Dutch mobile operator T-Mobile Netherlands is planning to re-launch the brand name Ben five years after ditching it, reports Telecompaper. From 3 March 2008 the operator intends to offer a Ben-brand SIM-only service across the country in three flavours: tailored tariffs for ‘light’, ‘regular’ and ‘heavy’ users under which voice minutes and SMS rates will be charged the same (ie one minute equals one SMS). In addition, T-Mobile says it will offer two more bundles under the old brand name, one offering mobile internet access and the other offering a SMS bundle.
T-Mobile’s decision to perform a u-turn over Ben is the result of the brand’s high profile, half a decade after it was scrapped. Some 61% of the Dutch population are still aware of the name, it said. Starting next month, the network operator plans to launch a major TV, radio and internet advertising campaign to re-introduce the brand. It is understood the entry level ‘Ben soms’ price plan for occasional users costs EUR5.95 (USD8.73) per month including 100 voice minutes or 100 text messages. The ‘Ben regelmatig’ plan offers 250 voice minutes or SMS messages for a monthly fee of EUR9.95 and the top-end ‘Ben vaak’ plan includes 500 minutes or texts for EUR22.95 per month. T-Mobile says the the SMS bundle will cost EUR9.95 for 1,000 messages while the internet bundle offers 128kbps/32kbps (down/uplink) unlimited internet access (on a fair use policy basis) for EUR9.95 per month. Ben is however, being marketed as an online-only SIM brand and as such, will not provide handsets.