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

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20 Mar 2017

UK-based Lycamobile Group is poised to launch a new MVNO in South Africa, over the Cell C network, it has been revealed. The development was shared by Cell C CEO Jose Dos Santos at a media briefing last week, and Lycamobile South Africa could go live as soon as June 2017. As things stand, South Africa will become Lycamobile’s 22nd international market, but only the group’s second in Africa, after Tunisia (launched October 2015). Cell C is a major player in the fast-growing South African MVNO space, and already has wholesale deals in place with the likes of FNB Connect, MRP Mobile and Virgin Mobile.

UK mobile virtual network aggregator (MVNA) x-Mobility has helped to launch an innovative new MVNO service that is powered by renewable energy. The mobile service, launched by an as-yet-unnamed utility company, will offer subscribers 4G connectivity, 30-day rolling contracts and no exit fees. Shanks Kulam, co-founder and CMO of x-Mobility, commented: ‘Creating a mobile offering for existing subscribers is a great expansion on the core business for a utility company, or indeed a brand in almost any sector. This launch has shown that it is viable for all kinds of organisations to launch mobile brands configured to serve their target customer base.’ While no official confirmation of the new MVNO’s identity has been forthcoming, TeleGeography believes that the MVNO in question is Gloucestershire-based EcoTalk, which is operated by Ecotricity, ‘the world’s first green energy company’. EcoTalk pitches its service as follows: ‘Our call, text and data services will be powered by 100% green energy from the wind and sun, making it a uniquely green mobile phone service. We think this will be the first of its kind in Britain, if not the world.’

Finally, according to local press reports, Lotus Mobile Corp is the latest company to be awarded an Iranian MVNO licence. The new licence holder is expected to focus on the e-commerce sector with its MVNO offering, as well as providing nationwide 4G LTE coverage. Further, the new market entrant is expected to utilise a ‘Full MVNO’ business model.

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