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

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22 Oct 2018

Filipino media giant ABS-CBN Corp, which operates an MVNO under the ABS-CBNmobile brand name, has issued a statement to the Philippine Stock Exchange (PSE), announcing the end of its mobile service later this year. The original wholesale deal with Globe Telecom was signed in May 2013, and the MVNO went live in December that year. The statement issued by the media firm reads: ‘After a thorough assessment, ABS-CBN Convergence deemed its current mobile business model to be financially unsustainable. As a result, ABS-CBN Convergence and Globe have reached an agreement not to renew their mobile network sharing contract.’ All ABS-CBNmobile and SKYmobi subscribers will continue to receive services until 30 November 2018, the company notes, although marketing of the brands will cease on 25 October.

South Africa’s Standard Bank has confirmed widespread rumours that it will become the second major bank in South Africa to launch an MVNO, with spokesman Ross Linstrom informing TechCentral: ‘Yes, we are launching an MVNO. We expect to launch soon.’ FNB became the first bank to enter the MVNO space, when it launched its FNB Connect service in June 2015, using the Cell C network. FNB Connect passed the 600,000-subscriber milestone at end-December 2017. Rumours regarding Standard Bank’s intentions have swirled since February this year, when the organisation hired former Virgin Mobile South Africa CEO Steve Bailey to its executive team. TechCentral notes that MTN and Vodacom are vying with Cell C – the market’s most active wholesaler – for the Standard Bank contract.

Over in Brazil, Vodafone Brasil, which has operated over the TIM Brasil network since February 2013, has changed its name to ARQIA. The switch represents the second major name change since the company’s inception as Datora Mobile; the Vodafone name has been in use since November 2013. The change is expected to take effect within the next few months. Going forward, the company will continue to serve the M2M/IoT sector.

Finally, Norway’s Komplett Mobil, which operates over the Telenor Norge network, has reached the 65,000-subscriber milestone, up from 50,000 in March this year. The MVNO, which is owned by Scandinavian e-commerce firm Komplett Group launched in the summer of 2016.

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Brazil, Norway, Philippines, South Africa, ABS-CBNmobile (MVNO), Datora Mobile Telecomunicacoes (ARQIA), Komplett Mobile, Standard Bank Mobile (South Africa)

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