The People's Operator: by the people, for the people? That should work in the US

Ian Scales
By Ian Scales

Jan 20, 2014

I suppose TPO could be seen as a milder UK version of the 'UnCarrier' concept currently being run though its paces by T-Mobile in the US. But where T-Mobile's CEO John Legare is aggressive and scathing about his competitors - Legare's latest trick is to offer to pay for the early contract termination fees imposed by his competitors to users defecting to T-Mobile - TPO's criticism of conventional mobile operators is more implied: that mobile operators charge too much for too little and aren't too nice about it either. TPO is going to charge fairly and put some of the profits to good causes, it claims.

TPO, which was founded in 2012, runs an MVNO off the back of EE (the combined UK operations of T-Mobile and Orange) and says its contrasting ethical approach means it can glean users at a very low 'cost of sale' (it doesn't do expensive marketing and advertising, it doesn't use a chain of retail outlets either) and can put the savings to work to benefit all those in the chain: good wages and conditions for TPO employees; lower prices and simplified price plans for users; and reasonable profit-taking by shareholders, with a large amount left over to donate to good causes, it claims.

A quarter of corporate profits are donated directly by the company and in addition 10 per cent of each user's charges are directed to the charity of his or her choice.

Jimmy Wales' has taken a strategic stake in the business and as co-Chair will be involved in all aspects of the business. The next target country, understandably, is the US.

Email Newsletters

Sign up to receive TelecomTV's top news and videos, plus exclusive subscriber-only content direct to your inbox.