shows that we are on the right track with providing our target market what they want and need and it is definitely a very good beginning for us.”

The company now moves on to its target of 200,000 subscribers by the close of the year.

Nashua Mobile launches EasiSolutions – South Africa

Nashua Mobile has established a new division (EasiSolutions) as part of its drive to improve customer service. Through partnerships with providers such as Vodacom Business, MTN Network Solutions, Neotel and Internet Solutions, EasiSolutions will provide a range of services to Nashua Mobile customers. As part of this offering, service agents will be able to offer applicable services suited to the individual needs of each business.

Doug Mattheus, Marketing Director at Nashua Mobile, commented: “The reasons for Nashua Mobile’s success are our relentless focus on customer service, the fact that we offer customers a wide range of solutions customised to their needs, and our ability to adapt to rapid changes in the fast-paced telecommunications industry.”

Wednesday, 14 October 2009

Lebara becomes exclusive partner of WHSmith – United Kingdom

Lebara Mobile has secured an exclusive partnership with WHSmith. Lebara Mobile’s SIM cards are the only International Pay-As-You-Go SIM cards being sold by WHSmith for the next 12 months in its 554 ‘high street’ outlets and 312 ‘travel’ stores across England, Scotland and Wales.

Russell Atkinson, Managing Director for Lebara Mobile UK, commented: “WHSmith has been a household name since 1828 with 70% of the UK’s population visiting its stores each year. The wealth of its store locations, particularly the travel stores in airports, ports and railway stations, makes this a really exciting development for us and, most importantly, for our customers who regularly need to make low-cost international calls on the move. We are delighted to be working with WHSmith and are confident that our partnership will prove long and mutually beneficial.”

Spreefone may have closed – Germany is reporting that Spreefone, a discount service provider has stopped accepting new business. The company’s website is redirecting orders so that they can not be completed and telesales agents are not taking orders. In simple terms, this would indicate that Spreefone has ceased.

Crazy John’s CEO steps down – Australia

Although no longer an MVNO and now a part of Vodafone, it is to be noted that the Chief Executive Officer in charge at Crazy John’s has chosen to retire.

In an e-mail to staff, Brendan Fleiter said: “After being part of the team at Crazy John's for 13 years, the time has come for me to 'pass the baton', so on the 30th October I will retire as chief executive of Crazy John's."

SkyBitz taps into KORE Telematics – USA

SkyBitz is expanding its solution suite to include cellular based GPS tracking options. Leveraging the network of KORE Telematics the new suite of SkyBitz solutions will include both GSM and CDMA capable devices. The agreement with KORE now enables SkyBitz to provide a single source for M2M solutions.

Homaira Akbari, Chief Executive Office of SkyBitz commented: "With this new offering, SkyBitz offers a broader range of solutions to address customers’ immediate needs and to empower them to improve and grow their businesses. The convergence of these technologies also unlocks even more opportunities for innovation as remote asset management continues to expand into new applications and markets."

According to The MVNO Directory, KORE Telematics access the networks of both AT&T and Verizon in the USA and Rogers in Canada.

Straight Talk from Wal-Mart – USA

Wal-Mart is planning to fully launch its own MVNO offering. The retailer looks set to launch a pre-pay offering which will sell out of its 3,200 nationwide store network. Within the USA Wal-Mart is a major retailer and house hold name. The service was piloted in over 200 stores to test its viability; having passed this test the full commercial roll out is beginning just in time for the holiday season.

Greg Hall, Vice President of Media Services for Wal-Mart USA, was quoted saying "It has been very encouraging to see the excitement and response to the Straight Talk pilot in 234 stores that began last summer at Wal-Mart. In light of the savings customers continue to need, we have worked very quickly to extend this offering to all of our Wal-Mart customers nationwide, and just before the holidays."

The service is being operated in cooperation with TracFone, which is América Móvil’s incredibly successful operation in the USA.

Monday, 12 October 2009

Lycamobile signs Sainsbury’s and a new head of legal – United Kingdom

According to mobile news, Lycamobile has completed its distribution deal with Sainsbury’s. The deal will mean that Sainsbury’s will begin to stock Lycamobile SIM cards in its stores. To assist with the launch Lycamobile are hosting promotion stands in 10 car parks of selected stores.

Rob Beswick, Head of Marketing for Lycamobile is quoted saying: "We are delighted to work with Sainsbury's and with their network of more than 150 retailers, consumers will have even greater access to convenient places where they can purchase a SIM card and top-up their credit."

Also reported this week was the recruitment of Stephen Lodge as Head of Legal for Lycamobile. Hodge comes from Virgin Mobile where he was also Head of Legal.

BILDMobil launched m-Internet tariff – Germany

German discount MVNO BILDMobil has launched a new tariff to provide a mobile Internet service. The USB access device costs EUR 49.95 as a one off start up cost and access is provided via Vodafone’s UMTS network. Access to the service costs EUR 0.59 for 30 minutes, EUR 0.99 for 1 hour of access and EUR 6.99 for 7 days access (days run consecutive). Each period is limited to just 1 GB of data allowance.

Orange signs Transatel – United Kingdom

European MVNA, Transatel Solutions, has been signed up by Orange UK to win new MVNO businesses to the network. The deal will allow Transatel to become the facilitator between Orange and MVNO start ups without the two parties having to enter into direct agreements. The new offering will allow starts ups to launch within 6 weeks of signing terms with Transatel.

Marc Overton, Orange UK’s Vice President of New Business, Wholesale and Strategy commented: "Our overarching ambition at Orange is to become the network partner of choice for new and existing MVNOs. By partnering with Transatel, we hope to achieve this aim by broadening the availability, ease and speed with which companies and brands of all sizes and from all sectors can become an MNVO partner of ours and enter the exciting mobile arena."

Jacques Bonifay, Transatel’s Chief Executive Officer commented: "We've already launched our MVNA business model in France and Belgium, and we are delighted to be partnering with Orange to expand our offering in the UK. We believe we are the right partner for companies that want to launch their own mobile offering under their own brand in a cost-effective way."

Sunday, 11 October 2009

FRiENDi Mobile sponsors Oman Explorer – Oman

Local guide, the Oman Explorer, which is a publication aimed at new residents to Oman is to be sponsored by FRiENDi Mobile.

Alistair MacKenzie, Publisher of Explorer Publishing commented: “We are pleased to be associated with FRiENDi Mobile for our 4th Edition of the Oman Explorer. Oman is an excellent choice for expats and tourists alike, and it made sense to work closely with a popular telecom provider, that ensures expatriates are well connected.”

Antti Arponen, Chief Executive Officer of FRiENDi Oman commented: “Anyone coming to Oman will require 3 things: an Oman guide, an Oman map and a FRiENDi mobile starter pack. We are delighted to be working in partnership with Explorer publishing to bring the people in Oman what they need.”