Xfera Móviles, the Spanish 3G start-up recently taken over by TeliaSonera, has taken the market by surprise by launching commercial mobile services a week ahead of schedule. Xfera had said it would roll out services in the second week of December, but today launched pre- and post-paid 3G mobile services under the brand name ‘Yoigo’. The cellco offers nationwide coverage based on a combination of its own W-CDMA network and roaming via the GSM-based networks of rival Vodafone Spain. Its 3G network is currently being rolled-out by Ericsson to 25% of the population as required by its licence by year-end. Xfera’s unique selling point is its decision to offer the same call prices for both post- and pre-paid customers: EUR0.12 (USD0.16) per minute for all domestic calls, subject to a call connection charge of EUR0.12 (both prices exclude VAT). In addition to voice services, Yoigo will also offer its customers SMS, MMS, mobile internet access, mobile portal services and international roaming.
‘The goal is to have a market share of less than 1% at the end of next year,’ the company said in strangely unambitious statement. It added that it expects blended ARPU of around EUR30 per month in the short-term. Its subscriber acquisition cost (SAC) for post-paid customers is expected to be lower than the Spanish average of approximately EUR120, whilst pre-paid SAC will be slightly higher than the average EUR40. ‘Our offering will be easy-to-use services with attractive and transparent pricing,’ TeliaSonera regional president Kenneth Karlberg said in a statement. ‘Our surveys showed that 2 out of 3 customers in Spain are not aware of the tariffs on their mobile calls. We will therefore introduce a straightforward and transparent tariff model in the Spanish mobile market.’