T-Mobile plans to appoint a further two distributors after the mobile operator signed its second UK distribution deal with Northamber last week.
The firm, which has multiple routes to market including a strong retail presence, previously only had a sole distribution agreement with Ingram Micro.
However, it has outlined ambitious channel expansion plans for 2007, with more distributor deals in the pipeline.
Adrian Williams, head of indirect business sales at T-Mobile, said: “The main reason for the Northamber signing is to drive our data proposition in the SME market. This signing is complementary to our existing channels.
“We have plans to sign another two distributors within the next two to three months. We are after a broadliner and another that is a bit more specialist. We do not intend to have more than five distributors in this market.
Williams added that T-Mobile was also looking to recruit new resellers, with a focus in the data market. “I would expect us to gain between 250 and 300 active data resellers by the end of next year,” he said.
As a part of the deal, Northamber will provide T-Mobile’s Web’n’Walk offering, an internet access package for mobile phones and laptops.
Jared Cary, product channel director at Northamber, said: “Many of our resellers are now looking for a single point of contact to meet the individual IT and communications requirements of their SME customers. Access to the T-Mobile offerings will be a key selling point for us.”
Bhavesh Patel, commercial director at Ingram, said: “I am aware T-Mobile is signing new distributors. When every vendor starts out in the channel they focus on one or two players, but as the market matures they move from the entrepreneur stage to become a mature player.”
However, Pierre Lams, co-founder of mobility reseller Handheld PCs, said: “I think T-Mobile will struggle with a distribution model. We find it hard to work with distributors on mobile telephony, because the commission payments on tariffs are too complicated. Distributors providing mobiles find it hard to manage and communicate their message to the traditional IT reseller channel.”
Lams added that Handheld PC’s most successful carrier relationships are with O2 and Orange. This is because the firm deals with them directly using their internal partner management teams.
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