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

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20 Jul 2020

Mexican media giant Grupo Televisa has confirmed that its Izzi Movil MVNO – which launched on 1 June 2020 – ended that month with 14,000 customers. Salvi Folch Viadero, Televisa’s CEO of cable, commented: ‘We believe that there is an opportunity for us to leverage our brand name and infrastructure, while at the same time, helping us to reduce churn. The strategy is similar to what cable companies have done in the US. Our product is an unlimited post-paid service, available only to our customer base in certain markets.’ The newcomer utilises the open access Red Compartida 700MHz wholesale network but relies on a roaming agreement with Telcel outside of the network host’s footprint.

Sticking with Latin America, Sao Paulo-based supermarket chain Barbosa, which boasts 30 stores state-wide, has launched an MVNO under the Barbosa Chip brand. According to MobileTime, the new service went live on 15 June and seeks to target the two million customers who regularly pass through the retailer’s checkouts. Barbosa marketing coordinator Weslley Novax told the site that the company expects to secure 50,000 MVNO users by December this year. TeleGeography notes that MVNE Dry Company do Brasil has previously helped to launch around a dozen MVNOs affiliated with Brazilian football teams, as well as enabling a number of other lifestyle-based MVNO propositions. All Dry-enabled MVNOs use the TIM Brasil network.

Greek fixed voice and broadband operator Forthnet has commenced an MVNO pilot, as it prepares to stage a commercial launch in the Autumn. The telco, which was recently subject to a takeover offer from Amsterdam-based United Group, will launch over the Vodafone Greece network, as per a four-year agreement signed in June 2019. Forthnet will seek to target its existing subscriber base, which comprises more than half a million customers, of which 40,000 are B2B clients.

Finally, Australian telco Optus has announced that it is offering its MVNO partners access to VoLTE and Wi-Fi Calling solutions, via its network. Ben White, Managing Director, Wholesale, Satellite and Strategy, commented: ‘VoLTE will be progressively rolled out to our MVNO partners and will provide higher quality audio and faster call connection times. Multi-tasking is made easy as customers can browse the web, download files or run apps while simultaneously on a call over 4G. We’re excited to be the first mobile network operator to offer our MVNO partners the benefits of VoLTE, which is available everywhere the Optus 4G network reaches.’

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