easyMobile MVNO Launches In The UK
European budget air travelers (such as myself on occasion) will be familiar with the “EasyJet” brand, a no frills airline with extremely low rates. How do they do it? By sticking with no frills: dense seating, standardized aircraft, secondary airports, and (importantly) airports that force you through a meandering shopping area prior to arriving at the boarding gate. That concept seems to have worked, with ticket prices so low that taxes and fees often exceed the airfare! Now, with the launch of easyMobile, easyGroup is taking the no-frills concept to the mobile phone (apparently the frugality does extend to the avaricious use of capital letters). You gotta love easyMobile’s simplicity and low rates. They are not targeting “power users”, the “mobile professional”, “the mobile video market”, “mobile data users”, or “super teens”. They are targeting a market that certainly exists: people who want to make cheap mobile calls and SMS. Riding on the T-Mobile UK network, easyMobile will not operate retail locations, not offer phones (subsidized or not), will not offer post-paid plans which incur billing costs, but will sell exclusively through the direct web channel, and ship a SIM to pre-paid customers. Bring your own phone! By eliminating much of the costs and complexity of a mobile carrier, easyMobile will be able to make a profit from very low-ARPU customers. This will take a bite out of Virgin at the low end of the market, but may not harm more upmarket players. easyMobile will be operated by TDC of Denmark, who has plans to extend the MVNO to 12 other EU countries. It will be interesting to see if they start using their airport desks as a distribution channel for Prepaid SIM packages, targeting the frugal roamer. I, for one, will be a keen user of easyMobile when I’m looking for a roaming SIM in the EU.