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

2 Mar 2020

Spanish alternative operator Grupo MASMOVIL is poised to add yet another MVNO to its growing portfolio, via the takeover of Lycamobile Spain. According to Spanish business daily Expansion, the takeover is valued at around EUR370 million (USD408 million) and will include 1.5 million pre-paid subscribers. Talks are said to be at an advanced stage, and a final deal could be signed this week. The report notes that the MVNO’s wholesale contract with Telefonica Espana (Movistar) is set to expire this year – Lycamobile launched back in October 2010 – allowing MASMOVIL to migrate the user base onto its Yoigo network. According to TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database, MASMOVIL – which originated as an MVNO – has previously completed the acquisitions of domestic MVNOs LlamaYA Movil, Pepephone, Lebara Spain, HiTS Mobile and Oceans.

Sticking with Spain, Fi Network – which launched in January 2019 over the Vodafone Spain – has announced that it has notched up 200,000 subscribers.

Over in Australia, amaysim has announced that it ended 31 December 2019 with a ‘recurring mobile subscriber base’ of 706,000, including 41,000 acquired via the takeover of smaller MVNO rival Jeenee Communications, which closed on 30 November 2019. In addition, amaysim claimed 339,000 ‘As You Go’ (i.e. pre-paid) mobile subscribers, for a total subscriber base of 1.045 million. ARPU for recurring mobile subscribers was AUD22.34 (USD14.53) for 1H20, a decline of 15.4% in comparison to 1H19 (AUD26.42).

According to a report by Cyfrowa, which cites comments by Virgin Mobile Polska CEO Grazyna Piotrowska-Oliwa, at the end of December 2019, the long-running Polish MVNO accounted for 396,000 subscribers, down from 415,000 one year earlier. Of the most recent figure, 337,300 were said to be pre-paid accounts.

Mexico has a new MVNO in the form of AlmaTel, which has launched over the open access 700MHz network of Red Compartida. The online-only MVNO offers data-centric packages and international roaming deals.

Finally, in an enigmatic blog post, US MVNO Ting Mobile has announced that its subscribers can now connect to the nationwide Verizon Wireless network. While Verizon is not mentioned by name in the blog, back in July 2019 MVNO Monday reported that Ting had signed a new wholesale contract with the US mobile market leader – which was scheduled to take effect later that year. The blog explains: ‘Today, there are four major US mobile networks. Ting Mobile offers service on all but one of them. Why not just say directly who our network service providers are? We’re not allowed. Pretty simple, really. We have contracts with each of our carrier partners (Ting Mobile: signing contracts so you don’t have to). Detailed in those contracts is how, exactly, we’re allowed to refer to the specific networks we offer service on. The short version: just don’t.’ Ting ended 31 December 2019 with 289,000 subscribers.

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TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database is now home to the telecoms industry’s fastest-growing collection of MVNO data, covering more than 90 countries and 1,000 virtual operators. If you would like to find out more, please email sales@telegeography.com

Australia, Mexico, Poland, Spain, United States, AlmaTel, amaysim (incl. Vaya), Fi Network, Grupo MASMOVIL (incl. Yoigo), Jeenee Mobile, Lycamobile Spain, Ting, Virgin Mobile Polska