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Tru to expand into 25 countries by 2013

01 августа 2011

Low-cost international mobile provider Tru has revealed it plans to expand into an extra 25 countries in the next 12-to-18 months.

"We're going into Hong Kong this autumn, so the next three countries coming up are the Netherlands, Hong Kong, and Spain," Geraldine Wilson, chief executive of Tru, told Total Telecom on Thursday, adding that they have also opened up discussions with prospective operator partners in Latin America.

"We have more in the pipeline – we expect to sign three [partners] per quarter," she said.

Discussions with operators in Germany and Poland are almost finished, and although Wilson was unable to disclose specific companies, Tru is very close to making an announcement.

The company provides services across multiple countries by striking MVNO partnerships with local network operators. It then offers customers a SIM card capable of storing several international mobile subscriber identities (IMSIs) and phone numbers, which enables a user's handset to behave effectively like a local phone in any country in which Tru has a presence.

Tru currently works with Optus in Australia, Vodafone in the U.K. and Netherlands, AT&T and T-Mobile in the U.S., and will be working with CSL in Hong Kong. The company's services operate on GSM and UMTS networks.

Tru's bid for rapid expansion is part of its strategy to provide consistent mobile services and costs across the globe. The service allows a single contract – and the minutes, texts and data bundled with it – to be used across Tru's footprint.

For operators, it is a chance to generate additional revenue from their networks, explained Wilson, who said Tru has no intention of buying spectrum or building towers. Instead, the company relies solely on deals with mobile operators to provide the network for its service – a service that has seen considerable growth.

"Our average monthly traffic growth among post-pay business users was approximately 30% over the first 5 months of this year," said Wilson.

Tru's target isn't the average consumer, but businesses and individuals who spend a lot of time travelling. Wilson insisted there is a demand for a single network that provides services between key locations.

"I'll give you an example," she said. "There's one company who said [to us] 'Our operations are in [the] U.S., U.K., Australia, and Hong Kong – when you've got [presence in] those four countries you can have 5,500 [new users].'"

For legal reasons Wilson could not confirm whether this potential business deal will be concluded with Tru's imminent arrival in Hong Kong.

Meanwhile Wilson said Tru has enabled international companies across the globe to make savings of between £5,900 and £14,000 a month, citing examples that included an international design agency with offices in nearly a dozen countries that saved £7,600 per month.

Mark Pinnes, head of public relations for Tru, was keen to explain the issues surrounding roaming charges, and why Tru is necessary, especially when it comes to data usage.

"We have a customer, who will remain nameless, who said the month before he joined Tru his personal mobile phone bill was £23,000," he said.

These large bills are generated by using a handset abroad in the manner in which one is accustomed to at home, Pinnes explained.

"With us, the bill came down to about £20," per month, he said.

Источник: Total Telecom

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