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

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19 Aug 2019

New UK MVNO Audacious launched on 14 August over BT Group’s EE network. The new player seeks to deliver ‘an enhanced audio experience to assist the ten million people in the UK who have hearing loss’. Audacious says that customers can take a commitment-free soundcheck on its website to receive their personal hearing profile and then order a personalised SIM card tailored to the individual way they hear. Audacious founder Matthew Turner commented: ‘Having lived with moderate to severe hearing loss since birth, I am fully aware of the emotional impact millions of people are experiencing as they struggle daily to communicate using the mobile phone. It was a real struggle to talk on the phone and it had a negative impact on both my personal and professional life. I made it my personal mission to develop the technology that could tailor phone calls to individual hearing loss or needs and so empower people across the UK to have better, clearer conversations.’

DANYCOM, which launched MVNO services in Russia on 1 June 2018 over the Tele2 Russia network, is planning to enter the Estonian MVNO market in October this year, in association with Tele2 Eesti. ComNews quotes Petr Kushikov, DANYCOM’s Group Product Development and Management Director, as highlighting Poland, Belgium, Italy, Portugal, France, Finland and the Czech Republic as future MVNO markets. Estonia, he noted, has been prioritised because of its ‘comfortable tax environment, the availability of electronic services [and] high salaries among the population’, as well as the fact that around half of the population speak Russian.

Over in Brazil, regional B2B operator Mob Telecom, which was founded in Fortaleza in 1996 under the BaydeNet name, has confirmed plans to launch an MVNO before the end of this year. Sayde Bayde, the telco’s chief commercial officer, commented: ‘We will start trading from November or December, selling data. In June or July 2020, we will enter the market with voice [services].’ In order to facilitate its launch, Mob Telecom will work alongside domestic mobile virtual network enabler (MVNE) Datora Telecom. The telco currently serves around 37,500 fixed broadband users and seeks to sell 100,000 SIM cards within its first twelve months of operation.

Finally, US MVNO Consumer Cellular has announced that it has signed up 3.5 million subscribers. The virtual operator, which was founded back in 1995 and targets over 50s, reached the three million subscriber mark back in mid-2018. Consumer Cellular says that it has celebrated the milestone by donating USD350,000 to the American Red Cross through the Disaster Responder Programme.

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Brazil, Estonia, United Kingdom, United States, Audacious (incl. Goshawk), Consumer Cellular, DANYCOM, DANYCOM Mobile (Estonia), Datora Telecom, Mob Telecom (Brazil)