Friday, 27 July 2012

Elephant Talk appoints Director of Corporate Communications and Hires New PR and IR Agencies


Schiphol, the Netherlands – 27 July 2012 – Elephant Talk Communications Corp. (NYSE MKT: ETAK) (http://www.elephanttalk.com), an international provider of business software to the telecommunications and financial industries, has appointed Jan Goeijenbier as Director of Corporate Communications. Jan will also manage the group’s newly appointed public relations agencies – Fishburn Hedges in Europe and Intermarket Communications in the United States – as well as, together with VP of Investor Relations Steve Gersten, The Blueshirt Group, ETAK’s new investor relations agency.


The new appointments reflect Elephant Talk’s commitment to meet the highest standards in its sustainable communication with stakeholders.


Jan’s main responsibility will be to strengthen and further improve Elephant Talk’s branding and external relations, and he will be reporting to Steven van der Velden, CEO of Elephant Talk. Jan brings a wealth of experience, having worked as an interim manager and consultant at the executive board level for over 150 clients in industries including pensions and finance, energy, broadcasting, government, real estate, accountancy, agricultural, FMCG and higher education.


Fishburn Hedges, a leading PR agency based in London, will manage Elephant Talk’s European media relations. The agency already advises and implements the European communications strategy of ValidSoft, Elephant Talk’s subsidiary.


Intermarket is a top-tier PR agency based in New York, representing such internationally recognised brands as Nestle and Charles Schwab. It will be managing Elephant Talk’s media communications in the US as the company seeks to expand its presence in that market following its listing on the NYSE Amex last year. In addition to Elephant Talk’s US PR strategy, Intermarket will also take on ValidSoft’s US PR responsibility.


The Blueshirt Group provides capital markets expertise and strategic financial and media relations counsel to growth companies and venture capital firms globally. Founded in 1999, the firm has earned its reputation as a leader in investor relations, financial communications, financial media relations and crisis management.


Steven van der Velden, CEO of Elephant Talk, comments: “I’m delighted that Jan is on board to share his broad experience with our businesses. His responsibilities will include corporate branding & communications, public & investor relations, and public affairs. He joins us during an exciting time for the telecommunications and software industry as a whole.”


Jan Goeijenbier, Corporate Communications Head, Elephant Talk adds: “I am excited to be a part of the Elephant Talk team and to work alongside Fishburn Hedges, Intermarket and The Blueshirt Group in our continued efforts to communicate important business developments to our stakeholders. Elephant Talk is a truly innovative telecom and financial services software provider, and I look forward to showcasing our ability to evolve with technology, whether in global mobile telecoms, cloud-based services or fraud detection, in the form of ValidSoft’s products.”

Virgin Mobile moves into Eastern Europe


Virgin Mobile Central and Eastern Europe (VMCEE) is set to launch in Poland this summer, the first market for the newly formed holding company. VMCEE was founded in 2011 by a team of experienced telecom investors, together with former Virgin Mobile and Lebara executives. 


The MVNO market is set to grow rapidly in Central and Eastern Europe as the region's mobile markets mature and the regulatory systems evolve. The launch in Poland will provide Virgin with a strong platform in the Central and Eastern Europe region. Poland has an attractive and accessible telecommunications market which offers significant potential for MVNO growth. 


VMCEE will leverage the global knowledge and proven business formula of one of the world's most successful MVNOs, Virgin Mobile, and further benefits from having common founding shareholders with Virgin Mobile Latin America (VMLA) and Virgin Mobile Middle East and Africa (VMMEA).


Alan Gow, Chairman VMCEE and previously Co-Founder, CFO and Managing Director of Virgin Mobile UK, added: "The Virgin Mobile brand is one of the most successful and revered MVNO brands globally, and the Virgin Group has an excellent track record of operating successful MVNO businesses in other parts of the world, so I am excited about working closely with Virgin Group on the launch of Virgin Mobile in the Central and Eastern Europe region."


Source PR Newswire

Thursday, 26 July 2012

Solavei Mobile launches 4G offer to USA


Solavei Mobile has launched a new 4G offer across T-Mobile network to the US market place. Subscribers are offered a USD 49 per month contract with unlimited voice, text and data. The operator also seeks to push word of mouth marketing and engage its own subscribers to win it further business via Solavei integrated social networking platform. 


"We are going to make a difference in people's lives by shifting billions of dollars from traditional mass-media advertising into the greatest advertising vehicle today – people," said Ryan Wuerch, founder and CEO of Solavei. "Solavei is the first company to create an economic linkage between mobile service, social commerce and social-networking technology. We give people the opportunity to earn income by using and promoting the services they are already consuming each and every day."


