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

15 Apr 2019

Brazil has a new MVNO in the form of Fluke Operadora. The new digital-only player was reportedly conceived and launched by students at three universities in Sao Paulo. MobileTime quotes Marcos Oliveira Jr., CEO and founding partner of the start-up, as saying: ‘Millennials bring authenticity to brands, and we have the advantage of delivering this value proposition. Fluke’s founding team is quite young, all in their twenties. We are talking to ourselves. We are part of our core audience.’ Fluke aims to sign up 50,000 to 100,000 users in its first twelve months of operation and will initially target the student population in Sao Carlos, Ribeirao Preto and Araraquara.

FRiENDi mobile Oman, part of the Virgin Mobile Middle East & Africa (VMMEA) group, has entered into a new long-term agreement with Ooredoo Oman, which will see the MVNO switch from the Omantel network, which it has used since its launch ten years ago. The agreement is valid for seven years, subject to the approval of the sultanate’s Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (TRA). If approved, the customer migration will commence in May 2019. In a disclosure to the Muscat Securities Market, Ooredoo indicated that the agreement makes FRiENDi Ooredoo’s largest wholesale business customer in Oman and will increase the cellco’s overall customer base by 21%. Salma Al Maawali, CEO at FRiENDi mobile, commented: ‘After having operated in the Omani market for exactly ten years this month, we are extremely excited to now partner with Ooredoo to bring our business to new heights.’

Finally, Italian pay-TV provider Sky Italia has stepped up its plans to enter the telecoms sector and has enlisted international headhunting firm Heidrick & Struggles to begin the search for an experienced CEO to lead the new unit. According to La Repubblica, Sky will leverage a long-term agreement with Open Fiber (signed in 2018) to enter the fixed line market and has held talks with both Telecom Italia (TIM) and Vodafone Italy over a planned MVNO service. The new converged telecoms business could launch as early as this summer, it has been suggested.

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