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

8 Jul 2019

On 1 July Telia Company completed the acquisition of Swedish MVNO Fello, which has operated over the Telia Sweden network since 2013. The acquired company’s 45,000-strong customer base will be unaffected by the move, while Telia expects to preserve the brand for future use. Andreas Ekstrom, Head of Commercial Business for Telia Sweden, commented: ‘We are very happy about the transaction. Fello is an innovative company with a strong brand that has grown rapidly and doubled its customer base since 2018. We see continued interest in stripped-down services and Fello will complement our existing activities in new areas in a positive way.’

Over in the US, Sprint-powered MVNO i-wireless – which was launched back in 2006 by retail chain Kroger – has launched a new business under the name Kroger Wireless. While the company has avoided referring to the move as a rebranding exercise, both the i-wireless and Access Wireless brands have now seemingly been discontinued. Wireless products have been made available in more than 2,200 select Kroger stores nationwide. John Willis, COO at i-wireless, commented: ‘The Kroger Wireless product was created with the customer in mind. We believe our new product offers customers the best value in telecom and brings incremental savings to loyal Kroger shoppers.’

Finally, Dr Gift Machengete, director general of the Postal and Telecommunications Regulatory Authority of Zimbabwe (POTRAZ), has indicated that the watchdog is now willing to welcome MVNOs into the country’s mobile market. Speaking on the sidelines of a Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on ICT, the executive told ZimTechReview: ‘We are in the process [of licensing] new players under the MVNO model, that will ride on the existing infrastructure that is already there.’ No timeline for the introduction of virtual operators was mooted, however.

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