Fonehouse has confirmed to Mobile that it will launch a b2b MVNO; IQ Business.
Aimed at dealers and small businesses, the retailer’s new offering follows hot on the heels of its consumer MVNO launch, IQ Mobile, which hit the market on 13th May.
Fonehouse sales director Warren Taylor explained that IQ Business will launch 1st July using Gamma’s enabler platform and will combine all major UK networks on one platform.
Combating channel fears
Speaking to Mobile Taylor said that the new MVNO will allow dealers to side-step network authorisations. He explained that this can be particularly length when it comes to negotiating price, sometimes resulting in lost business.
Describing the channel as one that is facing huge uncertainty, Taylor said dealers are increasingly worried about their role in the market amidst consolidation. He believes that IQ Business will give them the control they need to win new business and retain current customers.
‘There is a lot of uncertainty in the channel, it sits in this new world of mergers which is one of the biggest concerns. There’s a lot of fear over where dealers are going to sit in 10 years time, there’s the view that the channel is not important and there’s a lot of unanswered questions. We can help by adding value, especially if there’s consolidation and our partners feels their base of customers may be swallowed up. With IQ Business they have that reassurance that they can keep their customers. We’re not a major network but it’s giving them reassurances that we’re not looking to cull the channel.
‘There’s a huge appetite for this from our partners and customers as it offer additional flexibility and control to both parties who no longer have to face network constraints. This includes the age old problem of a customer wanting unlimited minutes, texts and data for a low price point. Networks won’t allow the dealer community to authorise that deal without going through an approval process, so the partner can’t actually promote that deal until they have had confirmation from the network.’
Taylor confirmed that Fonehouse would take advantage of its retail base to promote IQ Business within local communities, also relying it’s existing 200 strong partner base for promotion. He explained that the rise of startup dealers has seen the channel split into two main areas of focus; price and services. For Fonehouse, MVNO growth lies in the latter with the retailer revealing plans to further expand their mobile offering into hosted solutions such as cloud.
‘Our retail stores will all proactively offer business services and we also have a network of a significant number of partners we work with who will be promoting the IQ business. We have had over 200 partners actively signed up on the books to promote our portfolio, this includes the MVNO and all our other products and services.
‘The market has become more and more saturated with startup dealers who are constantly competing on price you’ve got two distinct customers. There are those who buy on price and will always do so and then you’ve got the others that have managed mobile accounts for 15 to 20 years who are switched into thinking that it’s not just about price but also service. If you can become a trusted consultant then you’re safeguarding long term revenue more and more. As we’ve taken mobile only dealers that approach has seen then gain traction in new areas of the business to help them diversify.