Tesco trumps telcos
This week Ofcom released its customer complaints report, with Tesco Mobile generating the lowest number of complaints. The MVNO is riding the wave of success for its fourth consecutive year, challenging bigger MNOs who trail behind. One such operator is Vodafone, whose high number of complaints have prompted an Ofcom investigation.
So how has a relatively niche MVNO taken on an established European operator? Ofcom lowered the threshold this year to include operators with a market share of 1.5%, meaning that Tesco Mobile could be included. However it seems almost unfair to include Vodafone’s 19% market share in the same category as Tesco Mobile’s 7.4%.
It is true that the more people you have to keep happy, the harder it will be and that is the problem Vodafone is facing at the moment. However Vodafone is in its consecutive quarter of highest customer complaints, and while it has reiterated that improvements will be made, now is the time to see results.
Dixons Carphone soars stateside
Dixons Carphone entered into an agreement with US operator Sprint this week. The move to the US is an impressive one for a newly merged company and it is clear that Dixons Carphone are succeeding in its UK strategy. Sprint hasn’t just taken an interest in the UK retailer, it is placing its entire estate at the responsibility of Dixons Carphone, looking for it to support and manage its retail stores.
That is a big vote of confidence in the company, but it’s also a big test. Dixons Carphone are no strangers to merging businesses together and Sprint CEO Marcelo Claure is no stranger to Dixons Carphone, having previously worked for Brightstar distribution.
However the real test will be how it collaborates the UK business with the US brand, and whether a collaboration can become a merger, following ambitions to ‘expand US growth’.
Roaming charges: legislation vs co-operation
This week the EU announced the ‘good news’ that roaming charges will be axed. While the consumer market welcomed the news, it was met with hesitation and doubt from the mobile space.
The important part of the roaming charge axe is that the agreement only exists to legislate against roaming charges, it’s up to the operators to choose to co-operate. The EU’s decision was hailed as a victory, but it seems to be following a path already carved out by the operators.
The end of roaming charges may come as a surprise to consumers, but in the mobile industry the cogs began turning with Three’s feel at home initiative. In the UK O2, EE and Vodafone now all offering free roaming as part of their tarrifs. With launch of MVNO’s such as Carphone Warehouse iD and Freedom Pop, the end of roaming charges is becoming more commonplace. The feature has moved from a ‘nice to have’ to a ‘must-have’, with the EU’s decision following the market trend rather than setting it.