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

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30 Nov 2020

Belgian media group DPG Media is considering the sale of its domestic MVNO businesses, Vikings Mobile and JIM Mobile, which together serve around 334,000 subscribers. According to De Tijd, which cites sources familiar with the situation, Belgium’s three MNOs, Orange, Proximus and Telenet have already submitted non-binding offers to KBC Securities, the company advising DMG. DMG Media – previously known as MEDIALAAN – acquired the virtual operators from BASE in 2016 in order to ease antitrust fears over Telenet’s EUR1.3 billion (USD1.4 billion) acquisition of BASE.

Spain has a new MVNO in the form of Olephone, which is understood to be affiliated with Andalusian Seville-based fibre provider Oniscom. The newcomer, which operates via the Vodafone Spain network, has been operational since 14 October. Olephone aims to attract users with its unlimited data tariffs.

Over in France, meanwhile, B2B player Sewan has revealed that it plans to launch 5G connectivity for its customers. The upgrade – which comes after France’s MNOs received approval to use 3.5GHz mobile frequencies on 18 November 2020 – will be made available at no extra cost to users with a 50GB or higher monthly data allowance. Sewan notes that it currently serves 75,000 French companies, meaning that around 850,000 professionals are utilising its services on a daily basis. The MVNO piggybacks on the Orange and SFR networks.

New Mexican MVNO Exis Telecom will launch in December using MDS Global’s ‘VNOnDemand’ solution to power its business support systems. As well as connectivity, the new operator aims to provide its customers with a range of additional services, such as personal security and Fintech solutions. Exis Telecom is the first MVNO to launch using the end-to-end platform provided by Mexican MVNE Valor Agregado Digital (VADSA).

Finally, Transatel and BT have confirmed that they have renewed their existing MVNO agreement, in a move which will give MVNOs using Transatel’s platform access to Wi-Fi Calling, VoLTE and 5G via the EE network. EE’s 5G network is now live in over 100 locations across the UK. Since its inception in 2000, Transatel has launched over 170 European MVNOs.

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Belgium, France, Mexico, Spain, United Kingdom, EE, JIM Mobile, Mobile Vikings (Belgium), Olephone, Sewan Communications, Transatel Group, VADSA (Exis Telecom)