10/7/2009 12:28:00 PM
T-Mobile partners with Vectone Mobile in MVNO deal
T-Mobile has expanded its MVNO business by partnering with Vectone Mobile.
The move is part of a wholesale agreement to target the UK’s ethnic calling market of 10 million subscribers.
It is the ninth partnership of its kind from the operator, which now claims to have 50% of the wholesale market. The new MVNO will take on similar offerings from Lebara Mobile and Lycamobile.
The international calling card market is currently worth £500m and is moving towards mobility, according to an Ofcom report.
T-Mobile head of wholesale marketing Kai Schmidt told Mobile: ‘The UK customer base is diversifying more and more and, for a mainstream operator, it is impossible to cater to those needs. The ethnic market is an opportunity because there are very specific channels that can be targeted.’
The Vectone offering will initially only be prepay, but there is capacity for a postpay service to be added. Schmidt said: ‘There is potentially an appetite for it, but this happened very quickly. The discussions took three months maximum and we just concentrated on making it happen first.’
T-Mobile believes it is providing the new MVNO with greater flexibility in comparison to some of its rivals, due to the ‘technological basis’ of the deal. However, the operator said it will remain ‘in the background’.
Schmidt said: ‘Our role is to enable business partners. In simple terms, that means providing the radio access and GSM functionality.’
Vectone already has over one million customers in five different countries including Denmark, Norway, Austria, The Netherlands and Switzerland.