UK MVNO Ovivo Mobile‘s has posted an announcement from CEO Dariush Zand explaining the companies decision to drop (for now?) it’s ad-funded model. The network, whose backhaul is provided by Vodafone, offered a calls, text and data bundle for the cost of a SIM card (£5) in return for in-line advertising during your browsing session. CEO Mr Zand explains that a small number of fraudulent users have abused the system, ordering and swapping between multiple SIM cards and bypassing the company’s advertising system effectively cutting off their revenue stream.
He goes on to say “Whilst the number of these fraudsters is small, they have sought to attack the core business model that Ovivo practices and undermine our business.”
The post (also emailed to Ovivio Mobile customers) indicates that the ad-funded model may return at a later date (presumably when a more robust advertising scheme is developed) but for now, they are offering a package similar to that of rival GiffGaff where for a low monthly topup you receive a number of texts, minutes and data allowance, whilst still offering some of the services for free for existing customers.
Ovivo Mobile still offers excellent value for money, for example, £10 gets you a data-enabled SIM card, preloaded with £10 worth of credit, which will buy you two months of data usage (1Gig/month) plus you get 512mb/month for free – making a total of 3Gig of data over the two months.