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TenTel aiming to disrupt telecoms with unique deal

A SCOTTISH company launching next month aims to disrupt the UK telecoms market by being the first to offer customers immediate telephone and broadband services without long-term contracts.

TenTel says it will offer a unique "move-in, turn-on" service with no enforced tie-ins or hidden extras, aimed principally at customers in rented premises.

It aims to work in partnership with landlords and letting agents, offering them a commission for each line of data they supply and for each of their tenants who signs up, with deals that could increase their profitability by up to 40 per cent, according to TenTel.

It says the same business model has worked successfully in the energy market, with landlords agreeing similar deals with suppliers of gas and electricity, and TenTel is confident it can be replicated in the telecoms market.

TenTel anticipates signing 20,000 customers in its first year of trading, generating a turnover of £9million, rising to 100,000 customers within five years. It will initially employ 18 staff at its Borders headquarters.

Robert McKechnie, the company's managing director, said: "This is a brand new approach in the telecoms market that offers customers a less expensive and more convenient service while also providing a new income stream for landlords."

The Selkirk-based company boasts the most competitive prices in the market with only a 30-day notice period for customers who want to cancel their service or switch providers.

For those who want to sign up to a longer-term deal, there will be a 12-month phone and broadband package starting at £250. According to data published by Ofcom, the average household in the UK pays £451 a year for those services.

Letting agents that manage 1000 properties with an average annual rent of £9,000, for example, would achieve an annual yield of £25,000, the equivalent to them managing an extra 250 properties, TenTel says.

It argues that there are 9 million tenants in rented accommodation in the UK, two-thirds of whom will move within a year, giving the company a potential market of 6 million people.

Four out of five customers expect to be connected within five days of ordering phone and broadband but the minimum wait from the 'big four' providers (BT, Sky, Virgin and Talk Talk) is 15 days, according to their terms and conditions.

Mr McKechnie said: "Because we don't spend large sums on marketing campaigns or sales commissions to switching sites, we can pass on those savings in the form of cheaper deals to our customers and commission to our partners."

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