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Summary:

Rebtel, a London-based VoIP startup, seems to be taking a white-label approach to boost usage of its services. The company will announce a brand license deal with easyGroup, a company started by discount carrier easyJet founder and serial entrepreneur Sir Stelios Haji-Ioannou. As part of this deal, easyGroup […]

Rebtel, a London-based VoIP startup, seems to be taking a white-label approach to boost usage of its services. The company will announce a brand license deal with easyGroup, a company started by discount carrier easyJet founder and serial entrepreneur Sir Stelios Haji-Ioannou. As part of this deal, easyGroup will sell cheap international calls under the brand name easyMobile.

easyGroup is well-known in Europe for offering discount services — from air travel to Internet access to rentals, and cheap international calling fits in with easyGroup’s overall business mantra. easyMobile is going to target 5.5 million Brits who live overseas and a million non-British EU citizens. VoIP has become popular in Europe, mostly because carriers, both fixed and wireless, have high tariffs for long-distance calls.

Over the ast few years, there has been a huge influx of Eastern Europeans in the UK workforce. Their international calling patterns offer an opportunity for a discounter, especially if it works with a mobile phone. Rebtel’s mobile VoIP service will work with any mobile phone. The two companies didn’t disclose the terms of the agreement. From what I understand, there will be some revenue exchanged. Rebtel has also done a similar deal with Polish portal Onet.pl, making this their second white-label deal. I guess like Jajah, Rebtel is coming to grips with the reality that building a brand isn’t easy.

Rebtel is one of the companies that I ignored for a while, mostly because at the time of their launch in May 2006, I found the user experience challenging. The company that raised over $20 million for Benchmark Capital and Index Ventures has since be working to make the service easier to use.

Our friend Luca Filigheddu was singing their praises recently. That said, this is an increasingly crowded market — several players have mobile VoIP solutions that essentially compete with Rebtel, not to mention Pat Phelan’s roaming discounter, MAXroam, a service I use and recommend.

All these new developments…maybe it’s time to catch up with co-founder Hjalmar Winbladh.

  1. [...] Rebtel’s Goes Easy, Thinks White Label [...]

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  2. [...] Rebtel’s Goes Easy, Thinks White Label [...]

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  3. [...] a México por ejemplo por el precio de una llamada Barcelona, Barcelona. Además ahora Rebtel está sacando marcas blancas. Aquí hay un video que curiosamente tiene una publicidad de un restaurante francés en silicon [...]

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  4. Om:
    That’s an interesting move from rebtel. As u said, there are too many players in this space. What do you think would be the long-term plan for these companies? In other words, I don’t see an acquisition potential for most of these startups. So does it mean, they would have to survive independent competing or aligning with the operator or go IPO?

    Cheers,
    Omfut

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  5. [...] Jajah, Rebtel is signing important agreements as well and the first one seems to be a big one, easyMobile, the mobile virtual operator by easy [...]

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  6. easyMobile back, but calls not free as announced…

    Exactly one year ago Stelios told me that he wanted to resuscitate the company as an MVNO with free phone calls, sponsored by advertising. But the new easyMobile is nothing more than a new face for the Swedish VoIP company Rebtel….

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  7. [...] at Rebtel with EasyMobile (but I know for sure there is more coming out soon) or FreshTel with Tesco. FreshTel, for example, [...]

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  8. [...] model, one they launched with back in 2006. After realizing that they weren’t going anywhere, Rebtel re-focused and now (supposedly) makes a decent living. The whole process of using Jaxtr to make free phone [...]

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  9. [...] year Rebtel acquired Gorilla Mobile to expand is business to Asia. The company had switched to a white label model in 2008 and since then has been trying to find steady [...]

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