British consumers will soon be able to get mobile phone service through an unusual source--home furnishings retailer IKEA. The Swedish furniture firm will offer prepaid mobile service for around $20 per month to members of its loyalty program. In addition, about 9,500 IKEA staffers will be issued phones with about $10 in prepaid minutes. The MVNO will use T-Mobile's wireless network for its service.
Strand Consulting says that the IKEA MVNO is being run by Danish MVNO pioneers Teddy Sogaard Pedersen of the MVNO CBB and Martin Petersen of the MVNO Telmore. Strand says CBB and Telmore were competitive MVNOs in the Danish market and in just a few years acquired about 20 percent of the mobile market with their Web-based discount concepts.
Strand warns competitors to be careful not to underestimate the IKEA MVNO, which the consulting firm believes has larger ambitions than just providing mobile service as part of its loyalty program. In fact, Strand expects IKEA's FamilyMobile MVNO to become competitive and offer advanced services including 3G, Web SMS and more.
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