The People's Operator, (TPO), a UK MVNO that donates a portion of its sales to political causes and charity, has signed a MVNO agreement with Sprint and is raising capital to begin service in the US early next year.
One of TPO's backers is Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales who also serves as TPO's Executive Director of Strategy and Digital Community. In announcing the US expansion, Wales said "We intend to be the first international mobile operator which has successfully built a global customer base via online communities and viral networking.
Our research in the UK suggests that our business model, which enables customers to direct 10 per cent of their monthly bills to a cause of their choosing, will attract customers that deliver higher average revenue per user than traditional mobile network operators. Furthermore, TPO's business model has already delivered growth at a lower cost per user, low customer churn rates and wide customer appeal, because of the strong attachment customers have to their chosen causes.
We are pleased to have recently signed an operating agreement with Sprint, one of the largest network operators in the United States. This gives TPO a platform from which to start creating global on-line communities and an important first mover advantage in a large market that offers significant potential to accelerate the growth of our business."
TPO donates 10% of plan payments to causes chosen by customer and has also pledged to donate 25% of its profits to charity.
In the UK, TPO operates as an MVNO on the EE network and offers both pay as you go and postpaid plans. TPO pay as you go customers pay £10 ($16.07) for 500 minutes, 500 texts and 500MB per month. 1000 minutes, texts and MB are £15 ($24.10) and 2000 min, texts and MB are £20 ($32.14). TPO has more than 10,000 UK customers and is adding new customers at a rate of 25% per month.
The People's Operator sounds similar to GIV Mobile and Credo, two US MVNOs which let customers donate to charities and in the case of Credo, progressive clauses. T-Mobile MVNO Giv donates 8% of monthly plan charges to charities of the user's choosing and Credo is a postpaid Sprint MVNO that donates to causes and charities nominated and voted on by customers.
Sources: London Stock Exchange and The People's Operator via Fierce Wireless