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

16 Dec 2019

Poland has a new MVNO in the form of Pogon Mobile, which is affiliated with the Pogon Szczecin football club, which is based Szczecin, West Pomeranian Voivodeship. The MVNO proposition has been launched by domestic mobile virtual network enabler (MVNE) NEXT Mobile, which uses the Plus network for connectivity. Existing NEXT MVNO partners include the likes of Viva Mobile, Universal Mobile, Arreks Mobile and Globitel Mobile.

South Korea’s Ministry of Science & ICT (MSIT) has given its final approval to the planned merger of mobile and fixed network operator LG Uplus and cableco/MVNO CJ Hello (CJ HelloVision). According to the Korea Herald, the approval includes a number of MVNO-related clauses, not least that LG Uplus will be obligated to offer 4G and 5G access to all MVNOs. In addition, the telco is prohibited from taking discriminatory action against other virtual operators and must not compel existing users of CJ Hello’s cheaper services to switch to more expensive data options.

Italy’s CoopVoce will commence a SIM swap programme in February 2020, as it completes its transition from a Light MVNO to a Full MVNO. According to Wired.it, the virtual operator currently serves 1.5 million customers. Following the switch, CoopVoce will continue to utilise Telecom Italia (TIM) as its network provider – a relationship which dates back to June 2007.

Over in France meanwhile, Euro-Information Telecom (EI Telecom), which operates a number of MVNO brands, including Credit Mutuel Mobile, CIC Mobile, NRJ Mobile, Auchan Telecom and Cdiscount Mobile, has announced that it has reached the two million customer milestone.

Australian-owned, Singapore-based MVNO Zero Mobile faces an uncertain future, as it seeks to reposition its pricing model. CEO Glenn Mohammed told Today Online: ‘We are working with our partners in Singapore to launch completely new and modular pricing plans in the near future. This requires us to interconnect to new systems which will provide better experience, information and access to our subscribers in the future. Due to technical limitations, we are unable to migrate our existing customers to the new platform. Furthermore, we will not be continuing with the current pricing model with the new plans.’ The MVNO – which launched in December 2017 over the Singtel network – remains active, however.

Finally, Malaysian MVNO redONE has purchased a ‘VNOnDemand BSS-as-a-Service’ solution from UK-based vendor MDS Global. The MVNO, which entered Singapore in May 2019, has reiterated plans to move into Thailand, Vietnam, Indonesia and the Philippines in the coming months, with a view to becoming ‘the largest MVNO in the ASEAN region’.

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