I guess it is no secret that in the supermarket, the space in front and alongside the cash register is great for selling those small things you can grab and consume on the way, which you would probably not pick up if you saw them somewhere else. These days, German supermarkets sell SIM cards this way. Only have 3 already? Why not pick up another one? The offer shown in the picture on the left must be the latest step in this direction: How about getting 4 SIM cards in a single family pack from Edeka Mobil, an MVNO using the Vodafone network, and distribute them to your family members!?
All yours for 30 euros, with 10 euros of credit already on each SIM card. For 3 euros a month, talk 10 hours between the SIMs of the MVNO. 9 cents a minute to fixed and mobile phones in Germany and 9 cents per SMS. Who could say no? Probably only your kids who already have SIM cards with community options to text their friends 🙂
It's an interesting trend to observe. The first no-frills but cheap MVNOs were launched by mobile operator e-Plus (KPN) about two years ago. O2 has been a bit quicker with MVNOs but their prices were not very competitive until e-Plus stirred up the market. Since then, all mobile operators have followed and even incumbents like T-Mobile and Vodafone are now offering no-frills prepaid SIMs via MVNOs with competitive prices for voice and SMS.
The same is now happening with mobile Internet access. Again e-Plus was first to offer competitive prices for small screen web browsing and now O2 is offering all post-paid Internet access plans also on their own prepaid SIMs. Let's see how the story continues in 2009.