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

27 Feb 2017

Australian MVNO amaysim has reported statutory net revenue of AUD136.6 million (USD104.7 million) for the six months ended 31 December 2016, up 17% from AUD117.3 million on an annualised basis. Statutory gross profit for the six months under review increased 13% from AUD35.7 million to AUD40.5 million. In operational terms, amaysim reported that its MVNO user base surged 34%, from 764,000 to 1.025 million. ARPU dropped 15% however, from AUD26.34 to AUD22.37. CEO and managing director Julian Ogrin commented: ‘I’m pleased to announce these solid financial results, achieving an underlying EBITDA of AUD17.3 million across the amaysim Group and to reconfirm our FY17 mobile guidance. The amaysim Group is performing well and in-line with management’s expectations, driven by strong momentum in mobile services. In a competitive environment, our aim is to maintain a strong challenger brand position and achieve profitable growth by leveraging our superior operating platform, offering a competitive product suite and delivering high customer satisfaction.’

Norway’s Competition Authority (Konkurranse Tilsynet) has extended the review deadline relating to the acquisition of business-to-business (B2B) service provider and MVNO Phonero by Swedish telecoms heavyweight Telia Company, parent of local firm Telia Norge, until 10 March. According to Reuters, Telia has offered to give local MVNOs access to its nationwide network at predefined criteria, which has prompted an automatic postponement of the Competition Authority’s deadline for giving a statement on the case. As previously reported by TeleGeography’s MVNO Monday, the NOK2.30 billion (USD281 million) takeover deal was unveiled back in November 2016.

Cameroonian time division duplex LTE (TD-LTE) provider YooMee has reportedly signed an MVNO agreement with state-backed mobile market minnow CamTel. According to pan-African news site Agence Ecofin, the wholesale deal was signed by Emmanuel Forson, the general manager of YooMee Cameroon, and David Nkoto Emane, Camtel’s managing director, on 22 February. No prospective launch date has been offered.

Google’s Project Fi MVNO has revealed that it is in the process of quietly trialling voice-over-LTE (VoLTE) in conjunction with an undefined number of customers. The tests were confirmed on a Project Fi help forum, with a company representative noting: ‘Some of you have noticed this already, but over the past few weeks we have been testing VoLTE with a subset of Project Fi users. You can tell you’re making a VoLTE call because your signal indicator will continue to display LTE instead of falling to H [HSPA] when you make or receive a call.’ Google has stated the advantages of VoLTE as being: higher call quality without using any of your data allocation, faster browsing speeds during an on-going call and faster call setup. VoLTE is only accessible when a user is piggybacking on the T-Mobile US network however, as fellow wholesale partners Sprint and US Cellular currently lack VoLTE capabilities.

Finally, Dutch solutions provider Artilium has announced that it has formalised an expanded MVNE platform agreement with its largest customer, Telenet of Belgium, securing the relationship for the next five years. As part of the extension, Artilium has secured a cash payment – to be effected this month – of EUR5.3 million (USD5.6 million) for revenue, which will be recognised in equal instalments over the next five years. Further, as part of the contract extension, Telenet will also gain access to the vendor’s newly developed ARTA Bill solution, which claims to streamline MVNE/MVNO billing and invoicing processes.

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