"Solavei is introducing a first-of-its-kind approach to wireless, and we're pleased to have them as a strategic MVNO partner," said Doug Chartier, senior vice president of T-Mobile. "T-Mobile's network is a strong part of the Solavei offering, giving its members the benefit of a fast, dependable mobile data network with nationwide 4G coverage."

Wednesday, 25 July 2012

Elephant Talk activates first 4000 SIM Cards in Germany


Bonn, Germany – July 24, 2012 – Elephant Talk Communications Corp. (NYSE MKT: ETAK) (www.elephanttalk.com), an international provider of software and services to the telecommunications and financial services industries, today announced that it has successfully completed the activation of approximately 4,000 SIM-Cards associated with a recently signed contract with one of Germany’s largest unions. This initial activation represents the first batch of SIMs to be activated. The Company expects to activate a total of 55,000 SIMs by year’s end.  


Based on the planned rollout and the current 1 EUR to 1.21 USD exchange rate, Elephant Talk expects to generate approximately $8 million in total revenue for 2012.  Approximately half of this revenue will be recognized on the Company’s income statement, with approximately 50% recorded as deferred revenue on its balance sheet to be recognized over the 24 month life of each activated SIM.


“We’re very excited and proud to service one of the largest closed user groups in Germany with our world-class solutions,” stated Steven van der Velden, Chief Executive Officer of Elephant Talk Communications. “This is a positive sign of things to come as we enter the German market, and we look forward to working with this customer to complete the rollout while also pursuing additional, similar opportunities in the region.”


“Our implementation team clearly showed their strong capabilities by completing this project in such a short period of time,” said Martin Zuurbier, Chief Technology Officer of Elephant Talk Communications. “This project shows the operational excellence of Elephant Talk to quickly adapt to any type of Virtual Mobile business case.”

£500m revenue and a profit, Lebara shows MVNO success

Lebara Mobile has shown the mobile sector that even in a recession and no matter how many analysts try to talk down MVNOs, there is profit to be made and success to be had. London Loves Business have taken a good look at the Lebara operation and recognised the flare involved in making an idea into a profitable MVNO. 


For me, what stands out most about the article is Ratheesan Yoganathan, CEO of Lebara, stating: “I think there is room for much more than the €648m we generated as revenue last year. I want to see the company achieving its goal of being the choice of brand of one billion customers by 2020, I don’t want to call it quits before that.”

Tuesday, 24 July 2012

Virgin Media UK Q2 2011 results


Mobile revenue up 2.9% to £136m in Q2, with contract mobile revenue up 15% to £102m
− Contract mobile customers increased 53,900 to 1.6m
− Quad-play penetration continues to grow; now at 15.4%
- Mobile revenue was £136.4m, up 2.9% due to growth in contract service revenue, partially offset by the regulated change in MTRs and the decline in prepay service revenue.


Neil Berkett, Chief Executive Officer of Virgin Media, said: "This has been a quarter of improved revenue and OCF growth. We are well placed to benefit from the fast-growing demand for superfast broadband and TiVo positions us well to lead the evolving TV market. Customer ARPU and churn have improved and, together with our growing Business division and great value mobile offerings, we have maintained steady financial progress across the company which is translating into strong free cash flow as well as continued shareholder returns."


As reported: "Continued improvement in the proportion of mobile customers with contracts resulted in 2.9% total mobile revenue growth to £136.4m. The strong contract revenue growth was partially offset by the headwinds of declining prepay revenue and regulatory changes to mobile termination rates (“MTR”). Contract service revenue increased 15% to £101.7m, while prepay service revenue declined by 20% to £32.8m. MTR changes reduced the amount of inbound mobile revenue we received by approximately £6m in the quarter. Excluding this regulatory factor, we estimate that mobile revenue would have increased by approximately 7%, when compared to the same quarter last year. Due to a similar associated reduction in interconnect costs for our mobile and fixed line businesses from these regulatory rates changes, the impact on group OCF was broadly neutral."

Monday, 23 July 2012

Lycamobile looks to Canada

The UK based and Europe focused Lycamobile is looking across the Atlantic to Canada as one of its potential new markets as it strives for 25 MVNOs, from its current 16, as reported in the Globe

The Canadian market has already opened up to both MVNOs and an influx of new MNOs. At this stage Lycamobile still needs to find a host MNO to gain access to the market, but this should not be an issue with 3 national operators to work with. 

Lycamobile will likely target those in Canada who are outside of the English or French speaking communities.