Lyca bat out of hell

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Lycamobile, the fast-growing European MVNO business of market-leading calling card company Lycatel, is yet to sign a network deal to support its UK market entry, but that isn’t stopping it shooting from the hip.

Chief executive Milind Kangle says: "We are very close to launch. It will be the biggest launch the UK has seen in this sector. It is near and dear to our hearts, as it is our home market. The UK will get the biggest budget [of all our launch markets to date], no question."

Lycamobile claims the potential UK ethnic market for mobile is now up to 10 million subscribers. Kangle reckons, in time, Lycamobile can secure around six million of that total, leaving incumbents such as Lebara Mobile, IDT Mobile and Nomi Mobile for dust.

Based on first-year run rates in the Dutch and Belgian markets, Lycamobile will sign 750,000 subscribers within a year of launching in the UK, he suggests.

Kangle says: "There’s room for one big player in this market, with 60 or 70 per cent market share. The rest will be marginal players. Whoever wants to play in it has to be serious about the funding. They have to have deep pockets.

"We have respect for our competitors, but they are not as resourceful as us. We have greater strengths than them already in the UK, in terms of finance, distribution, brand exposure and sheer economies of scale on a global basis. They can’t match us."

Full story in Mobile News issue 416 (June 16, 2008).

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