Virgin Mobile Latin America (VMLA) is reportedly planning to launch a mobile virtual network operator (MVNO) in Brazil within the next 18 months, becoming the third reseller operation in the country in the process. The announcement follows developments earlier this month in which VMLA confirmed it has secured USD26.5 million in new equity financing from existing shareholders Virgin Group and ePlanet Capital, as well as from new investors Hermes Growth Partners (HGP), CANEPA and Souter Investments. At the time, VMLA said it intended to use the new funds to develop its regional businesses and launch Virgin Mobile Chile. The group also confirmed its ambitions to start operations in seven further markets, including Colombia, Brazil, Argentina and Mexico.
TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database writes that in February this year VMLA announced a tie-up with Brazil’s Datora Telecom, part of the Porto Seguro insurance group, to launch MVNO services. Datora chief executive Wison Otero was quoted at the time as saying: ‘We already have contracts [in place with all] fixed and mobile operators in Brazil; we have the experience of Porto Seguro in the MVNO [segment] and we know how to integrate MVNO systems,’ adding, ‘We will not merely act as advisers to Virgin. We will be full partners and we work together [in the new venture].’ Datora Telecom’s shareholding in the new MVNO project was, however, not disclosed. The pair intend to develop their business model over the next two to four months he said, including taking key decisions over which network operator to use as the host provider and whether or not to use Datora’s existing MVNO licence, or apply to Anatel for a new one.