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Free MVNO Blyk to expand to German, Spain, Belgium

It was barely two months ago that Blyk, the free ad-supported MVNO in the UK, announced its 100,000th customer. Now we learn that they will expand operations, opening up shop in Germany, Spain, and Belgium in 2009. The MVNO is still in talks with carriers from those countries, though they must be far enough along for the company to make the announcement. As we’ve noted every time this service comes up, when will we get something like this in the U.S.?

And as we always answer: No time soon. The U.S. MVNO market, as we know, is in shambles as it is. Offering free minutes to customers in exchange for viewing ads likely wouldn’t work too well. Then again, there is Virgin Mobile’s SugarMama, which operates along the same idea as Blyk.

When I talked to MVNO guru Alex Besen for the latest Prepaid Podcast, he talked about how many European countries have mobile market saturation rates of over 100 percent. With the U.S. at around 85 percent, it makes sense that we don’t see the same kind of success as foreign MVNOs. But the time will come. Or so we hope.

In Germany and Spain, Blyk faces fierce competition via price wars among the countries’ mobile carriers and MVNOs. But hey, it must be easy to get into a price war when your price is zero.