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

11 Nov 2019

Virgin Mobile has signed a new five-year wholesale deal with Vodafone UK, which will replace its existing MVNO contract with BT. Parent company Virgin Media notes that its current MVNO agreement with BT Enterprise – which has been in place since January 2017 – will come to an end in late 2021, at which point the mobile service will transition from BT’s EE network to Vodafone. However, the cable firm notes that Virgin Mobile 5G services are set to launch on the Vodafone network before the transition takes place. The new deal runs until 2026. As a Full MVNO, Virgin Mobile has control over the products and services it offers, which means existing customers will not need to change their SIM cards as part of this agreement.

New US MVNO Altice Mobile claimed 15,000 active mobile lines at the end of 3Q19 and generated revenue of USD3 million for the quarter. Reporting its quarterly results, Altice USA noted: ‘The initial focus since the launch has been on optimising customer service and the onboarding process. The company is currently preparing for the launch of online handset sales/e-commerce and other sales channels to broaden the Altice Mobile offering.’ The MVNO launched on 5 September and is priced at USD20 per line, per month for Optimum and Suddenlink cable subscribers, or USD30 per month for non-customers who live in or near the company’s 21-state footprint.

Over in Spain, Pepephone, the MVNO-turned-sub-brand that is now owned by Grupo MASMOVIL, has announced that it has reached the one million subscriber milestone – some twelve years after its original launch. TeleGeography notes that Pepephone was founded in November 2007, by tourism firm Globalia. MASMOVIL completed its EUR158 million (USD175 million) acquisition of the business in September 2016.

Finally, turning our attentions to Italy, PosteMobile – the MVNO owned by Italian state-owned postal services operator Poste Italiane – reported 4.5 million users as of 30 September 2019, up from 4.1 million one year earlier.

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