20081107

Carrefour MVNO : Taiwan before China ?

France, Belgium, Italy, Spain... Carrefour Mobile (1 mobile in its baby steps) started in the retailer's neighborhood.

Poland was the first major move eastwards.

Now Taiwan looks like a giant leap.

Of course, Carrefour is a major player on the island with about 60 hypermarkets and 4 M membership cardholders, and times are ripe for a low-end player. But that's a tough and saturated market with 3 existing MVNOs.


Of course, this is a 2G service. But customers can chose between prepaid and postpaid, and can enjoy a loyalty program (rewards : airtime now, store promotions later).

Of course, the phones don't look very smart. But the company created a SPV dedicated to the operation (name of the Special Purpose Vehicule : the usual "Carrefour Telecom").

The host network is the leader, Chunghwa Telecom. Chung Hwa happens to mean "China". Yes, like that neighboring country where Carrefour hypermarkets are not exactly under birth control restrictions.

So this is not yet the giant leap, but one can easily guess where it points to.



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