MVNO Monday: a guide to the week’s virtual operator developments

8 Jan 2018

Dublin-based solutions provider Openet has expressed an interest in buying iD Mobile Ireland, which was put up for sale by Dixons Carphone last June, after posting a trading loss of posted a trading loss of GBP10 million (USD13 million) in FY 2016/17. The prospective deal was reported by the Independent, which notes that Virgin Media Ireland and Sky Ireland have both distanced themselves from an acquisition, after having previously been linked with a move for the MVNO. iD Mobile launched in July 2015 over the Three Ireland network.

Sticking with Ireland, supermarket firm Tesco Irelandcompleted its buyout of the 50% of Tesco Mobile Ireland that it did not already own from Hutchison 3G Ireland at the end of October 2017, Tesco Ireland CEO Andrew Yaxley confirmed in a recent interview with The Independent. The executive noted: ‘We’re the first Tesco country to fully own 100% of the Tesco Mobile business. It’s a massive opportunity, owning your own mobile phone [business] – a real opportunity of growth for us. We just see it as a growth engine.’ The deal was agreed last summer, but its closing was not publicly confirmed.

Tutti Frutti Mobile is set to become the 40th MVNO/sub-brand to enter the Austrian mobile sector, Der Standard reports. The newcomer is said to be owned by Mass Response, an Austrian company which provides interactive response services for media and television companies. Mass Response previously launched the Spusu MVNO over the Drei network in June 2015.

Elsewhere in Europe, UPC Switzerland has confirmed that it has discontinued its wholesale agreement with Salt (formerly Orange Switzerland), in favour of a new deal with Swisscom. The switchover to the new network is expected to take place in early 2019, and customers have been assured that they do not need to take any action in order to maintain uninterrupted service. UPC claimed 105,000 mobile subscribers as of 30 September 2017.

Over in Argentina, the National Entity for Communications (Ente Nacional de Comunicaciones, ENACOM) has confirmed that it has issued an MVNO licence to cable operator Supercanal, which operates in Ituzaingo, Moron and Hurlingham. The company is not to be confused with larger Supercanal Arlink, which operates in 17 provinces.

Netherlands-based international MVNO V-Tell has reportedly launched in Russia; the company claims that its SIM cards can support an unlimited number of ‘permanently active’ local numbers. V-Tell has an existing presence in Russia, via its Global Telecom unit.

In Spain, Pepephone, the international MVNO brand owned by Grupo MASMOVIL, is poised to migrate its users from the Movistar network to that of fellow MASMOVIL subsidiary Yoigo. MNO Yoigo delivers coverage to around 85% of the Spanish population, and relies on a roaming deal with Orange Espana to cover the rest of the country.

Finally, Spanish MVNO Republica Movil – which launched back in 2013 – has confirmed that it passed the 100,000-subscriber mark at the end of 2017.

We welcome your feedback about MVNO Monday. If you have any questions, topic suggestions, or corrections, please email editors@commsupdate.com

TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database is now home to the telecoms industry’s fastest-growing collection of MVNO data, covering more than 90 countries and 850 virtual operators. If you would like to find out more, please email sales@telegeography.com

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