Blyk partners with NSN to hasten European expansion

Having launched its ad-funded MVNO service in the UK more than 12 months ago, Blyk has agreed to a deal with Nokia Siemens Networks (NSN) that will see the infrastructure supplier host the Blyk network as it expands into the Netherlands and Belgium.

Under the two turnkey service deals, NSN will provide the infrastructure, prepaid charging and messaging systems, software and operations to Blyk as a fully managed, hosted service to Belgium and the Netherlands. The hosting service is delivered remotely from the NSN hosting centre in Vienna.

Blyk, which uses the Orange network in the UK, and has chosen Vodafone as its Dutch partner and Mobistar in Belgium, has recently confirmed plans to expand its services into Spain and Germany.

Over 200,000 UK customers have signed up to Blyk in its first year, which puts it well ahead of its internal targets, and more than 100 different brands have now run more than 1,000 advertising campaigns. While some observers remain sceptical about the published success of the company, handset vendors and major operators are thought to be keeping a close eye on the ad-funded business model, which in Blyk's case also has the company owning a good portion of its own infrastructure despite being an MVNO.

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