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

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12 Jul 2021

Mexican MVNO Diri, which launched in April 2020 over the open access Red Compartida network, is embarking on a crowd-funding exercise via the Play Business platform. Diri claims that its sales have grown more than 440% in the last six months, signing up more than 50,000 active lines in its first year of service. Diri has set a minimum goal of MXN10.616 million (USD530,055), with interested parties invited to contribute a minimum investment of MXN5,000. Going forward, investors will be part of a special purpose vehicle (SPV) that will receive a percentage of Diri’s total revenues. The virtual operator, whose other brands include PilloFon and Space Movil, intends to unveil a new brand, Loot Movil by end-2021; the new brand will be targeted at the gamer community.

US cableco holding company Astound Broadband is considering following Comcast (Xfinity Mobile), Charter Communications (Spectrum Mobile) and Altice USA into the MVNO sector. In an interview with Fierce Telecom, CEO Jim Holanda admitted that his company – which owns RCN, Grande Communications and Wave Broadband – has had ‘off and on MVNO conversations’ with all of the major US wireless operators in recent years. He added ‘that continues and we continue to monitor what our competition is doing … we’ll keep that option open should customers want that from us at some point in the future.’

Finally, Russian financial institution Gazprombank has extended the availability of its GPB Mobile service to Samara. The service went live on 18 December 2020 and was initially available in Moscow and the Moscow Region. Other destinations now boasting coverage include St. Petersburg, Leningrad, Orenburg, Volgograd, Tyumen, Krasnoyarsk Territory, Khanty-Mansi and the Yamalo-Nenets Autonomous District. During 2021, the service will be extended to Yekaterinburg, Novosibirsk and Kazan. The MVNO utilises the Tele2 Russia network.

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Mexico, Russia, United States, Astound Broadband, Diri, GPB Mobile (Gazprombank), Pillofon, Space Movil