My friend Cristobal passed me a quite interesting document after his visit to an MVNO conference.
It describes how a new mobile virtual operator (MVNO) is targeting the South Asian community in the UK. Desimobi they are following an approach quite close to what I would like to implement here in the Gulf.
I first proposed something similar to this in 2004, targeting Moroccan immigrants in Spain. Then in 2005, I was working for OVUM at the time, to the CEO of a Turkish operator. I tried to convince him to launch an MVNO in Germany to reduce churn in Turkey and increase revenue from international traffic. Unfortunately I failed to convince my clients at the time and I missed a great opportunity to do something really interesting and fun. Since then a number of operators targeting migrant populations have been launched in Europe.
By targeting specific groups in their own language, and with a value proposition that is carefully tuned to their interests and concerns Desimobi are trying to break away from the increasing pressure on revenue per minute. I think this is one of the few open routes in the mobile industry to reverse or at least stop the commoditization process.
I will be following Desimobi closely. This promises to be quite an interesting story.