Jan 12th 2012

‘Talk like an Egyptian’

Effortel powers BLADNA, new Arabic MVNO in Italy dedicated to North African ethnic community

Brussels, 12 January, 2012 – Effortel, the mobile virtual network operator and enabler, announced today that it is powering BLADNA, a new Italian mobile virtual network operator (MVNO) focused on the North African community living in the country. Effortel will manage all technical aspects of the MVNO. BLADNA is a subsidiary of Vodafone Egypt and it will be hosted by a local network in Italy.

BLADNA, which means ‘Homeland’ in Arabic, will cater for the growing North African community in Italy comprised mainly of Egyptian, Moroccan and North African nationals. Effortel is responsible for all of the technical aspects of the MVNO. Planning, implementation and launch of the MVNO was achieved in the space of two months. Effortel’s technical platform was optimised to meet the specifications for BLADNA within this timeframe.

Effortel was responsible for the design and configuration of BLADNA, and it will manage technical operations for the MVNO. Further innovation from Effortel includes a feature that allows street vendors to activate a SIM card for a smartphone directly upon purchase. This smartphone activation tool is just one of many features that Effortel has built into its platform to enable BLADNA to launch services designed to suit the requirements of its ethnic target market.

This isn’t the first time that Effortel has supported an MVNO venture in the Italian market; as it currently powers Carrefour Uno Mobile and Daily Telecom, an ethnic MVNO dedicated to the Chinese community in Italy.

Effortel already has experience of deploying an Arabic-language MVNO, its technology platform powers Samatel in Oman, so it is well placed to manage operations for BLADNA and help it to consolidate its position with its target market. Effortel is the only Western European mobile virtual network enabler (MVNE) currently operating in the Middle East.

Sherine Fouad, Managing Director, BLADNA, explained: “The Arab ethnic community is considered to be one of the largest foreign immigrant communities living in Italy mainly coming from North Africa. BLADNA was designed to cater for the needs of this rapidly-growing Arabic community in Italy. BLADNA will be offering tailored services for Arabs including an Arabic speaking call centre hosted in Egypt, tailored products and services not to mention the lowest rates for calling back home at the best quality. Effortel was an ideal partner for this venture due to the fact that it has already launched a service focused on an Arabic audience in the Middle East, and it could apply that experience in bringing BLADNA to market. On top of this Effortel is running multiple MVNO ventures across Europe and here in Italy, including the ethnic MVNO Daily Telecom.”

Arkadi Panitch, Founder and CEO of Effortel, said: “BLADNA is breaking new ground in a market that we are well established in through our partnerships with Carrefour and Daily Telecom. The demand for specialist ethnic MVNOs in Italy is growing and we can lend our expertise to serving the needs of BLADNA’s Arabic customer base. Our technology platform delivers core intelligent network capability, CRM and billing systems and provision for value added services. This leaves BLADNA free to focus on developing its brand proposition and growing its subscriber base. The flexibility of our platform enabled us to implement BLADNA in the space of two months.”

Liudvikas Andriulis, CMO of Effortel, added: “Efficient distribution is the cornerstone of any successful MVNO business. Our platform enables an MVNO to evolve and meet changing market conditions. By providing the means for retailers and local shops to activate SIM cards for smartphones we are providing BLADNA with the innovation required to reach its target market, and stay one step ahead of its competitors.”

Ends

For more information please contact:

Matt Humphries

Babel PR for Effortel

T. +44 (0)20 7434 5550

E. [email protected]

W. www.babelpr.com

About Effortel

Effortel, founded in 2005, is a multi-country Mobile Virtual Network Operator (MVNO) operating in joint-venture partnership with major brands across the world. Additionally the company is a Mobile Virtual Network Enabler (MVNE) for third parties. Effortel offers the full range of management services, marketing and operational platform-based transaction processing.

Effortel is the only MVNE worldwide that has deployed and is running a centralized real-time IN system and is currently integrated with five mobile operators across five countries (Belgium, Taiwan, Poland, Italy and Oman).

Currently, Effortel centrally manages seven MVNOs on its platform – three MVNOs in Joint Venture with Carrefour (Carrefour Mobile Belgium, Carrefour Uno Mobile Italy and Carrefour Telecom Taiwan), as well as providing MVNE services to Carrefour Mobile Mova and FM Group Mobile in Poland, Daily Telecom in Italy and Samatel in the Sultanate of Oman. For more information and contact details, visit Effortel at www.effortel.com.