CyCell focuses on seniors with Age UK handset trial


Simple handset manufacturer and MVNO working with senior charity as it relaunches direct to consumer website as OwnFone

Simple handset manufacturer and MVNO CyCell has partnered with elderly charity organisation Age UK, to develop a white label version of its Easy Phone handset.

The UK-based firm, which launched its credit card-sized Easy Phone device in December, says it is currently trialling various versions of its handset with  a view to selling it through the charity’s 450 UK shops if successful.

The original Easy Phone handset does not include a screen or keyboard, instead using pictures, people’s names and braille as call buttons to dial pre-stored numbers.

Customers can create and customise their own handset via the CyCell website. Handsets cost around £50 and are sourced through an unnamed manufacturer in China.

CyCell founder and  CEO Tom Sunderland said the firm was in the process of determining which features could be used on the white label version for Age UK, which will be targeted specifically at the elderly.

CyCell is also working with Age UK to create a network tariff through its MVNO, which was set up through Vodafone MVNA Cognatel last year.

The firm is actively seeking new partnerships to build customised devices, and is aiming to sell 50,000 units within 12 months, Sunderland said.

He added: “We have been working with Age UK to develop a range of devices and contracts for elderly people which are being trialled now. It is an opportunity to test new ideas with an audience directly.”

Cognatel CEO Mark Ashdown said: “The application for this device plus the MVNO is meeting a particular requirement with the UK population and that is very exciting.

“We are trying to work with them on other opportunities where there are applications in other sectors and other segments.”