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

2 Jul 2018

UK-based MVNO The People’s Operator (TPO) has confirmed plans to transfer the customer base of its struggling US business, The People’s Operator USA (TPO USA), to US MVNO Ting. Ting has offered USD75 for each US customer, and expects to pay approximately USD700,000 for the customer base, suggesting the unit has fewer than 10,000 subscribers. TPO notes that the amount could be materially lower, ‘depending upon the level of customer migration which meets the requirement of the sale agreement for the triggering of Ting’s payment obligations’. According to the regulatory filing relating to the sale, TPO USA – which operates over the Sprint and T-Mobile US networks – generated net income of approximately USD2.67 million (unaudited) in the year ended 31 December 2017, and a loss before interest depreciation and tax (unaudited) of approximately USD2.37 million. Ting was launched in February 2012 by Canadian internet firm Tucows, and also operates over the Sprint and T-Mobile networks. Ting has previously snapped up subscribers from defunct MVNOs such as RingPlus, Roam Mobility and PTel Mobile.

Flash Mobile, which launched over the Movistar Mexico network in October 2016, will enter the Colombian MVNO space later this month. The development was revealed to La Republica by Marcelo Cataldo, the president of TigoUne, which will host the network. Flash Mobile is owned by US-based ACN, a multi-level marketing (MLM) company, which provides telecoms, energy and other services in 25 countries.

Finally, over in Japan, LINE Mobile, the MVNO owned by Tokyo-based messaging app provider LINE Corp, has augmented its NTT DOCOMO-powered virtual network with connectivity from a second wholesaler, Softbank Mobile. The new connectivity option went live today (2 July). As previously reported by MVNO Monday, LINE Corp entered into an agreement with SoftBank Group Corp to give the telecoms giant a majority stake in LINE Mobile. Since March this year SoftBank has held a 51% stake in the MVNO, with LINE holding the remaining 49%.

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