MVNO JOi Telecom launches services on Three UK and SFR networks

JOi Telecom is the latest company to launch services as a mobile virtual network operator (MVNO) in Europe, and Three has just confirmed that it is hosting the company on its network in the UK. The network partner for France is SFR.

JOi Telecom is selling SIM-only services in the UK and France initially, with other markets to follow in 2015. The company distributes its SIM cards through its parent company ACN Europe, which describes itself as a direct seller of telecommunications.

JOi Telecom joins a tough market environment as a new MVNO and will certainly need to present a new and compelling argument to tempt subscribers. The company's marketing statements currently focus on simplicity, choice and flexibility, for example, although it's not clear how the company will really differentiate itself from rival offerings as yet.

UK subscribers can certainly benefit from a low-price promotional offer if they sign up for a 12-month contract before the end of September: for two months they will get unlimited minutes, unlimited SMS and 3 GB of data for just £4.95 (€6/$8) a month. After that, the monthly fee will be £20.90 a month.

In France, the company is taking a slightly different approach by offering data as a bolt-on option: so-called "base" plans provide unlimited texts and minutes for €15 ($19) a month, while 500 MB, 3 GB or 5 GB can be added on for €5, €10 or €15 a month. Lower promotional prices are also available during the first three months of the contract period.

ACN Europe said it already has experience of launching MVNOs in Sweden, Denmark, Norway, Germany and the Netherlands, but said JOi Telecom in the UK and France are the first launches for this new sub-brand of ACN.

The company is not able to disclose subscriber targets, but said it is confident that the new products will "greatly appeal" to the thousands of independent representatives it is using to sell the services in the respective markets.

"Yesterday's launch was a fantastic start; during the day our systems were processing multiple order requests per minute," said an ACN Europe spokesperson.

For more:
- see this Three UK release

Special report: MVNOs try new business models

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