Businesses to get unique mobile telecoms service from industry legend’s new venture
The UK’s embattled business sector is poised to gain its own dedicated mobile virtual network tomorrow with the launch (Monday, October 27, 2008) of a new service headed by one of the most highly-respected entrepreneurs in the telecoms sector.
The new service known as “abica”, based in Glasgow, will be chaired by senior industry figure Rod Matthews, who founded ScottishTelecom, now known as Thus, which he took from start-up to a £200 million turnover business. He has worked in telecoms and IT for over four decades and been awarded the MBE for his contribution to communications in the UK.
Mr Matthews has recently joined the board of ABICA which was set up by a team of young entrepreneurs with extensive track records in fixed line and mobile phone services. The three entrepreneurs have worked together for the last two and a half years and prior to that ran their own telecoms businesses.
ABICA is the latest brand to come out of the successful privately-owned telecoms business, ABC, which in it’s financial year ending July 2008 had a profitable turnover of £1.1m.
Scott Allison, who founded his first company while an undergraduate at the University of Strathclyde in Glasgow, said: “Our re-branding is a reflection both of ABICA’s new status as a virtual network and the higher level of service we are offering customers.”
ABICA will distinguish itself in a highly competitive marketplace by offering a unique, bespoke range of contracts, tariffs and account management tools specifically designed to give businesses the flexibility to run their telecoms more efficiently.
Until now, said Mr. Allison, the larger mobile networks have focused on their retail customers at one end and their massive corporate customers at the other. He believes the life is being squeezed out of the businesses in the middle which do not fit within this profile.
Mr Matthews said last night: “In the same way that Virgin Mobile supports the youth market, we aim to be the de facto choice for business when it comes to mobiles, landlines and broadband.”
Operating as a mobile virtual network operator, ABICA offers coverage from established networks, but sets its own tariffs, contracts and service levels with customers. Unlike the many competitors who simply act as resellers of other network’s tariffs, ABICA is in full control of its offering and this enables it to highlight the needs of business and meet them better than anyone else in the market.
The majority of businesses are stuck on bundled tariffs with inclusive minutes for their mobile phones. This means they are either paying for minutes they don’t use, or they are going over their allowance and being hammered on charges. Either way they lose out.
Instead ABICA will offer businesses low line rentals and the ability to pay for their calls individually and at low rates. It also offers free ABICA to ABICA calls for customers, which can save a huge amount of calls between companies and their supply chain or their customers when calling each other.
Mr. Allison believes this is a much fairer way of charging businesses and company research shows it will immediately save new customers around 8% on current annual bills due to the low number of calls made during holiday periods and other seasonal variations.
To help customers keep on top of their phone usage, ABICA also provides an online billing platform where they can see all of the calls made on their account up to and including the previous day, which allows business managers to monitor and control their telecoms spend easily for the first time.
Mr. Matthews said: “Customers can use this service to prevent spending more than they want to and ensure staff use phones appropriately. This will help firms introduce real efficiencies in the way they use their telecoms. At a time when every penny counts, this will help SMEs drive significant cuts”.
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