VoIP provider signs as Vodafone MVNO (but drops VoIP)

In an effort to gain cellular traffic revenues, the UK-based VoIP provider Truphone has signed to become an MVNO on Vodafone's mobile network. However, the company stressed that the service wouldn't be VoIP-based, but offering standard voice minutes packaged as a SIM-only deal.

The company claims to have recruited 100,000s of subscribers by offering a Wi-Fi-based VoIP service via apps for Android, Apple, Blackberry and Nokia smartphones. However, the new service, labelled Truphone Local Anywhere, is designed to allow customers to take advantage of local call rates in countries where Truphone has wholesale partnerships and also have the option of having local mobile numbers for those countries all on a single SIM.

The company also plans to launch the service with an unnamed mobile operator in the US, and said it would extend the service this year to mainland Europe, Australia, Hong Kong and South Africa.

Commenting on the deal, Tim Stone, director of wholesale at Vodafone UK, said that the new relationship demonstrated Vodafone's commitment to supporting additional growth in its already successful wholesale portfolio. "By targeting the international travelling community, this partnership opens up new opportunities for Vodafone UK."

The service will also offer number portability, so customers will be able to transfer existing mobile numbers across to the Truphone Local Anywhere service.

For more on this story:
Billing World

Related stories:
Become an MVNO within 6 weeks, promises Orange
German operators split over mobile VoIP strategy
Virgin Mobile acquires French MVNO rival
MVNO strategies to survive the economic downturn