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

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24 Aug 2020

Russia’s Gazprombank looks set to join fellow financial institutions VTB, Sberbank and Tinkoff in the country’s increasingly crowded MVNO sector, after receiving a mobile licence via a subsidiary. According to Kommersant, New Mobile Communications (NMK) received a concession from industry watchdog Roskomnadzor. The licence was issued with a provisional start date of 17 July 2022. According to the report, Gazprombank will launch its MVNO using the Tele2 Russia network, while Nina Tsirulik, the former director of marketing for Rostelecom’s B2B arm, will serve as the director of the new company.

Japanese NTT DOCOMO reseller OCN Mobile One is poised to launch as a Full MVNO on 27 August, NTT has confirmed. In order to achieve Full MVNO status, OCN has had to deploy Home Subscriber Server (HSS) and Home Location Register (HLR) equipment, which give it a higher degree of network freedom. NTT notes that it has made Full MVNO functionality available to domestic MVNOs since April 2020.

Norwegian Telenor Norge sub-brand Talkmore has diversified its service offering by offering its users an electricity subscription. Introducing the new offer, Talkmore explains: ‘All electricity companies buy electricity from Stromborsen Nord Pool. This means that Talkmore gets the power from the same place as all other suppliers. And in Norway, over 90% of the electricity comes from renewable energy, as does Talkmore’s electricity … With Talkmore Power, we guarantee that you pay exactly the same as it costs on the power exchange at all times. The only thing that comes in addition is a fixed, low monthly amount. No surcharges and no hidden costs.’

Australia’s Vocus Group has reported that its domestic MVNO user base climbed to 201,000 by 30 June 2020, up from 180,000 one year earlier. The group’s New Zealand-based subsidiary, meanwhile, saw its MVNO subscriber base increase to 41,000 at end-June, up from 29,000 in the year-ago period. TeleGeography notes that Vocus serves a combination of enterprise, government, wholesale, small business and residential customers across Australia and New Zealand, under a variety of different brand names.

Over in Brazil, Santos-based football club Santos Futebol Clube has launched its Chipeixao MVNO in association with Dry Company do Brasil. The MVNE has previously helped to launch around a dozen football club-affiliated MVNOs, including the likes of Chip do Vascao (CR Vasco da Gama), Cruzeiro Celular (Cruzeiro Esporte Clube), Esquadrao Celular (Esporte Clube Bahia), Sao Paulo Celular (Sao Paulo FC) and Sport Cel (Sport Club do Recife).

Finally, the Communications Regulatory Agency (Regulatorna agencija za komunikacije, RAK) of Bosnia and Herzegovina has reportedly licensed Novotel to operate as an MVNO. According to local press reports, Novotel, part of Pro Futuro, which is owned by Mario Raspudic, will operate over the m:tel network.

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