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Cutting Room: MoCo steals march with O2

Mobile News
July 19, 2010

Kent-based MoCo looks to have moved early with a smart O2 exclusive, as distribution space continues to consolidate and resellers align with operators

By James Blackman

Diminutive airtime distributor and dealer MoCo appears to have created some space for itself.

By virtue of its scale, compared with rival firms, and its smart-thinking, one supposes, it has manoeuvred itself ahead of the consolidation in the market to a position where its strategy is clearer. It knows its future now, and who it will work with.

It is that Coke/Pepsi, PC/Mac thing with airtime suppliers – there is not much between them on the face of it, until you drill down and make choices. In a saturated market, does it make sense to serve multiple masters?

HSC would argue it is up to the customer, and that network operators have differing appeal. Its one-stop-shop strategy to offer all networks (still missing Vodafone for now) makes sense to a  point. Until one considers the volume demands, the quality targets, the supplementary bolt-on requirements set by each operator. How can a distributor hit all when there is no new business?

MoCo argues it is a one-stop-shop for O2 supply, and that in the event dealers are obliged to sell rival networks, then most dealers have those parallel arrangements. Yes Telecom for Vodafone. Mainline for Orange.

Consider Orange. It part-owns Mainline, and also Midland, and so has a vested interest in dealers putting connections through them. What multi-network distributor, ultimately, can put faith in Orange as a master-supplier?

The Vodafone model is less clear. But Yes Telecom is a wholly-owned subsidiary, with a large number of direct dealers – and the anticipated addition of ‘premier partners’. Distributors can only go through it as secondary citizens in a tiered system.

So O2 is arguably the only operator left for serious business connectors. To date, its Centre of Excellence and Approved dealer and distributor clubs have worked well, shaped the market, and led five airtime distributors on a merry dance. This new exclusive looks immediately to set up a tiered system over the top of that, like Vodafone’s and Orange’s.

And the smallest of the bunch in sales volumes, MoCo, has got there first. One must suppose Avenir will follow – more by accident, than design. It works for O2 as a huge volume driver in the channel; its chief competitor for the title is now faced with the awkward task of integrating into Anglia.

Where does it leave Anglia/Fone Logistics and HSC, in particular? Because Vodafone, Orange and O2 have chosen their ultimate partners.



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