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

2 Sep 2019

amaysim, Australia’s largest MVNO by subscribers, ended 30 June 2019 with just 624,000 active users, after overhauling its reporting standards. Its user base has now been divided into ‘recurring subscribers’ and ‘As You Go (AYG)’ customers, with the company explaining: ‘AYG customers are, by their nature, sporadic and unpredictable users and can remain in the customer base for over twelve months without using their mobile service or adding more credit (in accordance with the market practice on credit expiry terms).’ With revenue from recurring mobile subscribers accounting for around 95% of its mobile revenue, amaysim says that the new reporting standards provide ‘better clarity’. ARPU for the quarter ended 30 June was AUD25.3 (USD27.8), down 13.7% from AUD29.3 year-on-year.

US-based MVNO Ting has confirmed that it was the previously unidentified company that acquired 150,000 Sprint-powered subscribers from FreedomPop in the second quarter of 2019. That deal preceded a separate transaction, which saw FreedomPop itself sold to Red Pocket Mobile. Speaking on a conference call to discuss the 2Q19 earnings of parent company Tucows, CEO Elliot Noss confirmed: ‘We filed a Form 8-K in May disclosing that we had reached an agreement with STS Media Inc, an MVNO doing business as FreedomPop and Unreal Mobile, to acquire approximately 150,000 subscribers that were on the Sprint network. The price of the transaction was about USD3.6 million. I will reiterate that two-thirds, or 100,000, of those subscribers were spending nothing – taking advantage of some free service on FreedomPop. Another 25,000 were spending just a bit more than nothing for small top ups. The final 25,000 offered revenue and usage levels closer to, but still below average Ting customers. We have no interest in a freemium model … We now have over 12,000 subscribers activated on paid plans, and they continue to come in every day in a still-consistent flow.’

Telekom Deutschland and Lebara Deutschland have extended their ‘long-standing and exclusive collaboration’ in the German mobile market by a further three years. Verena Schmitz-Axe, Senior Vice President of Mobile Wholesale at Telekom Deutschland, commented: ‘We have been working closely with Lebara since its founding and target a segment in Germany that Telekom would not have been able to develop within its standard business.’ Lebara launched in Germany back in January 2010.

Over in Serbia, Globaltel has informed TeleGeography that it has signed up ‘tens of thousands of active users’ since its launch in December 2016. The MVNO, which uses the VIP Mobile network and the ‘0677’ number range, is owned by Pink International Company (55%) and Procescom (45%).

Finally, World Telecom Labs (WTL) and Belgian B2B MVNO edpnet have announced that Belgium’s first all-VoIP network is now live. edpnet says that it has deployed WTL’s specialist VoIP switches to ‘improve the quality of calls, ensure that the network is always available and optimise bandwidth capacity without compromising voice quality’. edpnet utilises the Proximus network for connectivity.

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Australia, Belgium, Germany, Serbia, United States, amaysim (incl. Vaya), edpnet (Belgium), FreedomPop, Globaltel (Serbia), Lebara Germany, Ting Mobile, World Telecom Labs (WTL)