Prepay Sim card distributor Sims4U is mapping out the location of newsagents in the vicinity of every London 2012 Olympic event so that mobile network operators can deliver targeted Sim card distribution and marketing campaigns to stores in those areas.
The mapping of Olympic events is part of a geographical mapping service that Sims4U has developed for network operators as it continues its rollout of 500,000 prepay cards to 34,000 independent newsagents across the country.
The prepay Sim card distributor, founded by Ian Watson and business partner Damian Wingham, began distributing Sim cards in March this year after sealing a deal with newstraders Smith News and Menzies Distribution to supply Sims to around 34,000 newsagents across the UK.
Watson said: ‘We’ve already rolled this out to 50% of the country and we are about to roll it out to the other 50%. It is getting really big now. We have 34,000 independent newsagents with a footfall of 56 million each week. This gives us the lion’s share of the independent market, with the biggest reach in the UK.’
Sims4U distributes Sim cards for all the major networks, as well as MVNOs such as Virgin Mobile, Lycamobile, Lebara Mobile, Nomi Mobile and Talkmobile.
Watson said the model is popular with networks as it involves no fraud and no commissions, with newsagents simply keeping the income generated by the sale of the Sim card.
Sims4U can also offer networks precise, targeted distribution and marketing data, gleaned from tracking each Sim card using Voice Mobile’s Sim Track, a bespoke electronic tracking system which manages customer stock and connections.
Watson explained: ‘We know where the card is being distributed, how many Sim cards each shop has, the rate of sale, what the connect-through is and what levels of stock need to go in.’
He added: ‘We can also offer geographical mapping.
So, for example, we can map every university town and show how many newsagents there are and put together a marketing and distribution campaign. We can do the same with ethnic groups, or any other social groups. For example, we are mapping out all of the London 2012 Olympic events so that networks know where to target their distribution and marketing campaigns.’
Watson said Sims4U is constantly refining the model – a process that began with extensive pre-launch trials with newsagents.
‘It has taken us three years to get to this point and we have learnt a lot in that time. We are currently putting stock into the channel and we have another 12 months to understand our market. Once we have that understanding, we can then marry that to sales and really grow the business.’