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18 May 201512 Comments by Jon M

Tello interview (part 1)


tello is the latest newcomer to the MVNO party in the UK having launched at the end of October last year. It’s formed through a partnership between KeepCalling and x‑Mobility.

KeepCalling is a US telecoms company with offices in Romania and Bolivia. It started off small back in 2002 reselling phone cards before expanding into monthly mobile plans and international virtual numbers. It now runs over 70 websites turns over about £30 million in yearly profits.

x‑Mobility is a Mobile Virtual Network Aggregator. Basically, what this means is it acts as an intermediary between Three Mobile and the various virtual networks than run on its service.

We got together with their Managing Director, Silvana Tatu to ask a few questions about the new network.

Hi Silvana, thanks for chatting with us. First of all can you explain a little more about the genesis of the company and the ideas behind it?

tello is a brand designed by KeepCalling, a telecom company based in the US, Atlanta who’s been in the telecom business since 2002. From the beginning, KeepCalling’s mission has been to bring family and friends closer together and offer them affordable means of communication.

In 2014, KeepCalling created tello having the same goal in mind: offer a clean, high quality mobile service for UK users with a fair and simple billing mechanism. And top of that, tello was designed as a solution to cover long distance calling needs for expats in the UK, businessmen, or any other person living in the UK who needs a SIM to call abroad, make local calls and surf the web.

And can you tell us a bit about the management team and their background?

KeepCalling’s management team is represented by a group of young and ambitious specialists who gathered a wide experience in the telecom market. The knowledge acquired while doing business in the US for the past 13 years was a very useful prerequisite when deciding to expand our business to the UK.

You seem to have a good understanding of the international/expat market. How are you positioning your offerings to suit these customers best and how true is it that you’re a specialist network for international mobile use?

It’s true that we cater our services and offers to meet our customers’ needs. What’s unique about us and what differentiates us from others is that we really put our customers, their traditions, their culture and language first. Customers can read, visit and buy our products from our websites in their native language. They see familiar images from their homeland, they receive customized emails based on their culture. Basically, their entire online experience from an ad they see on Google, to ordering a product on our website is customized to match their cultural background.

As far as being “a specialist network for international mobile use”, we are honored. It’s true that we have a lot of experience and that we know our customers, so I guess we could say we’re a specialist in this field.

Could you describe the brand in three words?

Friendly, fair, responsive.

Great! But who do you see as your closest competitor?

Our services are addressed to both UK citizens & expats, therefore we have a lot of competition. The UK MVNO market especially is a very competitive one, with many operators offering great deals on international and national calls, text and data. Basically, all UK current providers can be considered our competitors.

So having said that and with our common understanding that the MVNO market is incredibly saturated and competitive, what’s your one USP?

It’s true, as I mentioned before, the UK market is a very competitive one, but competition is good. It pushes your limits and makes you better than you can ever imagined.

Our USP would be “Say hello with your new tello SIM: clean, fair, no hidden fees or overcharges”

What’s the uptake been like so far? What are your growth plans and forecasts?

Even if tello is a new MVNO on the UK market, our online presence is getting stronger and stronger with every day that passes. We are currently analyzing different possibilities to expand our marketing strategy and grow our business.

Stay tuned for the second part of our Tello interview with Silvana coming next Monday…

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12 Responses to “Tello interview (part 1)”

  1. A G 18 September 2016 at 16:28 Permalink

    You are so right. I do. I can smugly sneer at my friends who are locked into year long contracts or longer, while I can change my plan at any time. It feels so good, especially when it is actually cheaper for me than a conventional 12 month plan which forces me to pay for AYCE voice/text (which I really don’t need). This network is great for data, but quite expensive for calling plans (£6 is expensive for unlimited calls). However, I can call most numbers if I need to without much expense. You are right. It is brilliant.

  2. A G 6 August 2016 at 00:02 Permalink

    I am in the sign up process right now. Waiting for Sim card to arrive. Can’t wait to get started with this network. It’s quite a revolution in the way a mobile network works. As much as Giffgaff, if not more.

    • Ronnie 8 August 2016 at 21:11 Permalink

      You will love it.
      Simple,cheap and excellent customer service.

  3. Ronnie 6 May 2016 at 18:58 Permalink

    Hey guys,the pricing for tello seems to be wrong .
    it’s 3p per call,3p per text and 1p per MB.
    No idea where 15p per MB came from.
    Incidently,you don’t have a contact page,so I will ask you through this.
    There seems to be a social media link on the lefthand side of my screen on here.And I can’t get rid of it.
    Is it really necessary ?
    It’s really annoying,and gets in the way.

    • Suedoe 2 July 2016 at 07:19 Permalink

      If you are using “Adblock” you can right click on “the annoyance” and block it. I hate it too. It’s like a dirty windscreen.

  4. Tiru Narayan 13 January 2016 at 23:03 Permalink

    Is Tello available in the U.S.A.?

    • Mobile Network Comparison 13 January 2016 at 23:48 Permalink

      Do they advertise for there on their site? If not, almost certainly no. But you could always ask them on Twitter/email.

    • Cristina 15 April 2016 at 12:48 Permalink

      Yes it is, check out

  5. Ronnie 18 November 2015 at 18:46 Permalink

    Love this MVNO.
    They have lived up to my expectations for a network

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