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MVNO Monday: a guide to the week’s virtual operator developments

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7 Mar 2016

Peruvian telecom regulator the Supervisory Agency for Private Investment in Telecommunications (Organismo Supervisor de Inversion Privada en Telecommuniciones, Osiptel) has approved the access contract signed by MVNO Virgin Mobile Peru with telecom operator Telefonica del Peru (Movistar). The agreement establishes the legal and economic conditions for the latter to open up its network to Virgin for its new MVNO service. The contract between the operators was signed on 15 October and amended on 2 February 2016, before being approved as part of the watchdog’s General Resolution No. 094-2016-GG. As previously reported by TeleGeography’s MVNO Monday, Virgin Mobile Latin America was formally granted a 20-year MVNO concession in December 2015, while Osiptel approved the final set of measures relating to the planned introduction of virtual operators on 24 January.

The White Space Co, one of the four members of Thailand’s self-styled ‘Thailand MVNO Club’, has confirmed that it plans to offer virtual services under the ‘Penguin SIM’ brand. Founded by a group of former executives of Digital Total Access Communication (DTAC), the company will use CAT Telecom’s cellular network to host the service. Chief marketing officer Pakorn Pannachet told the Bangkok Post: ‘We expect to have 300,000 to 500,000 customers in the first year of operation and we are expecting to break even by 2017 with 900,000 users’. The White Space Co has registered capital of THB421 million (USD11.9 million). Other participants in the Thailand MVNO Club – the members of which seek to share operating costs and raise competitiveness – are Samart i-mobile, Data CDMA Communication (MyWorld3G) and 168 Communication.

Tesco Mobile Hungary, a 50/50 joint venture between UK supermarket chain Tesco and mobile network host Vodafone Hungary, could be discontinued as early as next month, local news site Magyar Idok reports. Citing anonymous sources, the news portal claims that no new subscribers will be accepted after 1 April, following which existing user base will be ported over by network partner Vodafone from 16 April. According to TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database the MVNO launched in September 2011.

Elsewhere in eastern Europe, Vodafone Czech Republic will take over local MVNO StudentFone on 30 April, with a spokesperson for the virtual operator noting that the network partner will be able to serve its user base more effectively. The MVNO was launched by GTS Alive, a leading provider of services to the student and youth market, and the company behind the International Student Identity Card (ISIC) scheme. StudentFone launched in December 2013.

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