Friday, 27 November 2009

Orbitel looks beyond Spain – Europe

After launching service in Spain back in September, Orbitel is looking to expand operations across Europe. The operator is targeting the international calls market and states that they are actively researching how they can take best take advantage of traffic from African immigrants who have settled in Europe.

Iñaki López Pelegrín, Orbitel's Wholesale Head of Sales in Europe commented to Total Telecom: "In the first phase we are focused on traffic we can see moving from Europe back to northern countries in Africa; so Morocco, Senegal, Tunisia, Algeria and Nigeria. We want to collect as much traffic as we can, and also terminate as much traffic as well. We want to find and follow the exodus of the people [into Europe] and logically North Africa is very close."

Orbitel is the managing company of Columbia’s incumbent network. Spain was selected as the testing ground due to it being the first choice of Columbians emigrating to Europe. Now in Europe, Orbitel wants to seize upon related traffic from other territories.

Thursday, 26 November 2009

T-Mobile and 3 not in the iPhone club, but Tesco allowed in – United Kingdom

The iPhone is perhaps the biggest current headliner grabber within the consumer mobile handset market. However, it still only picks up a tiny percentage of the global handset market; comparatively 5% of what Nokia managed during Q209. However, this is based upon one type of handset which has moved from an Apple ‘cult’ following to what is becoming a must have gadget for both youth and tech savvy non-youth markets.

Within the UK, 3 out of 5 MNOs currently have iPhone agreements and now Tesco Mobile, an MVNO of O2, has joined their ranks. This is potentially embarrassing for both ‘3 UK’ and T-Mobile UK as Tesco Mobile is in comparison to them, simply an MVNO. It is also worrying for Orange and Vodafone as Tesco plans to beat them to market, being in time for Christmas.

The question is why Tesco and not the 2 remaining MNOs and why in competition to Orange and Vodafone. Potentially this is a really clever move by Apple or a trashing of their recommended retail price. Within the product life cycle the early adopters and similar have already purchased their iPhones, as too have those waiting for a post-launch deal or for the early adopters to act as their guinea-pigs. This means that iPhone sales need a pick me up and the agreement with Tesco allows for a massive marketing blast onto the UK high-street, or more precisely, into the biggest retailer’s nationwide footprint.

Tesco has not clarified their selling angle for the iPhone but the hints are that the unit price will be kept as is but the tariff for using the handset will be more akin to a Tesco theme. Meaning that their will be no price war attrition against Apple, but their will be a hotting up of associated competition between operators selling their packages around the iPhone. This also contributes to answering the question of why Tesco. Tesco Mobile is an MVNO joint venture of O2 and Tesco Plc. O2 until now has had a monopoly over iPhone sales but Orange and Vodafone are soon to hit this cosy arrangement. It is possible to argue that those who want an O2 iPhone have already got one and that O2 has run out of time to catch the stragglers and the harder to convert market. Bringing in Tesco Mobile with the MVNO theme allows for the iPhone churn from other networks to continue, which benefits O2 as Tesco is their MVNO.

Wednesday, 25 November 2009

Rumours of a Hever MVNO – Israel

Israeli local new news agency, Haaretz, has reported that Hever are considering their own MVNO. Hever is reported to be a consumer group of 100,000 career soldiers and the reports state that the organisation has already approached the communications ministry to discuss the idea. The concept itself would pass the recent change to MVNO terms by the ministry which last week saw sister companies to MNOs barred from launching MVNO services.

giffgaff launches, still a brand (not an MVNO) – United Kingdom

New mobile offering giffgaff, which is owned by o2 and operated by o2 but cited repeatedly as an MVNO, has launched services. SIM cards are available for free and voice calls are charged at GBP 0.08 per minute with SMS charged at 0.04 per message. Same network (giffgaff only) minutes are free and the data plan is currently uncharged.

The new brand’s value-add promotion is a rewards system where subscribers earn credits for performing tasks for the company. So far the list of tasks stops at customer service to other subscribers.

