White Mobile, the new MVNO launched by Virgin Mobile’s former sales and marketing chief Graeme Hutchinson, is looking to launch bundles in the New Year as it begins promoting its prepay service.
Hutchinson said there was still an opportunity to make money from the prepay market, which has fallen drastically over the past few years as networks try to move their customers onto more lucrative contracts. White Mobile already runs an international calling card service and the MVNO will target its customers initially.
Hutchinson said: ‘We thought there was an opportunity in the market as the supply side moves towards contract or a shorter 30-day contract to bring something more straightforward to the market. Within the domestic market, prepay prices have soared. We have brought stronger value into this space.’
White Mobile customers can call each other for free, phone rival networks for 6p per minute, and call international numbers in 230 countries from 1p per minute. Texts are 5p and data costs 2.5p per megabyte.
While Hutchinson said its calling and texting costs will be a crucial plank of its marketing strategy, data will come into its own when a new bundle offer is launched in early 2013. He said: ‘As we move into the New Year, we want to bring in bundles as customers get familar with our offer. Of all the different ways you can use your phone, data is the one that lends itself to bundles. It is a bit old school in how pay as you go used to work.’
Hutchinson was one of the key figures at Virgin Mobile, spending seven years at the business after it launched in the UK in 1999. He said there were parallels between what Virgin Mobile set out to achieve and what his plans are for White Mobile. He said: ‘Clearly we are bringing similar values. If you want to build a long-term relationship with consumers, you need to have their respect. You need to offer great customer service at great value and treat them openly, and communicate honestly. You can’t be sneaky, which has happened in the past in this sector.’
White Mobile is the second MVNO to have launched in recent weeks on EE’s network. Talk Home, which has also been spun out from an ethnic calling card company, offers customers bundles of minutes on a branded reusable Sim.
EE said it plans to bring its recently launched 4G offering to its MVNO partners by the end of next year. It signed a deal with Atmovia in August, to help speed up the time it takes for an MVNO to come to the market.
Author: Graeme Neill