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

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8 Jun 2020

Vietnam’s second MVNO, Reddi, launched in Hanoi on Wednesday 3 June, using the ‘055’ number prefix. The newcomer is owned by Mobicast and utilises the network of state-owned operator Vietnam Posts and Telecommunications (VNPT). Reddi is only the second MVNO to launch in Vietnam, following in the footsteps of Indochina Telecom Company (Itelecom), which went live in April this year over the Vinaphone network. In its initial phase, Itelecom is being introduced to workers at industrial zones in nine cities and provinces, namely: Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City, Thai Nguyen, Vinh Phuc, Bac Giang, Bac Ninh, Binh Duong, Long An, and Dong Nai.

Australian MVNO market leader amaysim has signed a binding agreement to acquire 77,000 mobile subscribers from ‘independently owned asset-light’ rival My Mobile Data (trading as OVO Mobile) for a maximum consideration of AUD15.8 million (USD10.9 million). The transaction is expected to complete imminently. Like amaysim, OVO utilises the Optus network; the OVO brand will be phased out in due course. Migration of the subscribers is expected to complete in less than four months, following the recent migration of 41,000 Jeenee subscribers in less than three months.

Alicante-based Aire Networks, which operates an MVNO service under the Ion Mobile brand, has struck a takeover deal for B2B telco LCRcom, which offers a full suite of telecoms products – including MVNO services – to SMEs. The acquisition was negotiated by Magnum Capital, an investment firm focused on Spain and Portugal, which acquired an unspecified stake in Aire in June 2018. Local news reports have valued the deal at around EUR30 million (USD33.9 million).

Over in Mexico, state utility firm Comision Federal de Electricidad (CFE) – which was selected to oversee the government’s ‘Internet para Todos’ (‘Internet for All’) initiative in August 2019, via its CFE Telecomunicaciones subsidiary – is poised to enter the MVNO sector. According to El Universal, the newcomer will utilise the open access Red Compartida 700MHz wholesale network, as it seeks to extend fixed broadband infrastructure to parts of the country not yet covered by the country’s private operators. As per its last announcement in March, Red Compartida now covers more than 57 million people nationwide.

Finally, Luxembourgish MVNO Join Experience has confirmed that it exited the country’s mobile market on 31 May 2020, following the completion of its operational merger with host network provider Post Telecom. As a result of the move, ‘thousands of subscribers’ were transferred from Join to Post. The virtual operator, which launched back in January 2014, has been a wholly owned Post Luxembourg subsidiary since 2018.

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