The People’s Operator is a UK-based mobile virtual network operator, or MVNO, with something of a difference. You see, The People’s Operator, or TPO, is approaching two years old and is a reseller of the UK’s largest carrier’s infrastructure, EE. TPO’s key difference is that customers give back 10% of their bill to charity and can nominate a cause. Now, TPO has announced plans to extend the service to the North American market. The MVNO has already rumbled that its business model is designed to be extended across the world and the North American market is a logical next step in their plan. They have recently announced plans to float on the London Alternative Investment Market (a stock exchange designed for smaller companies) giving them a potential market valuation of £100 million ($160 million). In the same announcement, TPO stated that they have signed what is quaintly called “an operating agreement” with Sprint and TPO’s board state “the dynamics in the United States are attractive and consistent with the group’s expansion plans.”
The People’s Operator offer a limited range of both pre-paid and post-pay SIM only deals. Their rolling thirty day contracts range from £5 a month (about $8) for 50 minutes, 50 texts and 50 MB to £15 ($24) for unlimited minutes, text messages and 3 GB of data, although there’s a special offer on the £15 a month bundle at the moment: sign up before the end of October and pay just £4.25 for two months for the package. Their pay-as-you-go offers are a little more expensive, ranging from £10 a month top-up to give 500 minutes, texts and MB of data to £20, which gives 2,000 minutes, text messages and MB. Looking through their offers, The People’s Operator don’t have a credit check as part of their SIM-only post-pay deals so this is the way to go for better value.
One thing to point out is that The People’s Operator does not have access to EE’s LTE 4G network and there’s no word of when or if this will be arriving. At the moment the MVNO only around 10,000 customers so there’s huge potential for growth in the UK market: TPO has been run as something of an experiment so far. But it seems that TPO are going to use the money raised by floating on the stock exchange to fund their expansion overseas rather than waiting for UK subscriber numbers to grow. When The People’s Operator launches in North America, I expect it to give Credo Mobile and Giv Mobile, existing North American MVNOs with a focus on charitable giving and causes, a run for their money. But what do our readers think? Are these prices good enough, plus the opportunity to give 10% of your bill to charity – at no cost to yourself? Hit us up in the comments below.