European ad-supported free mobile service Blyk has landed its first business with mobile operators, after deciding to shelve its own plans to be a virtual network operator (MVNO).
A spokesperson told me: “The first deal has been done in Netherlands with Vodafone; they’re taking the whole Blyk brand, it’s a Blyk-branded service.” This will likely mean Vodafone (NYSE: VOD) offering customers free calls and SMS in return for receiving mobile ads, but the company refused to disclose the pricepoint at which the tariff will operate. The release says only that it’s a “partnership”, a Dutch exclusive.
NMA also reports Blyk has signed a similar deal with Orange UK (the network supplier for its own MVNO) that will shortly migrate its own 200,000 customers to the mobile carrier. The spokesperson wouldn’t comment on that and said an announcement to follow the Vodafone one is due soon. “We announced the business model changed back in November, from MVNO to Blyk Media, partnering with operators, offering various things, it depends what operators want.”