Lost in the supermarket: Aldi offshoot Hofer plans Austrian MVNO

24 Sep 2014

Austrian discount supermarket Hofer, the Austrian arm of German giant Aldi Sud, will start offering telecoms services as a mobile virtual network operator (MVNO) early next year, according to a report in Der Standard newspaper. Hofer will use T-Mobile Austria’s network, a company insider confirmed. Earlier this month, T-Mobile Austria said that it expected to see new entrants enter the sector as soon as January.

According to TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database, Hutchison Whampoa unit Drei Austria (formerly H3G) has to offer wholesale access to 30% of its network capacity to up to 16 MVNOs as a regulatory condition in its acquisition of Orange Austria last year. UPC Austria was the first company to reportedly sign an agreement with Hutch, although it has yet to launch commercial MVNO services. Meanwhile, global reseller Lycamobile agreed a deal to piggyback on A1 Telekom Austria’s network in November 2013, making it one of the highest profile MVNOs to express an interest in Austria to date.