Cognatel to launch new prepay student network


Ovivo Mobile users to get free calls, texts and data for receiving targeted adverts

Vodafone MVNA Cognatel is launching a new prepay MVNO offering free calls, texts and data bundles in exchange for receiving targeted advertising.

The student-focused MVNO, Ovivo Mobile, was set up by Dariush Zand, who has held senior positions at Vodafone, NEC Europe and Huawei, and will launch officially next week.

Customers signing up for the service will receive 100 minutes and 100 texts per month as well as 10MB of data each day.

They will have to pay a one-off joining fee of £20 of which £15 goes towards out-of-bundle costs. Prices out of bundle are 6p per minute for calls and 6p for each text and megabyte of data.

In return they will receive advertising from Ovivo Mobile marketing partners each time they open their web browser. The partners could not be revealed as Mobile News went to press.

Adverts will be targeted based on the customer’s age, gender and location, offering them details and special offers on a variety of products.

Zand said the Ovivo Mobile model offers the industry “something new” and provide a platform for marketing companies and brands to access the highly lucrative student market.

“We are committed to setting customers free from the traditional mobile experience,” Zand said. “Customers choosing Ovivo Mobile will get a fantastic free service simply by agreeing to receive adverts that closely match their interests.

“There are half a million new students enrolling in universities across the country each year – all highly sought after by companies who want to capture them right at the start of their consumer lives.”

As well as receiving free calls, texts and data, customers will be able to accumulate further free usage by recommending the service to family and friends via a Facebook app.

Customers will receive one Ovivo Mobile point for each recommendation that results in a connection. Customers can trade points for additional calls, texts or data credit.

Zand will promote the brand through Facebook and Google advertising as well as in conjunction with BAM, a marketing organisation that targets students through door drops and fresher packs.

There are plans to extend the service to other countries in Europe, the US, the Middle East and Africa by the end of next year.

The deal with Ovivo Mobile brings the total number of MVNOs on Cognatel’s books to nine, equating to 15 brands, and CEO Mark Ashdown believes the uniqueness of the company will ensure its success.

“Ovivo is a very exciting new customer and there has been a lot of hard work involved to get these guys into the market place,” Ashdown said.

“From a proposition-in-themarket point of view it’s very innovative, very exciting and the customers acquisition root is also very interesting. It’s different to anything out there at the moment.”