20:20 to battle US rivals in Middle East


20:20 Mobile is looking to emerging markets in Europe and the Middle East to spearhead its international expansion programme.

"20:20’s plans for geographical expansion have never really happened. That changes now," said 20:20 chief Meinie Oldersma.

20:20 has signed a supply deal with operator Etisalat, present in 16 markets across Asia and the Middle East, and is also working closely with Vodafone in the region. It is making inroads in Qatar and Turkey too, said Oldersma.

"We have, in these emerging markets, huge growth potential. The focus is on huge growth markets, where there is less entrenched competition."

But US rivals Brightstar and Brightpoint  are following similar game plans for growth via emerging markets.

Brightstar last week agreed a supply deal with Turkish media group Smile Holding, which runs 650 Smile shops in Turkey.

Brightstar president Marcelo Claure said: "Brightstar is pleased to bring its global supply chain to Turkey and Eastern Europe."

Meanwhile, Brightpoint has also started trading in the country. Brightpoint EMEA president Michael Køehn Milland said:  "We look forward to serving the Turkey wireless market with distribution and customised logistics capabilities and expertise."

On the continent, 20:20 is looking to work its distribution deal with BlackBerry maker Research in Motion (RIM), for which it is presently sole European partner.

It is ready to set up new satellite logistics centres and local marketing units in Italy, Holland, Russia, Hungary and Romania to provide distribution of RIM products and general mobile accessories.

In Spain, it is looking to expand existing network retail and web supply deals with the likes of Vodafone, KPN and Spanish number four Yoigo.  

It is also looking to take advantage of networks’ latent hunger for growth via wholesale across the UK and Western Europe.