T-Mobile Launches Channel Program

By Sara Driscoll  |  Print this article Print


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T-Mobile will partner with laptop vendors embedding 3G into the hardware and later with IT resellers responsible for laptop sales.

Mobile provider T-Mobile has unveiled its first European channel program and is looking to double its number of solution providers in the region by next year.

The firm said the move is based on a two-pronged strategy: first, to partner with laptop vendors that are embedding 3G into the hardware, and second, to partner with IT resellers that are responsible for laptop sales.

Adrian Williams, head of OEM and IT channel partners at T-Mobile UK, said the program will help the vendor organize and formalize it channel strategy. "We have been in the channel for about 18 months, but this is the first tiered program we've launched," he said. "We already have 450 resellers on board, and we want to be near the 1,000 mark by next year."

The program divides solution providers into three tiers: Partners, Preferred and Premier. All partners will get access to a Web portal, marketing support, sales training and account management. However, with a commitment of 50 units/connections a month, Preferred partners get additional account meetings and marketing development funding. And for a commitment of 100 units/connections a month, Premier partners will receive all of the above plus additional margin and funding, the firm said.

"From a data point of view we recognize that the data VARs have a better opportunity to sell our connectivity than our telecoms partners. Data VARs are able to manage the complete solutions from the hardware and software to the connectivity with it."

T-Mobile is distributed by Ingram Micro and Northamber in the U.K., and Williams hinted that a European deal with Tech Data may also emerge as demand grows.

Bhavesh Patel, commercial director at Ingram Micro UK, said the distributor has been assisting T-Mobile in its recruitment process. "With the massive growth in the mobile data market, resellers are ideally placed to take advantage of this at any level," Patel said.

"At the base level, resellers can earn additional profit by attaching a 3G Mobile Broadband card to every laptop they sell. The commissions available in some instances are probably higher than the margin they could make on the notebook sale. Resellers are also ideally placed to sell a fully integrated BlackBerry solution for their customer, including devices, airtime and the server software."

Sara Driscoll began her journalism career at 16 years old on her local newspaper, The Watford Observer. Working part time, she covered a range of beats. Leaving to complete her Journalism Degree at Bournemouth University, UK, Sara then went on to graduate and work for Emap. She began as a reporter on APR, Emap's construction title, being promoted to senior reporter with a year.Sara then joined VNU Business Publications as Deputy News Editor on CRN, the weekly trade title for channel players. She covered industry/business news from vendors, distributors and resellers, product announcements, partner announcements as well as market and trend analysis, research and in depth articles to predict up and coming trends in the sector. She was promoted within a year to News Editor, a year later to Deputy Editor and the following year became Editor. Sara remained editor of CRN for three years, launching the magazine on new platforms including CRN TV and eBooks, as well as several magazine and web site redesigns. She was called on for expert industry comment from various publications including appearing on live BBC news programs. Sara joined Ziff Davis Enterprise as Editor of eWeek Channel Insider. She runs the title in all formats – online up to the minute news, newsletters, emails alerts and events. She also manages the brand of Channel Insider in all formats - events, shows, awards, panel debates and roundtables.Sara can be reached at:sara.driscoll@ziffdavisenterprise.com

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