Manila, Philippines-based Mobilink-Network, which claims to be the first decentralised global mobile telecom provider, promises users unlimited calling, roaming and data if they buy its cryptocurrency in a planned Initial Coin Offering (ICO).
Services on its network will come free as revenues from digital ads will pay for all voice and data usage. Advertisers will pay Mobilink-Network to show ads on the smartphone, and the telecom firm will use that money to cover the monthly mobile bill.
The Filipino company is betting on the fact that there are almost five billion smartphone users and advertisers are spending heavily on digital ads, with 2017 figures standing at an estimated $122 billion and projected to reach over $350 billion after 2021. According to the company, this boils down to advertising revenues being higher than mobile voice and data revenues in the future.
In an example, it said that if it earned ad revenue of $100, it will use it in the following way: $45 to cover telecom services, $14 to cover operating costs, $14 for fees, $10 for the firm’s coffers, and $21 for the user in the form of virtual coins.
The firm estimates it will have users in over 170 countries and 250 million clients within the next two years. That number is expected to jump to over 600 million users within four years, using both direct and indirect interconnections to access over 170 worldwide telecom carriers.
What’s more, a decentralised Mobilink-Wallet will allow consumers to exchange Mobilink-Coins with top-50 cryptocurrencies. The exchange is in development stage. "You can transfer your Mobilink-Coins to your Mobilink Prepaid Card and you can use them anywhere MasterCard is accepted at any shop or ATM machine worldwide," the firm said. The virtual coins are based on the code that Ethereum uses.
In the backend, the company says it has connections in over 170 countries with several telecom service providers such as Bharti Airtel, Vodafone, Reliance Netconnect, Tata Communications, Telia Company, T-Mobile, AT&T, NTT DoCoMo, which allow the use of voice and data.
How do you get a SIM card?
Well, the company said it has a total supply of nine billion virtual coins with a value of $0.10 each. Right now it is making 3.1 billion coins available with a minimum investment limit of $300, which will also make the investor eligible for a SIM card. The firm will ship a SIM card (usable across 170 countries) to enable voice and data for the eligible user. Using blockchain technology, consumers will be rewarded with virtual coins.
The terms and conditions of buying virtual coins may not inspire confidence. The company plans to list virtual coins in May after ICO, aims to deliver SIMs in July, and launch the beta ad platform in October. But the sale agreement for coins puts out a disturbing clause: "The purchase of Mobilink-Coin from the company is final, and there will be no refunds or cancellations afterwards, except as specifically provided in these terms. However, the company reserves the right to cancel any Mobilink-Coin purchase or refuse any purchase requests at the company’s sole discretion for any reason."