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

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10 May 2021

UK-based ‘audio-visual and unified communications specialist’ Cinos has launched MVNO services via the EE network. Mobile News quotes Cinos executive director Dan Worman as saying: ‘Connectivity and collaboration sit at the heart of our managed services portfolio and enable organisations to achieve secure and reliable remote working … In a time where more organisations are working remotely than ever before, the need for a secure and consistent service will become vital in the coming months.’ The unit will be known as Cinos Mobile.

York-based telecoms provider Cellhire has launched its eSIM-based Full MVNO service in France. The B2B service utilises the Orange France network, and Cellhire notes that it has built its own core network, has a French Mobile Network Code (MNC) and International Mobile Subscriber Identity (IMSI) range and has installed local Packet Gateways (PGWs) to ensure minimal data latency. The MVNO is branded eSIMsmart and Cellhire notes that a ‘global rollout’ is planned later this quarter.

Mexico has a new MVNO in the form of Tuyo Broadband. The newcomer utilises the open access Red Compartida 700MHz network launched in March 2018 by the ALTAN Redes consortium.

The rumoured merger of Orange Espana sub-brands Republica Movil and Simyo will take place on 11 June, ADSL Zone reports, citing correspondence sent to Republica subscribers. The website quotes a statement that says: ‘Today we are delighted to inform you of a new chapter in the history of Republica Movil … in which we will continue to offer you the best service and the best experience as we have done so far.’ As previously reported by MVNO Monday, Orange agreed the takeover of Republica Movil in November 2018. The MVNO, which launched over the Orange network back in 2013, served 130,000 subscribers at the time of its acquisition.

At the end of December 2020, South Africa’s FNB Connect had 815,124 customers, representing 22% year-on-year growth in terms of active customer numbers. The metric was disclosed by CEO Bradwin Roper in an interview with ITWeb.

Over in the US, DISH Network has reported that its Boost Wireless MVNO subscriber base decreased by approximately 161,000 in the first quarter of 2021, compared to a net decrease of 363,000 in 4Q20. The company closed the first quarter with 8.894 million wireless subscribers.

Sticking with the US, Altice Mobile ended 1Q21 with 174,000 mobile lines, representing quarterly net adds of 5,000. The service generated revenue of USD19.2 million for the quarter (up +4.8% year-on-year), and now has 3.7% penetration of Altice USA’s residential customer base. As of 31 March 2021 ‘substantially all’ Altice Mobile customers had been migrated onto the T-Mobile US network from the legacy Sprint network, with improved network quality contributing to a 20% reduction in churn in Q1 2021 compared to Q4 2020.

Finally, during the first quarter of 2021, Charter Communications added 300,000 Spectrum Mobile lines, compared to growth of 290,000 during the first quarter of 2020 and 176,000 during the first quarter of 2019. The cableco-turned-MVNO ended March with a total of 2.675 million wireless customers. First quarter mobile revenue totalled USD492 million, an increase of 90.7% year-over-year.

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