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

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9 Oct 2017

Xfinity Mobile, the MVNO unit launched by US cable giant Comcast Corp in April 2017, has attracted about 200,000 subscribers to date, people familiar with the situation have informed Bloomberg. The service piggybacks on the Verizon Wireless network, and also leverages Comcast’s 18 million-strong Wi-Fi hotspot network.

Watany Telecom is poised to become Tunisia’s second MVNO, and has earmarked Q1 2018 for its commercial launch. The MVNO, which will operate over the Tunisie Telecom network, will target the country’s expatriate Libyan community, which numbers roughly one million people. SIM cards are expected to support dual-number functionality, allowing customers to use a ‘local’ number depending on which side of the Tunisian-Libyan border they are located.

In Russia, Tinkoff Bank, an online-only bank which eschews branches and ATMs, expects to commercialise its planned MVNO service before the end of the year, founder and majority shareholder Oleg Tinkov told local publication Telecom Daily. Pre-registration for the service commenced in August this year, although would-be users do not have to be customers of the bank to sign up for wireless services. Tinkoff Mobile will launch as a Full MVNO over the Tele2 Russia network.

Polish firm SGT, which delivers pay-TV services to around 250 local ISPs under the Jambox brand, is reportedly planning to enter the MVNO sector as Jambox Mobile. The new virtual operator is expected to launch in October, over the Polkomtel Plus) network.

Finally, Phonect, which provides cloud communications services to Norwegian businesses, has launched MVNO services over the Telenor Norge network. Phonect claims to deliver its own cloud-based platform hosted by Google, which connects mobile phone solutions, IP telephony, switchboard services and Skype for Business into one seamless, intuitive user experience.

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Norway, Poland, Russia, Tunisia, United States, Jambox Mobile, Plus (Polkomtel, incl. Aero2), Tinkoff Mobile, Tunisie Telecom (TT), Unifon (formerly Phonect), Watany (MVNO), Xfinity Mobile

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