Ex-Orange team launch student mobile service

Three former Orange marketers have linked up with Vodafone to launch a no-frills “virtual” mobile phone service exclusively for students.

Freddie Shirley, Steven Brabenec and Richard Sanderson will launch Dot next week, backed by jvtv, the company behind national student channel SUBtv.

The low-cost service will launch in 90 universities, backed by a substantial campus marketing campaign. It has been specifically tailored to the student market, with transparent pricing structures and bundles of “units”, rather than minutes and texts.

Vodafone chief commercial officer Nick Read says: “We believe Dot has developed a well-targeted and unique product that should prove very attractive to the UK’s 2.1 million students.”

The service will be available exclusively to students online and on campus. The launch marketing campaign includes sponsorship of club nights, television advertising on SUBtv and poster, print and online activity.

Dot chief executive JR Smith says/ “The approach the rest of the industry takes is to force mobile users to predict their level of use. People often get it wrong. We let customers choose a bundle of units that covers calls, texts and picture and video messages.”

Jvtv is a venture capitalist-backed company that launched SUBtv last year. Shirley, who has also worked at third-generation mobile network 3, will be Dot’s marketing director, while Brabenec, whose CV includes a spell at BT, will be communications and PR director.

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