Archive for the ‘MVNO’ tag
The ethnic MVNO looks into 4G as many of the MVNO’s customers select 4G services
In an interview with Mobile, Lycamobile’s CEO Chris Tooley stated that his company is disproving the belief that MVNOs can’t get access to 4G as Lyca’s customers showed that even MVNO consumers are eager to try out 4G services. This ethnic MVNO mostly known for providing PAYG SIM cards with very good international rates has entered the 4G market. The operator has been offering new bundled offers as well as state of the art 4G services and believes that 2015 is all about data and multiplay services.
Chris Tooley underlined that the company has seen an increase in the amount of data services sold while their text and call time revenues remained the same. Their strategy is to make customers use Lycamobile contracts or PAYG SIM cards as their primary or only mobile services. Currently, it is often the case that consumers use Lyca just for international calls and they change the SIM cards or phones for domestic usage. Lyca’s CEO explained that “by offering services such as 4G we’re more likely to encourage customers to use Lycamobile as their sole provider”.
The buzzword of this year in telecommunications services is quadplay. Many operators strive to offer their customers all modern telecoms services in one package: landline, mobile, Internet and TV services. Lycamobile has no infrastructure to provide all of these services but its CEO does not exclude a possibility that one day Lyca will be a player on the quadplay market. Nevertheless, this MVNO has a history of offering non-mobile services like their Lycamoney or Lycafly. Definitely, if the company ventures into different markets we might see services that will be catered for some ethnic minorities or immigrant workers rather than for example, a direct competition for BT or Sky in terms of TV.
We would like to see how a development of a classic ethnic MVNO into a diversified service provider will affect the company and their customers.
Asda, Vectone and Lebara offer free bundles for new PAYG SIM card customers and those who move their number to MVNOs networks.
British mobile market is dominated by four main operators which take the majority of market share. They have been fighting for customers for years but the most interesting battle may be seen between the smallest parties on this market. MVNOs, as this is where the rivalry is fiercest, are usually created to cater for the needs of particular, limited groups. These virtual operators mostly provide their customers with PAYG SIM cards thus giving them freedom but also no ties to one operator. It makes it very easy for a customer to switch from one operator to another. In order to attract people and make them use their services, MVNOs offer competitive rates and attractive sign-up bonuses. It is an ideal situation for consumers as they benefit from the struggle between operators and thanks to using PAYG SIM cards, number transfer is not so problematic and can be done at any time. This article looks at three such operators and their offers for new customers.
First, we will look at Vectone which is an operator that uses EE’s mobile coverage and offers both PAYG SIM cards and contracts. They advertise that consumers that transfer their number to Vectone get £15 for free. And it is partially true. People who move their number to Vectone get a bonus when they top-up for the first time. It varies depending on the top-up amount and in the best case scenario you may get £15, but only when you top up 30 quids. In other cases, the joining bonus is between £2 and £10, depending on the top-up value. Obviously, this is a deal just for PAYG SIM card users.
Another transfer bonus is offered by Lebara. This international MVNO offers only pay as you go SIM cards and it is customised to meet the needs of migrant workers. The operator piggybacks on Vodafone so if you are curious about the mobile coverage you need to go to our mobile coverage checker. The bonus promised by Lebara is simple: £4 of free credit for anyone who decides to switch from any other operator. It does not sound as nice as £15 at Vectone, but it does not require to top-up huge amounts to benefit from it.
Finally, the third offer is from Asda Mobile, an MVNO set up by the famous supermarket brand back in 2007. This operator provides EE’s mobile coverage and deals only in PAYG SIM cards. In contrast to the previous ones, Asda’s sign-up bonus is not aimed at customers switching their numbers but it is for every new-comer. The deal itself beats those above as every new ASDA PAYG SIM card may come with a free bundle worth £20! It includes 2 GB of data, 1500 minutes and 2000 texts valid for 30 days, so basically almost an all-you-can-eat deal for a month. The only requirement is to log in and register at Asda to get the free bundle. The offer is limited to first 80,000 customers and it is valid until the 2nd of February 2015.
As you can see MVNOs fight hard for PAYG SIM card users and if you want to keep track of the latest deals available in the UK visit our webpage and stay up to date.
A Latvia-based company, Roamer, launched a worldwide PAYG SIM card shop for people who travel abroad.
Have you ever had problems to get a new local PAYG SIM card when travelling abroad? How to avoid all these alien instructions in crazy languages and country-based settings which are unique for every operator? These questions bothered the creators of Roamer, an app for saving on roaming. Basically, this application let’s people make and receive calls using their own regular number without any additional roaming costs. Moreover, if your friends also have Roamer then the call is completely for free. The problem is that it needs Wi-Fi connections to work. And unfortunately the Internet is not so widespread yet.
