Skip to main content

Charitable MVNO The People's Operator shuts down

(Image credit: TPO)
Audio player loading…

The People’s Operator (TPO), the charitable Mobile Virtual Network Operator (MVNO) backed by Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales, is closing down after seven years.

TPO launched in 2012 using EE’s network to deliver voice, text and data services to customers, before switching to Three in 2015.

 It sought to differentiate itself in a crowded MVNO market by promising that ten per cent of everything a customer spent would be donated to charity.

The People's Operator

In 2014, the company floated on the London Stock Exchange and appointed Wales as head of digital as it launched a charitable social network and expanded into the USA. However, it failed to attract enough customers and there were frequent complaints of poor customer service.

TPO has informed customers that its services will cease from February 26 and has urged them to obtain their PAC code and join another operator. To ease the process, TPO has reached a deal with SMARTY (Network partner Three’s own MVNO) to send out SIM cards to customers who can get their first month free if they make the switch.

“All customers should receive an email or a letter with full details – if you’ve not received anything by Monday 18th February please contact our Webchat team who can help you,” TPO told subscribers.

“We would like to thank you for your custom. We’re proud that together we’ve helped the charities and causes you care about and provided £100,000’s to organisations across the country to help their missions.”

Steve McCaskill is TechRadar Pro's resident mobile industry expert, covering all aspects of the UK and global news, from operators to service providers and everything in between. He is a former editor of Silicon UK and journalist with over a decade's experience in the technology industry, writing about technology, in particular, telecoms, mobile and sports tech, sports, video games and media.