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New Italian mobile phone operators

New Italian mobile phone operators

From this week, the receipt of some supermarkets could show, including pasta, vegetables, rump of veal and diapers, even the SIM of the operator linked to the supermarket where you shop. At least in the Coop and Carrefour centers, where their respective mobile operators make their debut at the same time, CoopVoce And ONE Mobile .

CoopVoce presents itself with a promising advertising message: “20% free traffic with each top-up, a single rate (15 cents per minute for both phone calls and SMS), free activation, the adoption of the Satisfaction Guarantee “. The service offered to Coop members and family members, born from the Coop-Telecom Italia agreement, is now fully operational: SIM cards can be purchased in over 700 points of sale and can be recharged, as Coop itself explains, in outlets themselves, at the ATMs of leading banking institutions and also on the Internet. The stated goal is to achieve in three years at least one million consumers for a turnover of around 200 million euros.

Prices: the rate, which is defined as “launch”, is 15 euro cents per minute , “For both phone calls and SMS, whether you connect with a landline or a mobile phone”, to which is added a connection fee of 15 cents, including the first 5 seconds of conversation. MMS, regardless of the destination network, cost 6o cents if up to 100 Kb in size and 1.20 euros if over 100 Kb. Surfing the Internet (on GSM or EDGE network) costs 0.6 cents per Kb. , CoopVoce promises an additional 20% bonus in voice traffic, “expected at least until 31 December 2008”.

CoopVoce numbers will be marked with the prefix “3311” (but for those who already have mobile users, the number portability ). The customer assistance service answers the number 188.

UNOMobile, the operator born from the Carrefour-Vodafone agreement, will formally start on Thursday 7 June. “0, 12, 18” is the slogan that summarizes the offer: zero means no connection fee, 12 are the euro cents cost for SMS, and 18 is the rate, in cents per minute, for calls to all national fixed and mobile numbers. There is also a special rate: it is called “Family offer” and provides for one euro cent per minute of conversation to 3 UNOMobile numbers indicated.

The Starter Kit costs 9.90 euros and includes 4 euros of telephone traffic, but when the SIM is activated there is an additional bonus of 5.90 euros of voice traffic. The top-ups, with a choice of denominations of 5, 15, 30, 50 euros, will be available at the tills of the Carrefour, GS and DìperDì sales points. “The extension to DìperDì in franchising is being completed – explain from UNOMobile – with the aim of reaching over 1,500 points of sale throughout the country by the end of the year”.

UNOMobile users will be identified by the prefix 3773, but also in this case, for those who want to keep their telephone number, there is the possibility of using the portability service.

Top-ups online, on the UNOMobile website, and via SMS, will be available from September. The following month the Banche Popolari ATM circuit will also be active. From July, however, it will be possible to top up at the Lottomatica circuit. The call center answers at 435001, while at number 435002 it will be possible to get information through an automatic responder.

The challenge between alternative operators is open, even if the proposed tariffs they do not differ much from those of traditional mobile operators . CoopVoce, although it provides for the hated connection fee, seems to have an advantage due to a slightly lower rate per minute than UNOMobile, but above all for the bonus that promises 20% more traffic on each top-up. It means that a 10 euro top-up allows you to have 12 to spend. A “reload bonus” appreciated by those used to incurring reload costs.

Dario Bonacina