8/3/2011 11:56:00 AM
Alpha Mobile launches in bid to challenge dominant MVNO players
The launch of Alpha Telecom’s MVNO Alpha Mobile earlier this week (1 August) signals the continuing fragmentation of the international calling card market.
According to Mark Ashdown, CEO of MVNA Cognatel, the market is undergoing a seismic shift that is seeing the dominance of major ethnic MVNOs like Lebara and Lycamobile challenged.
He told Mobile: ‘The long distance or ethnic plan is coming to the end of a phase and the entry of Alpha into the MVNO space is part of that change, which is seeing the fragmentation of the long distance international MVNO space.’
He added: ‘There have been a flood of companies coming into the market over the past year. This trend very much reflects what happened in the fixed line international market in the 90s.’
Alpha Mobile, which was set up through Vodafone aggregator Cognatel, is launching an aggressive drive into mobile, targeting consumers with prepaid
Sim services and unlimited call time.
It has a dedicated team of 25 direct sales agents and is in discussions with key distribution channels, CEO Zafar Mirza told Mobile.
The MVNO aims to cross-sell into Alpha Telecom’s 600,000-strong base of loyal customers across India, South Africa, Asia and Australasia.
Mirza said the company is the only UK MVNO to offer unlimited calls to UK and international landlines and mobiles on a prepaid service.
The MVNO will also launch a new £30 pay-as-you-go Sim in over 90,000 retail stores across the UK. The service will offer free credit incentives on lower monthly top-up plans.
Mirza said: ‘We are very confident we can break into this market. We are not just another ethnic MVNO. We have a very loyal customer base and we have also developed our own distribution cascade and commission structure, with the distributor channel receiving ongoing commission for the life of the Sim.’