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China Telecom details European MVNO ambitions after UK launch

13 июня 2012

Having launched its U.K. mobile offering late last month, China Telecom is now focusing on addressing the challenges associated with maintaining a successful service and is looking ahead to the next phase of expansion in mainland Europe.

″This is our first step,″ said Yan Ou, managing director at China Telecom Europe, referring to the 22 May launch of CTEcelbiz, a mobile virtual network operator (MVNO) running on Everything Everywhere's network aimed at Chinese tourists and ex-pats in the U.K.

″We are considering to move to France, Germany, Italy and Spain as well,″ he reminded attendees at Total Telecom Wireless World in London on Tuesday. ″In the second half of next year we will launch the business in France,″ home to a Chinese population of almost 700,000, the biggest in Europe, he said. By the end of 2014 the service will be available in other European markets.

Europe's big five markets together host 2 million Chinese ex-pats, 600,000 of whom are based in the U.K. China Telecom plans to further develop its service offering for that market.

″We will introduce more and more value-added services,″ in the U.K., starting in the fourth quarter of this year, Ou said.

He also explained that China Telecom still has a few issues to address regarding its U.K. service, such as the fact that users are required to manually configure their device to use data services. Ou said the company will cooperate with its various partners to make the service more convenient for the customers.

In addition, the telco is aware that it serves a highly price-sensitive customer segment that is particularly prone to churn. ″The market is very competitive in the U.K.,″ said Ou.

As such, China Telecom will work on creating customer loyalty. One way to do this is by offering the right tariff plans, for instance, bundling competitively-priced calls to China with local messaging rates and data, ″to keep the customers loyal to us,″ Ou said.

Customer loyalty will be a valuable asset to China Telecom when and if its domestic rivals follow in its footsteps and launch services in Europe, something the telco is expecting to happen.

″They will come here,″ said Ou, referring to players like China Mobile and China Unicom.

The three Chinese mobile operators together have 1 billion mobile subscribers out of a total population of around 1.3 billion and as such are likely to seek opportunities for growth overseas.

However, Ou hinted that China Telecom will not engage in a price war with them, or indeed any other company offering similar international calling services in the U.K.

″We intend to keep the market healthy,″ he said. ″We do not welcome unhealthy competition here.″


Источник: Total Telecom

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