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30 March 2009

Lebara Mobile launches in Australia

Partnering with Vodafone Australia as a new Mobile Virtual Network Operator (MVNO), Lebara Mobile is launching Australia’s first prepaid mobile SIM card for consumers that offers low-cost international call rates from 5c per minute.
Lebara Mobile’s success, which has seen it generate more than $A400 million in annualised revenues and acquire over three million customers across Europe since launching just eight years ago, is based on the simplicity of its product. No access codes are required, allowing consumers to simply buy a prepaid SIM card, activate it online or in-store and insert it in any unlocked mobile phone handset to make international calls anywhere, anytime.
The prepaid SIM card offers competitive local call rates, so customers can also take advantage of low-cost local, national and international calls without the need to switch between SIM cards.
Vodafone Australia will provide the network infrastructure for Lebara Mobile customers to make calls in Australia. International calls are passed to the Lebara Mobile international switched network, and routed seamlessly to their destination.
Lebara Mobile founder and chief executive Yoganathan Ratheesan said the Australian launch was an important new proposition for the local telecommunications industry.
“The Lebara Mobile offering allows customers to treat international calling as part of their day-to-day life using a prepaid mobile phone SIM, rather than having to find a landline to call friends and family abroad,” Ratheesan said.
“We are providing, for the first time, a simple, clear and low pricing structure that doesn’t cut minutes and is more transparent than other international calling rates and offers.”
Vodafone Australia CFO Dave Boorman said: “Lebara Mobile has been a partner with Vodafone since launching in Spain in 2007 and then the UK later that year. The partnership has been an outstanding success and we are delighted to welcome the company as an MVNO partner in the Australian market.”
Australia offers significant growth potential for Lebara Mobile. Australia has 4.9 million
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foreign-born residents, representing 24 per cent of the population1. There are 10.15 million prepaid mobile services, representing 47 per cent of the mobile market2, while the prepaid calling market is estimated at $A1.3 billion3 in airtime.
Lebara’s extensive market research identified the opportunity for a trusted international calling proposition that would benefit the biggest users of international calls - multicultural communities, temporary foreign residents, travellers and international ex-pat groups who want to regularly phone their family and friends abroad.
This effectively means that Lebara Mobile is taking on the international calling card sector. “An extremely competitive pricing structure, coupled with multi-lingual customer services via phone and online, is a unique offer for this large potential customer base who currently show little loyalty to any one international calling provider,” said Ratheesan.
Lebara Mobile SIM cards and recharge vouchers are available to purchase online now and SIM cards and recharge scratch cards will be distributed to resellers in a highly targeted distribution strategy from today.
This strategy will focus on reaching Lebara Mobile’s primary target market of multicultural Australians and long-term travellers through independent retailers in Sydney and Melbourne CBDs and suburbs, including grocers, service stations, newsagents and other outlets that are trusted community retailers.
An established partnership between Lebara Mobile and e-pay in Australia and abroad means that electronic recharge vouchers are now available to purchase in over 3,800 independent retail outlets, where the e-pay symbol is displayed. Recharge is also possible online or via mobile handsets for pre-registered customers.
“We will continue to strengthen our relationship with e-pay and seek other partnership opportunities, as we have already done in Europe, to offer Australian customers the same reliable, accessible, easy-to-use mobile service that over three million customers already benefit from internationally,” Lebara Mobile’s Ratheesan said.
Lebara Mobile offers free calls from Lebara to Lebara and also launches with an aggressive offer of 50 per cent extra credit free on all recharges.
For stockists, e-pay outlets, pricing and terms of business, go to www.lebara-mobile.com. au.
1 Australian Bureau of Statistics
2 ACMA Communications Report 2006-2007
3 Australian Convenience Store News, Jan/Feb 2008
Tel: + 31 (0)20 695 65 00 | Fax: + 31 (0)20 693 74 87 | Web: www.lebara.com
Lebara BV | Entrada 111 | 1096 EA Amsterdam | Holland | company reg: 34298812

For further information, please contact:
About Lebara Mobile
Sam Harrisingh
MS&L for Lebara
+44(0)20 7878 3137 [email protected]
Lebara Mobile’s vision is to be the world leader in providing low-cost, high quality international mobile services. Lebara Mobile was founded in 2001 as part of the Lebara Group which now has more than three million acquired customers, generates annual sales in excess of $A400 million.
Lebara was ranked as the UK’s fourth fastest-growing private company in the Sunday Times ‘Fast Track 100’ listing in 2006, voted Best Newcomer at the UK’s Mobile Industry Awards in 2008 and won most Innovative Service at the UK’s Mobile News Awards in March 2009.
About Vodafone Australia
Vodafone is the world’s leading international mobile communications group with over 289 million proportionate customers as of 31 December 2008. Vodafone currently has equity interests in 25 countries across fifive continents and a further 42 partner networks worldwide.
© Vodafone Pty Limited 2009: VODAFONE and the Vodafone logos are trade marks of the Vodafone Group. Other product and company names mentioned herein may be the trade marks of their respective owners.
For more information, please visit www.vodafone.com.au
About e-pay
e-pay is an electronic payment processing system with a national network that operates through more than 22,000 retail outlets. e-pay provides pre-pay services for mobile customers across all major telecommunications networks in Australia.
For further information, visit www.e-payaust.com.au
Tel: + 31 (0)20 695 65 00 | Fax: + 31 (0)20 693 74 87 | Web: www.lebara.com
Lebara BV | Entrada 111 | 1096 EA Amsterdam | Holland | company reg: 34298812