Ad-supported MVNO ahead of user target

With over 100,000 signed-up members to its MVNO service, U.K.-based Blyk is claiming to be six months ahead of schedule since it launched in September 2007. The company says that the ad campaigns that fund the service--Blyk gives its customers free texts and minutes every month in return for receiving up to six advertising messages per day--have generated industry leading average response rates approaching 30 per cent.

According to Shaun Gregory, CEO, in the first six months Blyk had built up a deep knowledge of its users which has now exceeded many established youth media players. "Young people have embraced Blyk because it makes phone bills and contracts a thing of the past. We believe that communication should be free, like most other forms of media in the U.K." Blyk plans to launch in the Netherlands in the second half of 2008 followed by other European markets and has recently attracted new investors Goldman Sachs and Industrial and Financial Investments Company.

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