9/8/2008 4:29:00 PM
Orange increases its MVNO collection to five
Orange is bidding to grab a larger slice of the £1bn ethnic call market by signing a new MVNO specifically aimed at Eastern Europeans.
Globalcell will target Eastern Europeans living in the UK, promising to undercut rivals on price to win a major share of the market.
The new MVNO, which launched this week, joins Lebara (Vodafone), LycaMobile (Orange), Nomi (Vodafone) and TalkMobile (Vodafone) which have been fighting over price and distribution to win a share of the market. The international calling market is estimated to be worth £1bn, and is set to double in the next four years.
GlobalCell will push its Sim-only deals in Poland, Slovakia, Lithuania and Russia, offering customer service in the corresponding languages or English. Call charges continue to fall as companies look to tap into the growing migrant worker market in the UK, with west Africa, south Asia and eastern Europe the most popular areas.
Lebara has targeted specialist stores for certain ethnic groups, and has partnered with the likes of Phones 4u, Tesco and Brightstar in an effort to reach new customers. The company also claimed that it was seeing a 200% month-on-month increase in subscribers, and even ran out of Sims at one stage.
Orange says that 2.5 million MVNO customers are now using Orange’s UK network. The operator also has MVNO deals with Blyk, IDT, a national roaming agreement with 3 and most recently Cable & Wireless’ new fixed mobile convergence service, FMC.
Marc Overton, vice president of new business, wholesale and strategy at Orange, said: ‘Partnering with exciting MVNOs such as GlobalCell not only demonstrates our desire to become the network partner of choice for new and existing MVNOs but also extends the Orange reach to much broader segments of the market.’
MVNOs that target a particular ethnicity are a growing industry in the UK. Other companies targeting the market, including Lebara, Nomi and LycaMobile, all offer Sim-only bundles with cheaper international calls.