Virgin Mobile launches Malaysian MVNO

13 Sep 2013

A new mobile virtual network operator (MVNO) has launched in Malaysia, with Virgin Mobile Middle East & Africa (VMMEA) having inaugurated services over the network of U Mobile. With the new player operating under the ‘FRiENDi’ banner employed by VMMEA’s existing units in countries such as Saudi Arabia, Jordan and Oman, chief executive Mikkel Vinter noted: ‘Malaysia has strong cultural, trade and tourism links with the Middle East markets where VMMEA has the bulk of operations.’

Malaysian news outlet Bernama, meanwhile, cites FRiENDi’s CEO Jonathan Marchbank as saying that, while the country is a mature market when it comes to basic voice and messaging services, there are still possibilities for innovation with a view to improving customer service. ‘We studied the Malaysian market for 18 months and we found that customers [there] are frustrated with the mobile rates being seen as confusing and expensive, that the current market practice of charging either per minute or per 30 seconds is leading to unfairly higher costs for the customers and the validity of prepaid cards is perceived as being much too short,’ the executive noted.