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

23 Mar 2020

The Communications and Information Technology Commission (CITC) has announced the extension of the competition to license new MVNOs to provide services in Saudi Arabia. The competition was initially launched in 14 January 2020 with a deadline in May, which has now been extended to 10 August 2020. According to the CITC, the licensing of new MVNOs aims to further enhance the business environment, promote competition in the market and foster the adoption of international best practices across the industry.

Camara de Cooperativas de Telecomunicaciones (Catel), which represents 34 telecoms cooperatives across Argentina, expects to unveil its new MVNO brand before the end of March. The co-op was awarded an MVNO concession by the National Communications Agency (Ente Nacional de Comunicaciones, ENACOM) in December 2017 and went on to sign a wholesale contract with Movistar Argentina the following year. Speaking at the BCN LatAm Summit 2020, Catel president Ariel Fernandez Alvarado, commented: ‘In the first phase, the idea is that cooperatives can have quadruple-play proposals … we will target two million potential users in ten provinces [Buenos Aires, Chubut, Cordoba, La Pampa, Jujuy, Mendoza, Misiones, Rio Negro, Santa Cruz and Santa Fe]’.

UK B2B provider Gamma Communications has reported a total of 62,000 mobile subscribers at 31 December 2019, up from 50,000 at end-2018. Broadband subscribers increased from 94,000 to 111,000 during the same time frame. In July 2017 Gamma completed its transition to a Full MVNO on the Three UK network, having ended its five-year ‘Thin MVNO’ association with Vodafone UK. The process also saw Gamma acquire its own core network.

Finally, Russian systems integrator Center 2M has announced the launch of a new federal MVNO-based service exclusively for IoT projects, utilising the Tele2 Russia mobile network. Domestic roaming coverage is provided by larger cellco MTS outside of Tele2 coverage zones. Negotiations are also ongoing on connecting to the Beeline and MegaFon cellular networks, reports TDaily. Center 2M has been operating as an MVNO since 2018, but until now only in Moscow city/region.

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