China Telecom launches UK MVNO
China Telecom has introduced anMVNO into the UK market, becoming the first Chinese operator to launch a service outside of China. CTExcelbiz is running on Everything Everywhere’s network and offer a customised service to the UK’s Chinese population.
CTExcelbiz was launched through the operator’s subsidiary China Telecom Europe, and its MVNA partner, Transatel.
The service is a tailored Pay-As-You-Go service that will offer Chinese language voicemail services, bi-lingual Chinese-English customer service hotline and website, unlimited free calls among CTExcelbiz users and low-cost bundles, available in-stores and online.
“With increasing numbers of Chinese visitors to the UK, we will be rolling out innovative and targeted mobile services to our customers,” said Yan Ou, Managing Director of China Telecom (Europe). “These will include the provision of a local Chinese number for friends and family to call; a chat application for customers to share content with each other; and an information service hotline in Chinese targeted at travellers to the UK, to name just a few.”
Francesco Radicati, research analyst at Informa Telecoms and Media, explained that there has been a rise of ethnic MVNOs that target specific communities in the UK market.
“Traditionally, the UK operators weren’t able to get into these communities, so MVNOs such as Lebara and Lyca Mobile sprung up in response to that. Those were never really primary SIMs, most people generally used a UK operator SIM, such as Vodafone, for example, and then for calling home they’d use a Lebara or Lyca SIM,” he said.
“That’s changing now though. O2 for example has launched its international calling rates and there is Skype and other OTT options.”
“For China Telecom it’s a way to reconnect with customers who have moved to the UK, and to hold on to existing users while they’re visiting, whether as students, businesspeople or tourists. It’s also a way for companies such as Everything Everywhere to get access to this market.”