Cellnet offers lower tariffs

CELLNET, the UK's second largest mobile phone operator, will today unveil initiatives intended to make up the ground it has lost on its competitors.

Chief among these is a service which retrospectively adjusts phone users' bills to the most efficient tariff according to how much they use the phone.

The offer, which is part of a pounds 20m marketing campaign which kicks off today, allows mobile users to sign up to a particular tariff, secure in the knowledge that they will receive a refund on their bill if it turns out that another tariff would have been better suited.

Peter Erskine, chief executive, said the rebates, which will be calculated on a quarterly basis, were likely to amount to "double digit percentages" off many Cellnet users' bills.

As part of its "First Cellnet" campaign, the company plans to dispense with locking new users into fixed term contracts, though discounts will be available for customers who sign up for longer periods. It will also offer extra discounts for numbers which callers use frequently.

Mr Erskine said the campaign would help Cellnet attract new users as well as hold on to existing customers. He said he aimed to reduce the rate of churn in its customer base from 30 per cent to close to 20 per cent.

At the same time, Cellnet will cut call prices and launch a "prepaid" mobile phone.

Cellnet has been a loser in the battle of the mobile phone operators recently, signing up just 300,000 new customers last year compared to more than 400,000 for Vodafone, Orange and One2One.