The first mobile virtual network operators (MVNOs) should launch in Peru this summer and are expected to drive down prices for end users, Los Andes quotes the president of sector regulator Osiptel, Gonzalo Ruiz, as saying. ‘We are very optimistic about how the market will react to increased competition, as some companies are world-class’, the official added, noting that the use of mobile number portability (MNP) reached a record high in March 2015, with 65,142 users switching operator that month, compared to 44,540 the previous month and 36,705 in January. Mr Ruiz suggested that the growing use of MNP indicated that customers ‘are looking for the widest range of possibilities and have more economic alternatives.’ As previously reported by CommsUpdate, Virgin Mobile, US-based mobile operator AT&T and Chilean retail chain Falabella, which already has a presence in the Chilean MVNO sector, have all expressed an interest in launching MVNO services in Peru.
As noted by TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database, one operator has already entered Peru’s MVNO market, although the provider – Movistar’s youth-oriented sub-brand ‘Tuenti’ – is not technically an MVNO in the eyes of the regulator. Whilst Tuenti operates as a full MVNO in its other markets, Movistar has been forced to do things differently in Peru to bypass legislation which prevents MNOs from having any legal or economic ties to MVNOs. To that end, Tuenti has been retained as a part of Movistar, rather than being spun off as a separate entity as has been done in Mexico and Spain.