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

1 Jun 2020

Mexican media giant Grupo Televisa is set to launch MVNO services today (1 June 2020), under the Izzi Movil brand. According to El Universal, the newcomer will utilise the open access Red Compartida 700MHz wholesale network and offer an unlimited voice/SMS/data package for MXN250 (USD11.3) per month.

Another Mexican MVNO now operating over the Red Compartida network is NEMI. Little is known about the origins of the company, which lists its partners as MVNx.mx, Virtualware and Conecto.

According to the Korea Herald, satellite TV operator KT SkyLife is considering launching an MVNO, as it tries to explore new avenues of growth beyond the pay-TV sector. Sources familiar with the situation have indicated that the company – an affiliate of KT Corp – has already sounded out the Ministry of Science and ICT over the award of an MVNO concession and could launch as early as 3Q20.

Meanwhile, a separate report from the Korea Herald notes that the total number of MVNO subscribers in South Korea dipped to 7.61 million as of 31 March 2020, down from a peak of 8.10 million in April 2019. Interestingly, of the most recent figure, 754 MVNO customers were said to be using 5G handsets, compared to the more than five million 5G subscribers attributed to the country’s three MNOs.

Finally, over in Russia, a number of domestic press reports have suggested that Easy4 has run into financial difficulties and ceased distributing its SIM cards while it awaits a cash injection from a new investor. The virtual operator, which operates over the Tele2 Russia network, and launched back in April 2019, sought to target the international traveller market, after inking a distribution deal with seven major domestic airlines in November last year.

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Mexico, Russia, South Korea, Easy4 (Sonet), Grupo Televisa, Izzi (incl. Izzi Movil), KT SkyLife, NEMI