T-Mobile/Orange dealers ‘safe’


T-Mobile UK told around 140 delegates at its ‘independent partner conference’ last month it was in fierce mood to grow business in the channel, and will guarantee strong investment through the year to see its targets are achieved.

UK sales director Mark Duncan made clear that, until its joint venture with Orange is signed off by competition authorities and the agreed 18-month period where the pair run their brands in parallel finishes, T-Mobile will drive its independent channels hard.

Duncan said: “We have been guilty of some stop-starts in the market place, but Q4 saw significant commitment to and from this channel.
“Independent partners are critical to our distribution strategy, and will remain so when the joint venture forms.

“But I want to make clear that, for us, it is business as usual. We had a fabulous 2009. We grew this business significantly in Q4 as a result of new strategy we implemented. We have an absolute focus on independent partners.”

He addressed the audience: “You are key to our strategy.”

Duncan told delegates 2010 will be a year of change. “I have been in the industry for eight years and all through this term ‘defining year’ has cropped up. But I have never felt it was more appropriate than now,” he said.

He instructed delegates also their futures will be assured under the joint venture with Orange.

“The joint venture will create the biggest telco in the UK and will precipitate some massive changes in the industry. It will be great news for customers, distribution partners and manufacturers in all of the industry.”

Duncan said Q4 2009 was a turning point. T-Mobile wants 142 per cent sales growth from its channel partners this year, having doubled sales of leading prepay and contract propositions.

In the period, Business 1 plan sales jumped 151 per cent, Combi sales increased 137 per cent, SIM-only sales were up 113 per cent and prepay units jumped 110 per cent.

T-Mobile dealers recorded the lowest churn and fraud levels of any channel during the period, direct or indirect across all UK networks.