The curious case of Keith Curran


Yes Telecom founder Keith Curran sticks out a hand and smiles broadly: “Now then, where were we?”

Last we heard of Curran, the official line was he had been handed a vague, roving brief to explore Vodafone ‘special projects’, a term considered by most of his old dealer comrades to be a euphemism for gardening leave.

That was January 2008. Twelve months on (typical gardening leave period), Curran is no longer with Vodafone.

The strange collective silence that surrounds his time there will not be broken in this interview, he warns.

“All I can really say is I learned a lot at Vodafone. You know, I was part of one of the biggest companies on the planet, and there is a learning curve associated with that. You see things from a different perspective.”

Speculation within the market that Curran is working on a service provision venture with a certain network operator to go up against his old employer refuses to go away.

A working project, mischievously dubbed ‘No Telecom’ (or, more feasibly, ‘Know Telecom’) by parts of the dealer community, could see his return to the sector he knows best and a counterpoint to Yes Telecom in the SME market.

Curran is happy to speak in general terms of future plans for a reseller operation.

“Yes, service provision and MVNO opportunities are well and truly on my radar. But not quite like you have seen before. I have a blank piece of paper, now.

“The [service provision] rulebook can be rewritten to deliver more valuable business for network operators and dealers,” he says.

But we will come back to that. Because he has been busier elsewhere during his wilderness period, founding or driving forward no less than seven new businesses.

Full article in Mobile News issue 436 (April 6, 2009).

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