Things we learned this week from a flirtation to a MVNO via a revolution
Change of tone in EE’s flirtation with flotation
The latest rumours of EE’s potential flotation on the stock market don’t come as too much of a surprise, it’s an issue that has been long discussed ever since the business was formed. What was interesting were the murmurings about the range of options supposedly being discussed including the suggestion that there could be partial sales of the business to private equity firms. Could this change of tone be significant? It’s difficult to read too much into City speculation, but it might be a sign that something is different.
The ‘soft SIM’ revolution
Buried beneath Apple’s proclamations about speed and thinness at its iPad Air 2 launch was a new feature that has the potential to have a revolutionary impact on the mobile industry: the ‘soft SIM’. If the software based SIM card takes off and removes the need to have a physical SIM the effect on the way in which new hardware is developed and network contracts is immense. Currently the only participating network in the UK is EE, but surely that will change. Watch this space.
MVNO where do you go?
MVNO’s were all the rage a few years ago, but the growth of data as a key revenue strand for mobile operators has changed the landscape for these businesses. They’ve been left to either forage in the lower end of the market or offer a very specialist proposition in order to compete. It’s interesting then that this week saw the news that Mobilise Consulting was launch a special MVNO service the first client of which was Dixons Carphone for their Irish operation that launches next year. Seeing what market the firm is chasing with the offering will be interesting to watch. The somewhat inevitable news that EE looks set to buy Life from the Phones 4u provided more evidence that that the MVNO sector is contracting. What was most disappointing from a MVNO advocates perspective is that the Life would have provided a really kick start to any new player looking to enter the MVNO arena. Instead it will add another batch of customers to the UK’s largest network.