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As UAE duopoly continues, Ikea UK launches mobile network

As UAE duopoly continues, Ikea UK launches mobile network

Cut-price furniture retailer the latest non-telco brand to enter mobile market; offers flat-rate pay-as-you-go scheme to loyalty card members.

August 4, 2008 3:52 by

The UAE’s telecom duopoly is expected to last until at least 2012. In the UK, a furniture store will this week become the latest non-telco brand to launch a mobile phone network. Ikea, the Swedish flat-pack specialist, is to start offering a mobile phone package which gives its loyalty card-holders a flat rate on calls and texts.

The launch is the latest addition to the increasingly hectic Mobile Virtual Network Operator sector. There are approximately 360 planned or operational MVNOs world-wide according to consultancy firm Takashi Mobile, with France, Denmark, Finland, Australia, the UK and US prominent. There are exactly zero in the Middle East.

Ikea’s Family Mobile pay-as-you-go deal is available for the UK’s 1.4m Ikea Family members, who will be charged 9p (18c) a minute for UK calls and 6p for text messages, says the Daily Telegraph. It launched a similar scheme in the US earlier this year.

Ikea said it was at least 25pc cheaper than comparable pay-as-you-go offers. There is no contract, and customers can keep their existing number. Households with several SIM cards can track calls and costs online.


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