Friday, 11 December 2009

DNA Seattle appointed as agency of record for Simple Mobile – USA

Simple Mobile has appointed DNA Seattle to head up its advertising and integrated brand strategy. The new MVNO launched services in November across the USA and in Puerto Rico. The service targets the SIM only market based upon marketing strategies of keeping everything straight forward (simple).

Chris Witherspoon, DNA’s Director of Client Service commented: "Simple Mobile is the perfect partner for DNA. Given our experience in successfully positioning challenger brands in highly competitive categories, most notably PEMCO in the insurance category and BECU (the nation's fourth largest credit union) in the banking category, we're confident we can do the same for Simple Mobile. Simple Mobile's promise to keep things simple means consumers will finally have wireless service the way they want it. We look forward to helping bring to life a brand, products, and services that will truly revolutionize the wireless market."

First “private GSM” MVNO launched in the UK – United Kingdom

Smarter Mobile has launched the first MVNO in the UK using a Private GSM (Concurrent Spectrum Access) host network with full delegated authority to deploy its own infrastructure.

The offering is being targeted at SMEs with the ability to overcome local coverage issues by use of micro cell technology. The service is also billed as being ideal for M2M applications where there is lack of coverage indoors and for remote environments.

As part of their product portfolio Smarter Mobile offers its “Smarter SURVEY”. This allows clients to compare signal strength and ultimately usefulness of an MNO offering compared to the Smarter Mobile offer.

Thursday, 10 December 2009

E-mail only handset via Fon goes live – Europe

Fon, a Spanish WiFi operator, has partnered with Spotnik to offer European wide MVNO access for its new PeekFon device. PeekFon is an e-mail only mobile device. It offers no voice, web browsing or texting services as to be expected on pretty much any mobile device. The company believes there is a viable market to be exploited of those roaming across Europe in need of sending e-mails - who also do not have a device to already achieve this.

The initial cost is EUR 99 which comes with six months of free roaming. Thereafter the service will cost EUR 12.90 a month. In addition to MVNO access users will benefit from WiFi access over the Fon network.

The big question is who will pay for an e-mail only device on Fon. The availability of free WiFi across European cities is a major hindrance to the offer. Although not truly free, customers of coffee shops, museums, trains and various other service sector businesses benefit from free WiFi during their visit. It would also be fair to assume that those regularly roaming and being in need of e-mail are likely to have a WiFi compatible handset. Alternatively, those on a budget are likely just to stick with a EUR 0.30 SMS back to home, as opposed to EUR 12.90 a month.

Tuesday, 8 December 2009

Inea to become an MVNO - Poland

Another Polish cable TV operator is soon to join the MVNO market. Poznan based Inea will launch MVNO services over Orange’s network via an agreement with PTK Centertel, according to local media rpkom.pl.

The move sees Inea join Aster and Cyfrowy Polsat as media companies which have ventured into mobile operations. As a whole the Polish mobile market is now very open in terms of competition. The market is made up of 4 MNO with additional brands masquerading as MVNOs and 12 real MVNOs as of the last edition of The MVNO Directory, with other launches since. Even Snickers and Avon have MVNOs in Poland.

My Dad’s lost his phone company – Netherlands

The incredibly packed Dutch MVNO market has seen another MVNO fail. ‘My Dad’s Phone Company’ is closing down all services. Pre-pay clients will have no service from 1st January 2010 and post-pay clients will no have service from 20th February 2010.

The service launched in 2007 over Vodafone’s network and is owned by Dexcom Holdings. The MVNO had been targeting the mass discount market. Clients are free to take their business elsewhere but host MNO Vodafone are expected to attempt to convert the MVNO’s subscribers into their own direct clients.