easyMobile moves into the Netherlands

Coming this summer to Dutch mobiles...

Coming this summer to Dutch mobiles...

Low-cost mobile operator easyMobile is set to launch in the Netherlands this summer after announcing a mobile virtual network operator (MVNO) agreement with Dutch mobile operator Telfort.

This is the second market for easyMobile, having launched in the UK last month as the latest addition to Stelios Haji-Iannou's 'easy' empire.

The mobile company is known for its no-frills approach, selling voice minutes and text messages at set tariffs without any rental charges or subsidisation of handsets.

easyMobile also reduces overhead by selling over the internet and offering minimal customer service.

While bare-bones mobile offerings have proved successful in Denmark with Telmore, analysts say easyMobile will have plenty of competition and pricing pressure in the Netherlands.

Ovum analyst Carrie Pawsey said in a research note: "The Dutch market is already crowded, with more than 20 MVNOs and service providers not to mention the five MNOs." Competitors include alternative players such as Tele2, Debitel and Lebara - which in the past have not been afraid to compete on price.

She continued: "There has already been talk of easyMobile causing a price war in the Dutch market."

In just one month, easyMobile has managed to stir things up in the UK, including a price war with Fresh, the CarPhone Warehouse MVNO, and a legal tangle with mobile operator Orange over the use of the colour orange.

easyMobile has plans to launch in 12 European countries, according to Pawsey, though it's hard to say which will be next.

"It's likely there is some discussion ongoing with BASE in Belgium and possibly TeliaSonera and Tele2 in Sweden," Pawsey speculated. "I am sure that France and Germany are on the agenda of Stelios and his team."