The People's Operator: newly launched UK mobile network puts charity first

A mobile network that allows users to donate a portion of their handset outlay to positive causes has launched in the UK.

The People's Operator (TPO) went live earlier today (19 November), initially as a PAYG-only service, though contract options will become available in early 2013.

The network will allow consumers to donate 10 per cent of their expenditure (calls, texts, data usage etc) to a charitable (or non-charitable) cause or organisation of their choosing.

In terms of pricing, text messages will cost 7.5p, UK calls will cost 12.5p and data will be available for 12.5p per megabyte.

Additionally, TPO will contribute 25 per cent of its profits to charities, such as Childline and the NSPCC.

"It's called The People's Operator because that's what it's built to do - it's built to help people", explained TPO's co-founder, Tom Gutteridge. "It's built to support causes and to generate support direct to local communities. It matters because we can offer a great deal to our users - a great mobile deal - and it matters to the causes because we're going to share a percentage of our profits with them."

TPO is a mobile virtual network operator (MVNO), which means it uses the infrastructure of one of the bigger mobile operators. TPO will employ the masts of EE, which means that it is likely to offer 4G LTE spectrum options at some point in the not too distant future.

TPO will also enable customers to manage several SIM cards from one account.

"The more profits we can make as a business, the better it can be for people in communities around the country," stated Andrew Rosenfeld, chairman of TPO.