XOX aiming for 1 million subscribers – Malaysia

Recent MVNO start up, XOX Communications, is targeting 1 millions subscribers by the end of 2010.

After launching XinXun mobile prepaid in Kuala Lumpur today, Ng Kok Heng, President of XOX commented: "With our innovative packaging and marketing, XOX Com is confident of reaching this goal by the end of next year.”

XOX is Malaysia’s first MVNO and is entering the market aggressively. The company is seeking to increase its dealer network from 7,500 to 10,000 dealers and is pushing out a price conscious offering to the market.

Virgin Mobile buy out signed off – USA

Sprint has completed its acquisition of Virgin Mobile USA. This now brings in house the Virgin brand, which itself consumed Helio. Also within Sprint’s MVNO previous take over list is Boost Mobile USA, which was part of a global series of Boost operations.

Tuesday, 24 November 2009

Telenet signs up for Acision’s messaging platform – Belgium

Acision has announced that Telenet is upgrading its legacy voicemail platform to Acision’s next generation messaging architecture. This platform will allow Telenet to reduce the total cost of ownership of its voicemail solution, as well as deliver converged messaging and voicemail applications for Telenet´s full MVNO mobile platform.

Peter Michiels, Senior Vice President of Network and Service Engineering for Telenet commented: “For years, Acision’s voicemail has serviced the needs of our fixed-line telephony customers. Now, Acision’s next generation platform will enable us to provide additional benefits to our ever growing mobile subscriber base. The advanced voice messaging functionality will enable our customers to communicate in new ways and increase our service stickiness.”

Tony Morrish, Senior Vice President and General Manager for Europe and Russia for Acision said: “The deployment of Acision Voice Messaging Platform at Telenet is not only [an] endorsement of the strength of our voicemail offering but also marks the continuation of an already solid relationship between the two companies. The flexibility of our platform means it can be scaled to meet the needs of service providers of all sizes and can be expanded to meet subscriber growth at minimal cost.”

Telenet is Belgium’s largest provider of broadband cable services. It focuses on providing cable television, high-speed Internet and telephony services, mainly to private customers in Flanders and Brussels.

New MVNE study released – Global

MVNEs form the backbone of an MVNO's business of wireless Network Services providing help in broad areas of product development and marketing. These outsourced services include: Data Services, Content Management, Customer Relationship Management, Profile Management, Service Provisioning, Work Fulfillment, Billing, Invoice and Settlement, Revenue and Service Continuity Assurance etc.

This report evaluates the working aspects of MVNE's and their operations primarily focusing on the market opportunities (outsourced from MVNOs). The report contains a categorization analysis by MVNE service and by the extent to which various OSS items are outsourced. The report also includes a comparison matrix that acts as a reference and recommendation to help choose MVNEs by service type and specialty.

Tesco Mobile gets UK’s Head of Marketing as new MD – Ireland

Tesco Mobile UK’s Head of Marketing, Noel Burrows, has moved from the operator he was instrumental in launching across the Irish Sea to head up the Irish equivalent.

Noel Burrow, the new Managing Director of Tesco Mobile Ireland, commented: “This is a fantastic opportunity and I am looking forward to the challenge of making Tesco Mobile Ireland as successful and appealing a brand as in the UK.”

Both ventures are joint ventures between Tesco Plc and the country specific o2 operations.

Monday, 23 November 2009

Lycamobile has another bumpy week – The Netherlands

Lycamobile’s Dutch operation is still suffering from the move away from T-Mobile to Vodafone. Users of the service this week experienced network outages which Vodafone have been actively trying to address. The MNO has offered public support to Lycamobile reaffirming that this was a technical issue which has been addressed rather than a 2nd front in the MVNOs battle with T-Mobile.

In a further development to the legal dispute with T-Mobile, the MNO has successfully submitted a claim in the Hague (court) against Lycamobile for EUR 38.5 million. This represents an amount plus legal costs which T-Mobile states the MVNO owes it for unpaid same network minutes.