9/25/2008 1:05:00 PM
Orange signs latest virtual network deal taking total to six
Orange this week signed its latest virtual network deal – the third in 12 months – taking its total to six wholesale partners.
Mark Overton, Orange’s vice president of new business and wholesale strategy, said that the company has more deals in the pipeline, with Sainsbury’s believed to be its biggest target (see box below).
Overton (pictured) added that the six MVNOs are ‘only the beginning’, and Lycamobile was added to the Orange network early this week, moving into the crowded ethnic mobile market. The ethnic MVNO has been long established in the UK as an international calling card company. Its stock is sold by 50,000 independent retailers in the UK alone.
Lycamobile will now go head to head with Lebara Mobile which has 90,000 UK retail outlets, and Carphone’s Talkmobile business, sold through Carphone’s retail channels, as well as a host of other sub-agents.
New entrant Lycamobile has put £10m into marketing its new Sim-only product that will target the UK migrant population. Subaskaran Allirajah, chairman of Lycamobile, said: ‘We aim to acquire one million subscribers within 12 months.’
Overton said that ‘as a brand it resonates’, and he also highlighted that the strong ‘distribution it has and the relationships with shopkeepers’ was the reason Orange had decided to partner Lycamobile. ‘These are the big guys,’ he said.
Overton was confident that Lycamobile would be able to compete against the other ethnic MVNOs already in the UK market. He said: ‘We’ve not reached saturation yet.’
From October, Lycamobile says it will increase its stores to 85,000, with the addition of e-Pay, Payzone and the Post Office.