European MVNO specialist Lycamobile has signed a network partnership contract with Vodafone Netherlands allowing it to use the latter’s infrastructure, including its own HLR (Home Location Register), its second such agreement in the country. Lycamobile already has in place a deal with T-Mobile in the Netherlands, having launched a low-cost international mobile calls service targeting non-nationals in 2006. The MVNO has signed up 1.3 million pay-as-you-go customers with T-Mobile, but will launch a Vodafone-backed service before the end of the month, having received the go-ahead from the market regulator OPTA. ‘We are delighted to have signed this partnership deal with Vodafone Netherlands, and chose them for their dedicated partnership approach to the MVNO market and their superior network coverage and quality. Thanks to the full MVNO technical architecture Lycamobile has developed, we are able to provide an enhanced low-cost, high-quality mobile service to our Dutch customers. It’s all about adding value and supplying a premium product without any compromises,’ says Lycamobile’s CEO Milind Kangle.
To support the launch Lycamobile is investing EUR5 million (USD6.6 million) in a high-profile marketing programme comprising print, broadcast and online advertising, direct marketing as well as PR campaigns. All of these activities will be revolving around Lycamobile’s brand icon called ‘Globeman’, a sociable, culturally aware and empathetic figure. According to some unsubstantiated press reports, the MVNO could look to migrate its existing base from T-Mobile to Vodafone as the T-Mobile contract is run down.