Abica admits its first 12 months in the MVNO market have been tough, and accepts that its direct sales strategy has been limited. However executive director and co-founder David Munro reckons its proposition is the right combination of value and service for the market and dealer partners can expand its reach to businesses through this year.
Glasgow-based Abica was set up in 2006 as a fixed line reseller, originally under the name Access Business Communications. Munro and fellow founder Gregory Barnett have their roots in mobile, however: Munro worked with Scottish entrepreneur Richard Emmanuel at the DX Communications retail chain, which sold to BT Cellnet in 1999, and Barnett was at service provider RSL.com through its sale to BT Cellnet the same year.
Access Business Communications promptly worked O2, Vodafone and Orange airtime into its portfolio also, and the whole business was rebranded Abica with the launch of its B2B MVNO proposition last October – running off the 3 network via a white-label deal with Gamma Telecom.
So far, 95 per cent of its MVNO connections have come from cross selling the proposition to its existing base. Munro suggests the extreme price-competitiveness of the mobile business market has made business hard to come by for new entrants and it is essential it expands its routes to market going forward.
Selling through dealers will provide Abica a chance to infiltrate dealers’ existing customer bases, and draw new connections, observes Munro. A “competitive” remuneration package has been constructed for their hard work.
Says Munro: “The market is heavily saturated, which means even dealers are having to feed services into their current customer bases, rather than scouting for new end users. If they have another product to offer, they can differentiate their portfolio and encourage take-up of our services.”
And, more importantly, Abica claims to be able to provide dealers with a unique selling point: a kind of FMC (fixed-mobile convergence) lite proposition. Abica is able to charge end users within the SME market for fixed line, broadband, IP telephony and mobile on a single bill, something IT managers are demanding more frequently. Customers save money and time on a combined communications proposition from a single provider.
Full article in Mobile News issue 456 (February 1, 2008).
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