Lebara create 200 jobs and become one of the leading UK MVNO players

by Ricky Chotai on 13th May 2009


Lebara Mobile has just announced that in the recession it will be creating jobs in the sector; in particular in the UK this will be their call centre operations as reported by Mobile Today.

I wanted to look at why Lebara Mobile is doing so well, especially in comparison to its other MVNO competitors targeting immigrants and ex-pats primarilly with discounted international calling. Six months ago if you asked who the leading MVNO operators in that market were in the UK I would have said Nomi, Lebara and Lyca Mobile. Now it seems Lebara has the crown in this market, but why?

  1. Prices – Lebara have the most competitive prices around.
  2. Customer Services - Customer Services agents can speak a variety of languages and the company prides itself on customer service.
  3. Marketing – Lebara are the only operator I have seen in town / city centres on a frequent basis handing out SIMs and explaining the service. For Lebara at least, this is defiantly working – they also advertise on the foreign language / specialist channels targeted at specific ethnic groups available on satellite services such as Sky Digital.

The first is pretty much a given, however I think the second two points is where the true success of Lebara lies. Call Centres that can speak a variety of languages are essential, I am of Indian decent and this is one of the reasons why my grandfather is still with Virgin Media rather then Sky – they will try and get a Hindi speaker and this means he can sort out issues himself. The final is their marketing campaign, some network operators believe in massive advertising campaigns (such as Vodafone, T-Mobile and Orange) – these are all well and good but you still need to get the customer to use your service. By physically handing SIM cards out, people can go home and try out your service straight away, and if it is good they will probably carry on using your service.

This is also good news for Vodafone as Lebara run as a MVNO on their network, in recent years we have seen the big 5 network operators let MVNOs go for niche markets themselves instead of trying to appeal to a diverse customer base. Lebara Mobile is an operator that knows their target market and understands their needs and as a result is doing extremely well because of it.

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