In order to go around the problem, Roamer introduced a new feature that allowed the customers to link any local SIM card with their regular number and call via Roamer just as they would do with their local number without access to the Internet. More importantly, if someone calls your everyday number you can pick it up using Roamer so there is no communication disruption. Roamer wanted also to help their customers get local pay as you go SIM cards so the company launched a new service: a worldwide PAYG SIM card shop. Now you can order local pay as you go SIM cards from more than 40 countries all around the world. The offer is still quite limited and the price for a prepaid SIM varies from 10 to 30 euros. For example, if you want to get a PAYG SIM card working in the UK, Roamer offers a Spanish Orange PAYG SIM card Go Europe, which works all over the EU. Not the best deal on the British PAYG market though. Nevertheless, Roamer promises the delivery in 15 days to any place in the world and you are not limited to their shop. They say that their shop functions only to help Roamer customers not to earn money and the prices reflect the shipment and packaging costs.
Roamer is definitely an app to watch as it soon may become as popular as WhatsApp, especially among frequent travellers. We support any European start-ups that help lower the mobile phone bill and increase competitiveness on the EU market.
Recent survey showed that pay as you go customers are more satisfied with their deals than contract customers.
Recently Top Cashback has revealed the results of research that investigated how happy with their tariffs mobile phone customers are. The figures are staggering as 90% of PAYG SIM card users said than they are happy with their payment plans. On the other hand, contract customers were not so content with their tariff as only a bit over 60% said that they are pleased with it. Additionally, over 50% of contract customers switched operators to find a cheaper deal. At the same time 75% of people with PAYG SIM cards believed that their operators offer them the lowest rates on the market, even though less than 60% admits that they were actually comparing tariffs and looking for the best deal.
Such findings may lead to a conclusion that people are not too happy about being tied to a mobile operator for a year or two. They also quite rightly reckon that PAYG SIM cards have the best tariffs available on the market. Unfortunately, it turns out that the majority of Brits don’t thoroughly look into what all operators can offer. We always encourage people to go through current offers and tariffs that both main operators and MVNO provide. You could browse through the information on PAYG SIM card tariffs that is available here at SIM.fm and click on the SIM card links to get to websites of respective operator in order to have an in-depth analysis of their rates and deals. That will take you just couple of minutes but it may save loads of money in the long run.
Remember also that while tariffs and deals are very important you should also check the mobile coverage in your area. It is something that you should not forget if you are living in a rural area or you want to enjoy 4G speeds. For your convenience we have our own mobile coverage webpage where you can easily see which infrastructure MVNOs use and directly go to interactive mobile coverage maps of all British operators.
Vectone Mobile breaks the 1p per minute international call rate and cuts it by half.
MVNOs have been competing to offer the best rates for PAYG SIM cards. Some virtual operators fight on national rates, but majority of them want to provide the cheapest international call rates. For long time operators were luring customers by offering rock-bottom rates of 1p per minute for international calls. Not all of them have such prices but all strive to get there and customers got used to having very low international pay as you go rates.
However, Vectone Mobile went one step further and decided to break the 1p per minute line. Currently if you use Vectone PAYG SIM card you can take advantage of call rates of 1/2p. Yes, that’s half a penny for one minute of international airtime. Such a low rate is available for calls to 7 countries: Bulgaria, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Malaysia, Poland and Romania. But it is valid for landline calls only. The half a penny rate is part of Low Cost International Calls offer in which Vectone offers their PAYG SIM card users call rates of 1/2p or 1p per minute. The higher-but-still-low rate of 1p per minute applies to 40 countries all over the world and is valid mostly for landline numbers but also includes mobile numbers. All of this comes without any hidden catches or fine print, you just need to be Vectone PAYG customers.
Vectone Mobile’s new international deal is definitely a game change for PAYG SIM card market in the UK. Most likely it will mean that the competition will have to adapt by offering rates better than, or at least as good as, this offer. Although, I do not know how lower can you get. It seems crazy to think that in the future we will have international call rate for PAYG SIM card of less than 1/2p per minute.
Lycamobile is giving back to the society by offering £1 from each top-up to selected charity.
The global MVNO, Lycamobile, informed its customers that they can now help a charity of their choosing each time they top-up their pay as you go SIM cards via the Lycagiving programme. The deal that the virtual operator offers is that every time a customer top-ups for 10 pounds or more 1 pound is transferred to a charity organization. The cost of this is on Lycamobile’s side so customers will still receive the amount they topped their PAYG SIM cards for. Right now, Lycamobile customers may choose one of the following organizations: Action Aid, British Heart Foundation, Cancer Research UK, Macmillan, NSPCC, Oxfam, RSPCA, Save the Children, UNICEF and Water Aid. To select one, they need to log in to their Lycamobile account on the operator’s website.
