Mobile operators gear up for boom

Mobile phone operators are expecting record sales this Christmas of up to 5 million phones, double those of last year.

One 2 One predicts that between 4 million and 5 million mobile phones will be sold over the period and believes 40 per cent of the population will have a mobile by March 2000. Rival operator Orange believes penetration will reach 35 per cent by the year end. Penetration currently stands at 29 per cent.

Last year, pre-pay phone packages and supermarket offers fuelled sales in the quarter to December, with 2.5 million mobile phone connections being made – three times more than for the same period in 1997.

But the upsurge in demand caused distribution and customer service problems. Retailer JWE Telecom issued a profit warning in January, blaming inadequate supply and reduced margins on pre-pay phones.

This year, the operators are better prepared and are boosting distribution and customer services.

Vodafone has appointed Unipart’s demand chain manage ment division to handle its distribution, warehousing and logistics services.

The company has opened a new call centre for its pre-pay package, Pay As You Talk.

Orange and One 2 One have both created 2,000 new call centre jobs this year.

The pre-Christmas launch of Virgin Mobile will extend availability of phones through Virgin’s 220 Our Price stores and 85 Virgin Megastores.

see “Cover Story”

Latest from Marketing Week

NOT REGISTERED? IT'S FREE, QUICK AND EASY!

Access Marketing Week’s wealth of insight, analysis and opinion that will help you do your job better.

Register and receive the best content from the only UK title 100% dedicated to serving marketers' needs.

We’ll ask you just a few questions about what you do and where you work. The more we know about our visitors, the better and more relevant content we can provide for them. And, yes, knowing our audience better helps us find commercial partners too. Don't worry, we won't share your information with other parties, unless you give us permission to do so.

Register now

THE BEST CONTENT

Our award winning editorial team (PPA Digital Brand of the Year) ask the big questions about the biggest issues on everything from strategy through to execution to help you navigate the fast moving modern marketing landscape.

THE BIGGEST ISSUES

From the opportunities and challenges of emerging technology to the need for greater effectiveness, from the challenge of measurement to building a marketing team fit for the future, we are your guide.

PERSONAL AND PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT

Information, inspiration and advice from the marketing world and beyond that will help you develop as a marketer and as a leader.

Having problems?

Contact us on +44 (0)20 7292 3711 or email subscriptions@marketingweek.com

If you are looking for our Jobs site, please click here