Hamburg-based coffee company Tchibo, which already sells clothes, household goods and pension insurance, is now making a foray into the world of telecommunications. Together with German network O2, Tchibo has set up a joint company to develop, test and offer mobile phone services. Tchibo plans to buy talking time from O2 and sell mobile phones with prepaid cards under its own name by Christmas. German daily
Financial Times Deutschland reported that Tchibo would become Germany's first Mobile Virtual Network Operator (MVNO), which refers to providers, who market their own contracts but own no networks. The paper said that the new concept would not just increase Tchibo's own range of products, but also step up competition among mobile network providers. The main bulk of Tchibo's revenue, which reached €787 million ($976 million) in the first quarter of this year, already comes from its diverse range of household goods, tours, cars and financial services.