TDC closes easyMobile in the UK

easyGroup, the company behind a myriad of budget services, has been forced to bin its no-frills mobile offering, easyMobile, due to contractual issues with Danish brand licensee TDC.

The company claims that its brand is at risk if it continues working with TDC so it has terminated its licence agreement.

Some 80,000 customers, who will remain connected to the service until 13 December, were notified of the closure today.

easyMobile says it has made an alternative arrangement with Fresh Mobile at the Carphone Warehouse for customers wishing to transfer their contracts.

It has promised to help unlock phones or port numbers for those who decide to move to other operators.

TDC was acquired by a consortium of private equity houses in January 2006. easyGroup believes this limited the amount of focus and investment ploughed into non-Danish businesses, meaning the UK market suffered as a result.

"Simply put, TDC is no longer a worthy licensee of the easy brand and damages will be sought to compensate for any damage done to the brand in the past or in the future," said Stelios Haji-Ioannou, easyGroup's chairman and founder of easyMobile.

"I will make sure that TDC understand that they must treat the customers and the staff well and I am already putting a new service in place with a new partner under the brand."

The service will still operate in Germany, but TDC must stop using the easyMobile brand within a month. It plans to re-brand the offering as 'callmobile.'

"We will further build on our success with the SIM only, no-frill concept in Germany," said Jesper Theill Eriksen, chief executive of TDC Mobile International.

"At the same time, we are withdrawing from the UK market, as the realised growth in the customer base does not live up to TDC's original business plan expectations and as we do not believe that easyMobile UK has the potential to develop into a sizeable and profitable MVNO in the short term."

Maggie Holland

Maggie has been a journalist since 1999, starting her career as an editorial assistant on then-weekly magazine Computing, before working her way up to senior reporter level. In 2006, just weeks before ITPro was launched, Maggie joined Dennis Publishing as a reporter. Having worked her way up to editor of ITPro, she was appointed group editor of CloudPro and ITPro in April 2012. She became the editorial director and took responsibility for ChannelPro, in 2016.

Her areas of particular interest, aside from cloud, include management and C-level issues, the business value of technology, green and environmental issues and careers to name but a few.