Irish mobile virtual network operator (MVNO) JUST Mobile is shutting down its operation in the Republic, just ten months after it launched commercial operations in October 2010. At launch, the newcomer confirmed it had signed distribution deals with retailer chains Spar and Mace, convenience operator BWG and fuel group Topaz, and would charge EUR0.20 (USD0.29) per minute for calls and EUR0.09 per SMS. It also offered unlimited cross-network calls and SMS for EUR18 per month.
The company, the trading arm of Irish Mobile MVNO Services Ltd and the only Irish-owned pre-paid mobile network operator in the market, intends to wind down its services over the next two weeks. JUST Mobile uses Vodafone’s network to host its services and operates a support centre in Swords, north county Dublin. It confirmed it had been ‘unable to secure follow-on funding in the current environment, and our main partner Vodafone and other suppliers, who have been very supportive, could not continue to support us any longer.’ A spokesman for the firm added: ‘This is something no-one wanted. We believe we created something special for our customers, but unfortunately the business climate is not conducive for young companies to raise capital in.’
JUST Mobile also used its Facebook page to announce its imminent demise. ‘Dear all, unfortunately it is true, JUST Mobile is winding down its service. We wish we had more time to alert people of certain elements of the service being shut down but we didn’t have it. Details are available on the comreg.ie site and we will post them here also. Thanks to everyone that has supported us, we very much appreciate it and apologise if we’ve let you down. JM.’
Customers have already found they can no longer top up their mobile credit, or make international and premium rate calls. On Monday 8 August they will no longer be able to call or text numbers on other networks, and all services will disappear on 12 August. JUST Mobile says that customers’ mobiles will go completely dead by 19 August, although they will still be able to switch to another mobile provider and retain their existing number.