Ingram Micro Mobility is looking into the possibility of launching its own MVNO, which could help it fuel further mobile growth in the UK. Ingram Micro’s UK and Ireland VP James Bannister told Mobile News that the company is actively looking for new ways to boost mobile revenue.
Bannister said the company would not try to become an established airtime distributor, but it would explore other airtime options, such as SIM packing and shipping phones with SIMs.
“We may launch an MVNO, but we will do it differently to our competitors, so watch this space is my message,” he said.
Bannister said he doesn’t see the assisted sales model as a big opportunity, as it assumes people can’t get access to the product, but that approach doesn’t work since most IT customers already have someone to take care of that.
He added that Ingram’s acquisition of BrightPoint was very positive for the company, as it brings a strong balance sheet and a long-term commitment to make the UK business into “something sexy”.
Argos is planning to launch a contract phone offer and go toe to toe with Tesco Mobile and Asda Mobile. The retail giant will trial its service by offering online contract deals and phones in more than 200 stores across the UK starting in April. If all goes well, a second trial of SIM-only phones will also launch, reports Mobile Today.
The move comes as sales of pre-paid phones continue to tumble and Argos faces more competition from Tesco Mobile, Asda Mobile, Carphone Warehouse and Phones 4u. If all goes well and contract sales prove sufficient, Argos plans to enter talks with carriers to set up its own MVNO later this year.
Argos is reportedly already hiring account managers for ‘Argos Mobile’, as that’s apparently the working name for its MVNO. Former Vodafone UK manager Ben Murr is apparently playing a major role the effort.
Analysts believe Argos could pull it off, as it already has a sizable customer base and might make inroads in the entry level and mid range market. In all likelihood, Argos will try to focus on value driven contract deals. There is room for high end gear, but Argos will probably go for the penny pinching crowd.