Poste Mobile, Italy’s largest mobile virtual network operator (MVNO) by subscribers, is poised to jettison its longstanding network agreement with Vodafone Italy it has been reported, and will instead piggyback on the network of Wind Telecomunicazioni (Wind Italy). Local press reports blame the parting of ways on disputes between the management of Poste Mobile parent Poste Italiana and Vodafone, with the MVNO believed to be keen to gain more control of network functionality. The switch-over is expected to be formally announced within the next week.
According to Italian watchdog Autorita per le Garanzie nelle Comunicazioni (Agcom), as at 31 March 2013 Poste Mobile claimed a 53.7% share of the domestic MVNO sector, ahead of FastWeb (15.4%), CO-OP Italia (7.5%), Erg Mobile (6.9%) and Daily Telecom (4.7%). The remaining 11.8% of users are spread between around 20 smaller resellers, including MTV Italia, pan-European MVNO Lycamobile and Digi Mobil, which is owned by Romanian cableco RCS&RDS.
Italy claimed a total of 4.82 million MVNO subscribers at the end of the first quarter, up from 3.95 million one year earlier.