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Tiscali to go mobile in 2008

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Tiscali is set to relaunch the Toucan Mobile brand it acquired as part of last year's Pipex buyout, though it's still talking to the networks about which lucky operator gets to carry Toucan customers.

Toucan Mobile was part of Pipex, and currently runs on T-Mobile's network. That contract is up for renewal within the next 12 months, so Tiscali could look for a cheaper carrier or just renegotiate its rates with T-Mobile. The the Telegraph puts the Toucan customer base at 7,000 and suggests that the re-launch will be a SIM-only service without subsidised handsets.

Much has been made of companies being able to offer pay-TV and fixed broadband, along with fixed and mobile telephony - the so-called "quad play". Very few companies currently offer all four communications options, though where a component is missing it's either being planned or the company is attempting to make it redundant - such as offering mobile broadband as a replacement for ADSL, or replaced fixed telephony with GSM connections.

A SIM-only offering would put Toucan in the more cost-sensitive end of the market, but the power of cross-selling can be considerable, especially if companies can offer access to the same services over different technologies.

For companies lacking cellular infrastructure being a virtual operator is the only real option, though there are many degrees of virtuality and it remains to be seen if the newly polished Toucan is just a sticker on an existing offering or if they decide to take on some of the service themselves, and integrate it with their existing products.®

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