easyMobile, the discount mobile service provider backed by no frills airline entrepreneur Stelios Haji-Ioannou, yesterday launched operations in the Netherlands and quickly threw down the gauntlet to the competition by undercutting the lowest tariffs of market leader KPN Mobile. The newcomer is offering a 24/7 rate of EUR0.16/minute (GBP0.11/minute) for all calls made to fixed and mobile numbers in the Netherlands, EUR0.02 cheaper than KPN’s Simyo service, launched last month.
Discount service providers have had a marked impact in driving down prices in the Nordic markets where they were first introduced. easyMobile is majority owned by Danish telco TDC and has an agreement with easyGroup allowing it to use the ‘easy’ brand. It first launched as an MVNO in the UK in March, buying cheap minutes from network operators with spare capacity. The operator relies on a low-cost business model with virtually no marketing and no subsidised handsets. It keeps its overheads down by signing up new users online and letting them pay their bill by direct debit or credit card. easyMobile plans to launch in Germany on 1 November and TDC says it ultimately hopes to introduce the service to nine more European countries.