Ethnic market MVNO Lebara launches contracts in drive to meet the needs of established and second generation migrants
Ethnic market MVNO Lebara has introduced a contract proposition to its product portfolio as it pursues growth in the UK ethnic market through established and second generation migrants.
Lebara’s contracts offer customers three packages across four price points and are available in addition to its existing prepay and mobile internet services.
My Country offers an allowance of free international minutes to one of 200 destinations to either landline or mobile numbers, which will affect the total number of minutes received. My Country customers will pay Lebara’s standard rates for UK calls and texts, and will receive an allowance of free Lebara-to-Lebara minutes and texts.
UK Caller customers receive free UK minutes or texts plus free Lebara-to-Lebara minutes and texts. These customers pay for international calls according to Lebara’s rates.
Combo customers will receive a combination of international and UK call allowances and free Lebara-to-Lebara minutes and texts.
Contracts are available for £10, £20, £30 and £40 a month, with allowances increasing accordingly. For instance, a My Country customer paying £10 a month and opting to call Nigeria will receive 150 mobile minutes or 150 landline minutes, depending on usage, 250 Lebara-to-Lebara minutes and texts plus pay 9p a minute for calls to UK landline and mobile numbers and 9p per text.
A similar customer opting to pay £40 a month will receive 750 mobile or 2,500 landline minutes to Nigeria, 2,000 Lebara-to-Lebara minutes and texts in addition to paying for UK calls and texts.
Contracts are available on a three-month minimum term, and can be cancelled with one month’s notice thereafter, with existing prepay customers able to port their SIM and number over to a contract deal. Lebara is also offering a free mobile internet allowance of 10MB a day until November as an introductory deal.
Customer service will be provided by a dedicated team within Lebara’s existing support functions at its central London headquarters.
Lebara UK managing director Russell Atkinson (pictured) said the decision to start offering contracts is part of the “ongoing evolution of Lebara”. He said the UK ethnic market is projected to almost double over the next two decades to 16.2 million by 2031, offering an opportunity to target ethnic customers settled in the UK.
Atkinson said the second generation population and highly skilled migrant workers living in the UK for over a year are more inclined towards contracts, while new arrivals prefer the simplicity of a prepay offer.
He said: “There is a requirement for contracts from the ethnic market, which tends to over-index on contracts as they like the value they offer.
“The longer people are in the UK the more embedded they become and the more they want flexible products and services. We have tended to focus on new arrivals but now there is a second generation who are more embedded and that presents a huge opportunity for us.
“In addition, as new arrivals to the UK settle in and develop they want to move to contract. This wasn’t a need we could service before, but we can now. It is a big step for us to offer contracts.”
Telesales and web sales will also receive a boost according to Atkinson as they are traditionally stronger for contract sales than prepay.
However, Atkinson underlined that Lebara’s core focus will remain on prepay customers and that it has no intention of phasing that side of its business out.
He said: “Prepay is an important part of who we are and how we are developing going forward.
“The addition of contracts to our portfolio will bring about an incremental increase in business as we look to broaden the products and services we offer our customers.
“We believe strongly the market is ready for this.”