KPN’s 100%-owned Dutch mobile virtual network operator (MVNO) Ortel Mobile has launched a commercial operation in France in partnership with host network operator Bouygues Telecom. Formed in 2005, the Dutch MVNO targets its services to ethnic minorities in the Netherlands and has since expanded its footprint to Belgium and Germany, where it serves a total of around three million customers. KPN purchased a 65% stake in the company in March 2008 before moving to snap up the remaining 35% in January this year. It is understood the French venture is offering a pre-paid SIM card for EUR9.95 (USD13.30), including EUR7.50 worth of call credit. Top-ups are available in denominations of EUR5, EUR10 and EUR20, and the MVNO is also promising to deliver discounts of up to 70% on international calls, when compared to France’s existing mobile network operators. At launch, new Ortel Mobile France customers can sign up online, although going forward the newcomer plans to sell out its SIM cards at call shops, newspaper vendors and mobile phone resellers.
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