Can ‘The People’s Operator’ Become A Success Story?

Can the worlds of charity and mobile combine?


Wikipedia’s founder, Jimmy Wales, joined ‘The People’s Operator’ (TPO) last year. As a ‘socially conscious’ phone network, it allows subscribers to donate 10% of their monthly fee to a charity of their choosing.

The company’s mission is to raise millions to help charitable causes and has been described as ‘a better alternative’ to mainstream networks that are purely commercial. The network is also committed to treating the stakeholders across its supply chain ethically.

TPO recently hit 30,000 subscribers and is looking to recover from what was a poor financial showing in 2014. They have also announced that they’re going to be offering a new 30-day rolling contract with 31GB of data for 19.99 - a deal which is predicted to increase their recent success even further.

Mark Epstein, TPO’s CEO, is happy about the recent developments surrounding his company, stating;

‘We are going from strength to strength. In fact, we’ve exceeded our targets and with this latest deal we are offering customers even more value and choice on a UK mobile deal that makes a difference’

According to Business Insider, the company made a pre-tax loss of £2.3 million last year but its increased UK coverage - now reaching 99% of the country, has been the platform for the network’s newfangled success. According to their own estimates, they are now on track to push their monthly income to £100,000, almost double the £62,227 made at the start of 2013.

This represents good progress and it’s clear that Jimmy Wales is very optimistic about the future of TPO. In a recent interview he said;

‘Reaching 30,000 people on TPO so quickly is fantastic, and it is really still just the beginning with the US launch just around the corner’

The US launch mentioned by Wales is next step for the socially responsible network - where the company is also planning to create a platform where customers can discuss the causes they want their 10% donation to go to.

There’s been a real trend towards people wanting to give to causes which mean something to them. We’ve seen crowdfunding become a platform for this and it’s likely that TPO will be a success if it taps into that audience.

It’s still probable however that the operators which offer the best deals will be the most profitable, but the TPO remains an innovative idea which will help some of the world’s most needing charities.


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