This is not the first time that Lycamobile Group is helping the society, as it has a long list of initiatives it supported around the world (mostly in the home countries of their customers). Group Chairman Subaskaran Allirajah said: ‘The larger your business becomes the greater responsibility you have to give back. This is an ethos which has been prevalent throughout the business for many years: a desire to make a difference. Lycagiving is a fantastic mechanism to show our support for some of the leading charities in the UK that deliver ground-breaking change, both in the UK and across the globe.’
Tesco Mobile has become the first MVNO to provide their customers with free 4G services without any extra costs.
British supermarket chain has decided to follow Three UK and offer 4G services to their customers completely for free. This made Tesco the first MVNO with 4G services with no premium. Previously this mobile operator charged its customer an additional £2.50 for using 4G. Unfortunately, free 4G is not accessible to all customers. The deal is only available to SIM-only contract holders.
It means that while the deal itself is a great value, it requires the customer to have a 4G-ready smartphone or some additional quids to spend on such a device. An additional issue with free 4G is that the data allowance in SIM-only tariffs at Tesco is not large enough, so if you choose those tariffs better watch your limits or get some data bundles, especially if you choose the entry-level tariff for £7.50. Tesco Mobile runs on O2 so 4G mobile coverage is limited for the time being.
Nevertheless, Tesco’s decision to let some customers use 4G services is a step forward and a very competitive move. We hope that Tesco will soon extend its offer to pay as you go SIM cards. Even if that does not happen, there will be more MVNOs entering 4G market with free 4G services and main operators will have to upgrade their offer to stay competitive.
The charity MVNO launch across the Pond will be endorsed by Jimmy Wales, the founder of Wikipedia.
Normally, we do not write about small new MVNOs because a lot of such mobile providers come and go quite fast. This article will be an exception to the rule as The People’s Operator (TPO) is a unique British company with corporate social responsibility deeply rooted in its basic premises.
The idea behind TPO is to create a socially conscious mobile operator. This MVNO allows customers to direct 10% of their bills or top-ups to a charity of their choice. In addition, they established a foundation to which the company promised to transfer 25% of their income annually. Currently, TPO is planning to move to a next level as they plan to launch their MVNO in the USA and in other European countries. In order to achieve that, they convinced Jimmy Wales, the father of Wikipedia, to join their company as a strategic partner and co-chair. Mr Wales is known for his charity work and strong belief in community support. When asked about TPO and its future, he replied “TPO has huge potential for viral growth and the more it grows, the more money will pass to the people and communities that need it. Only a small percentage in global take up will make a massive difference to people’s lives”.
The People’s Operator has been functioning since November 2012. It offers both monthly contracts and pay as you go SIM cards. As they don’t have their own network, the company piggybacks on EE’s network. This gives the MVNO a 99% mobile coverage in the UK.
Virgin Media’s quarterly report for 2013 informs about a 3.6 per cent rise in its revenue surpassing £1 billion and pre-tax profits of £161.6 million which is more than 20 times the profit in the first quarter of 2012. At the same time, Virgin Media has lost 11,000 mobile customers as its MVNO was hit from the move away from prepay.
Virgin Media’s quarterly report for 2013 informs about a 3.6 per cent rise in its revenue surpassing £1 billion and pre-tax profits of £161.6 million which gained 35,100 mobile customers but had 75,800 net disconnects in prepay. This time a year ago it had 3.01m of customers while now it has 2.97m. Also its prepay service revenue fell 10% to £32.7m whereas contract service revenue was up 0.6% to £99.3m.
Virgin Media CEO, Neil Berkett, comments that the beginning of this year was good for Virgin Media because it “accelerated revenue growth, improved churn, and strong free cash flow growth.” He also adds that its existing customers stay loyal to them but Virgin Media also gained many new customers due to the great value they offer. The statistics are positive and position Virgin Media well for its merger with Liberty Global which will happen later this year.
Everything Everywhere, the first British operator with 4G mobile coverage, plans to allow MVNOs use their 4G network by the end of next year.
EE announced that they want MVNOs to piggyback on their 4G network to extend 4G capabilities to independent mobile providers. Lately EE entered into cooperation with two new MVNOs: White Mobile and Talk Home. As of now these two new operators will provide pay as you go SIM cards and a standard 3G network. However, EE is determined to also enable 4G to MVNO s. They said ‘Our ambition is to provide 4G to a number of partners by the end of 2013, and we feel this will open up a world of opportunities for both existing and new partners alike’.
EE has over 25 MVNO s running on their network, which is a joint T-Mobile and Orange infrastructure. In summer 2012 they signed a deal with Atmovia, a network aggregator, to make the launch process easier for MVNO s . Clearly EE plans to increase the number of MVNOs running on their network next year and they claim that they are not only interested in traditional PAYG SIM card operators.