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back to article O2 launches democratically-minded MVNO

O2's new MVNO, giffgaff, claims it will be run by its customers to reduce costs and reward loyalty. Assuming it gets any customers, that is. The new company will offer SIM-only connections hosted on O2's network, but reckons it can reduce costs by getting customers to provide each other's technical support and paying them in …

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Oh come off it

> We're not sure which established business is out-done by Wikipedia

For god's sake, you, I and the rest of the educated world might question it's accuracy/management and several others aspects of it, but Wikipedia was directly cited by Microsoft as the reason for stopping Encarta. Additionally, how many of the small handful of CD/DVD based encyclopaedias, so popular 5-10 years ago, are still churning out annual releases since Wikipedia?

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O2 needs to sort out its priorities

Well, I've been in this business for a long time and seen some dippy things, but the O2 announcement takes the biscuit. Maybe Mike Fairman should do a simple calculation. O2 spends an inordinate amount of money on advertising its services, yet where I live I have to drive nearly 16 miles to get an O2 signal. No, I don't live in the Antarctic, I live on the border of England and Wales.

Mr Fairman should consider a much better method to beat his competition and win more customers. All he needs is add more base stations (or co-locate with existing base stations) in the rural and country areas of the UK. That will bring more new customers to his company and reduce churn at the same time. The best advertising is word of mouth, not massive trade show stands and pointless logo promotion.

Perhaps he hasn't noticed that dear old BT has been stealthily decommissioning phone boxes in the boondocks for some time, so mobile telephony is the only choice. He should also play catch-up with Vodafone before it's too late and invest in 3G Access Gateways before his competition force him to publicly flog his management team for wearing blindfolds.

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Potentially good

It's not just the tech support and call centres, the high street stores, handset subsidies, exclusivity sweeteners and advertising/sponsorship must surely cost a fortune - and I for one don't want any of them. I want a nice cheap SIM card for the occasional call, text and a fair bit of data; I don't want to be paying £10/month to rename the Dome and have Sanjay in Bangalore read me a script asking if I've tried turning my handset off and on again. I can't imagine the "Wikipedia" angle accounting for much of the savings, but genuinely running a no-frills operation could.

Of course, there are a few features I'd like to see which the current providers don't offer: anonymous call rejection, for one, and a decent self-service web interface for controlling options (voicemail, call forwarding, checking bills, etc) - I'm hoping this will have the latter, at least.

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Coverage is not a right

@dafydd - there comes a point at which is is not economical to put new sites in to cover the last people. All operators make different decisions about that so I suggest you either check out which is best for your area, get one of the gateways you mention or suck it up

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IT Angle

OK, I'll bite

What the hell is an MVNO, and why did they name it after chicken crap?

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Correction - coverage is what we're paying for

Ginger - if you visit the Nordic region and western Europe you will find that it doesn't matter where you are, you are almost always guaranteed a signal on all networks. This is the only country in Europe will massive network 'holes.'

Our European cousins are gobsmacked when they come to the UK and their calls drop or they can't obtain a signal - they can't believe it and ask 'why do you put up with it?' - we say, well, that's the way it is, this is Britain. And to make sure I'm not caning O2 only, I have agreements with T-Mobile and 3 as well. They're all the same when it comes to service. There's no signal anywhere around my home and for miles. Compare signal strength maps of Europe and the UK for all the mobile operators if you don't believe me. The problem is we're British, we're too polite and we don't complain loudly enough that we're getting second rate service at first rate prices.

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@AC 8:34

An MVNO is a Mobile Virtual Network Operator. It's a network without its own licensed set of frequencies on which to run. Virgin Mobile is the example that springs to mind most readily, or Tesco Mobile (the latter being run on O2's spectrum).

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RE:OK, I'll bite

Mobile Virtual Network Operator (or something like that) - they're basically mobile operators that resell other operators' networks, rather than building their own. They're usually independent. Examples include Virgin Mobile (T-Mobile?) and Tesco Mobile (O2?).

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Anonymous Coward

NIMBYs

I blame the NIMBY brigade (Not In My BackYard) for a lot of the poor signal issues we regularly encounter in our towns and villages. These NIMBYs are more than happy to use a mobile phone yet do not want a mast where they live!

Go on Google, you'll find plenty of newspaper articles about protests organised by these NIMBYs, because they feel that masts will cause cancer and radiate their poor children's brains.

Of course the signal issues are sometimes cause by faults, but nine times out of ten, when I call up to complain about poor network coverage in the area, the network operator usually informs me that their latest attempt to get planning permission has failed again due to complaints from local residents.

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Anonymous Coward

MVNO...

...as an acronym has been around since before O2

@dafyddg - the Nordic have coverage because the governments said that the must before giving out G3 licences. The actual signal you see coming from your provider is from shared coverage

michael

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