Newly launched MVNO Ovivo Mobile is offering customers cut price tariffs in return for receiving targeted mobile advertising.
The Sim-only, prepaid MVNO, supported by Vodafone MVNA Cognatel, has teamed up with advertising networks such as Google and Adfonic to deliver highly targeted mobile advertising, initially to the student market.
Customers pay an initial £20 sign-up fee, which includes £15 credit, to receive 100 free minutes and texts per month across any network, at any time, as well as 10MB of data per day for smartphones and 15MB for tablets. Outside the core bundle, customers are charged 6p per minute, per text and per megabyte.
Ovivo Mobile CEO and founder Dariush Zand said: ‘We can offer hugely competitive prices because we will make our money out of mobile advertising revenue. This is a very compelling value proposition compared to anything else out there in the marketplace.’
The company is planning to market the offering to students via events including music festivals, the 2012 Olympics and universities’ Freshers’ Weeks. Custom will also be driven by encouraging members to sign up friends and family via Facebook in return for rewards that will include additional free usage, free and cut price phone deals, and competitions.
Zand added: ‘We are committed to setting customers free from the traditional mobile experience. We know that we won’t be right for everyone but customers that do choose Ovivo Mobile will get a fantastic free service simply by agreeing to receive adverts that closely match their interests. There will be no long-term contracts or monthly commitments and the volume and duration of ads will be tightly controlled to safeguard the overall customer experience.’
Zand dismissed comparisons to targeted advertising MVNO Blyk, a partnership deal with Orange which closed in 2009 when the operator took on its technology. He said. ‘Blyk was the right idea at the wrong time. Six years on, with the proliferation of smartphones and mobile advertising an established ecosystem, it’s a different story.’
Cognatel CEO Mark Ashdown said: ‘Ovivo Mobile is turning the traditional prepaid mobile service on its head by bridging the gap between advertisers and hard-to-reach consumers in a unique way that genuinely benefits both parties.’