New MVNO customer launches ad funded mobile service: OVIVO Mobile

Now we’ve caught our breath, we’d like to properly wish OVIVO Mobile the very best of luck with their new MVNO venture, launched last week.

We were thrilled to be chosen as OVIVO’s SIM card packaging and fulfilment partner and look forward to providing ongoing SIM distribution for them as one of the first customers to launch on our SIM-Centric platform.

OVIVO Mobile sits on Vodafone UK’s network and is offering cut price tariffs in return for receiving targeted mobile advertising.  OVIVO has teamed up with advertising networks such as Google and Adfonic.

CEO and founder Dariush Zand says: “We can offer hugely competitive prices because we will make our money out of mobile advertising revenue. This is a very compelling value proposition compared to anything else out there in the marketplace.”

The launch date of April 16th aptly coincided with a blog post from MVNO industry veteran Christian Borrman on the largely untapped potential of ad-funded MVNOs – a topic he is keen to see discussed at this week’s MVNO Summit in Barcelona.

Speaking to Mobile Today, Zand has already dismissed comparisons to (now closed) advertising-funded MVNO Blyk. He said: “Blyk was the right idea at the wrong time. Six years on, with the proliferation of smartphones and mobile advertising an established ecosystem, it’s a different story.”

Albeit many pundits believe there are still opportunities in ethnic and low-cost pre-paid SIM business models, consensus is moving towards MVNO businesses built on more ’emotionally’ compelling models e.g. content-based services for niche fan communities, or retail-brand-based services offering exclusive discounts to their mobile customers.

Certainly, we believe that given the right specialist partners – MVNA and supply chain – branded mobile services are a relatively quick and effective way to further monetise an existing customer base.