Age UK has launched an MVNO in partnership with Cycell which will sell big button phones on short term contracts in Age UK's 200 retail stores.
The charity has developed the Age UK My Phone with the help of Cognatel MVNO Cycell, which specialises in the design of big button phones.
The Age UK My Phone is a credit card-sized, lightweight, simple-to-use mobile phone weighing just 40 grams with up to eight buttons, which can be customised to call specific friends and family.
The My Phone handsets are priced at £55 and come with a range of flexible, cut-price 30 day contracts. The phone is sold fully charged and ready to use straight from the box. The battery will last up to 120 hours and the number of the phone is written on the back for easy reference.
Customers are not tied into a long term contract. Instead they can cancel their contract by giving 30 days’ notice. There is also a 28 day money back guarantee, with 12 months warranty as standard. Customers can also change their pre-set numbers by contacting the Age UK My Phone helpline.
Age UK worked closely with CyCell to help develop the Age UK My Phone. This included a four month trial through Age UK’s shop in Peterborough. Customer research was used to develop price plans and design features including the number and style of the buttons on the handset.
The charity has also set up a customer service team to manage all Age UK My Phone sales and enquiries
Mark Ashdown, MD of Cognatel (pictured) said: ‘This is a really exciting proposition bringing together many different parts of what an MVNO is. It brings great innovation from Cycell, adds a new product into Age UK’s portfolio, helps reach a very large niche market through Age UK and brings a new revenue stream to the charity.’
He added: ‘The barriers to entry that once discouraged brands from adopting their own mobile services have been removed. With both costs and operational complexities dramatically reduced, the charity can sustain a mobile business model that requires markedly less subscribers than ever before. In reducing the required level of subscribers, a considerable amount of risk is removed from the adoption of a branded mobile service.”
Age UK said the launch of Age UK My Phone was aimed at bringing the benefits of mobile technology to older people.
Helena King, head of affinity at Age UK, said: ‘According to recent research, over two-thirds of those aged 65 plus use a mobile phone and this drops to just over half amongst those aged 75 plus, so it’s not surprising that many older people can often feel excluded from the benefits this technology has to offer.
‘Our aim is to drive real change in the delivery of products and services for the ageing population. With the over 65s being the country’s fastest growing demographic, developing the Age UK My Phone is an important step towards removing the current barriers to mobile adoption experienced by some people in later life, with a simple and flexible way of staying in touch.’