A new Mobile Virtual Network Operator is set to make its debut in South Africa next month. The Ignition Group in Durban will be launching Me&you mobile will be launched on 4 May .
The brand will operate entirely online. Customers will place an order for a SIM on the Me&you website using their credit card. The SIM will then be delivered to them at a small fee. There’s a R29 SIM and connection charge, too. The company has no intention of selling handsets, but will direct customers to partners who do if they require a device.
Mobile Virtual Network Operators MVNOs use the infrastructure of other mobile operators in a bid to lower costs. MVNOs leverage third-party operators’ network infrastructure to provide services to consumers under their own brands. Only Cell C has shown an interest in opening its network to MVNOs and that is the platform Me&you is using while targeting signing up subscribers in urban areas. Attached on Cell C’s infrastructure, Me&you mobile intends offering a SIM-only service to clients with competitive voice and data rates.
The company will offer more of a hybrid model, where customers are billed month to month.
Me&you mobile is headed by Brett Howell who says the company is targeting between 15 000 and 25 000 customers in its first year.
“We’ve built the business model around a modest forecast. We don’t need to get numbers in the millions. We have a niche offering with a focused marketing campaign. It doesn’t rely on scale; it relies on a fairly decent sized base but because of the way we’ve been set up online; we’ve outsourced key functionalities to MVN-X (a company that runs networks) from a network infrastructure service perspective.
The company has secured its own “access point names” from Cell C, meaning customers will see Me&you’s branding and not Cell C’s on their phones when they insert their SIMs.
Howell says he is confident Cell C’s network quality will ensure customers won’t be disappointed. He says he has been using the network for months during the testing phase for the MVNO without any issues.