Cableco UPC Netherlands has launched a mobile virtual network operator (MVNO) voice and data service, initially offering a range of three SIM-only subscriptions under the UPC Mobile brand. The company’s press release advertises the monthly-terminable subscriptions as offering the benefit of sharing one bundle with up to four other people at an extra EUR10 (USD12.6) per month per SIM card, with each customer having their own number but sharing the plan and costs. The operator plans to roll out the service in phases to ‘ensure customer satisfaction’, with UPC Mobile packages currently only available to a select group of consumers, but to be open to UPC’s entire subscriber base by the end of the year, establishing the company as a true quadruple-play operator.
All subscriptions offer unlimited SMS, with the smallest ‘Basic’ subscription costing EUR12.50 per month in return for 100 minutes and 300MB of data; the ‘More’ package is priced at EUR20 per month, providing 400 minutes and 1.5GB of data, and the largest subscription, ‘Endless’, includes unlimited minutes and 4GB data. UPC Mobile offers access to more than 500,000 Wi-Fi spots throughout the Netherlands.
The host network for the UPC Mobile voice/data service was not immediately confirmed, although TeleGeography notes that UPC forged a data-only 3G wholesale network access agreement with Vodafone Netherlands last year for mobile Mi-Fi device users to augment the cableco’s existing Wi-Fi hotspot facilities, while fellow Dutch cableco Ziggo – which UPC is in the process of merging with – also operates as an MVNO over Vodafone Netherlands’ network. UPC Netherlands shut down a previous MVNO service in mid-2009, which had operated over the T-Mobile network (and formerly the network of Orange Netherlands prior to a takeover by T-Mobile in 2007).