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

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2 Aug 2021

Spain’s postal service, Correos (legally known as Sociedad Estatal Correos y Telegrafos has launched a new MVNO under the Correos Telecom brand. It is understood that the service will initially be targeted at the postal service’s 53,000 employees, ahead of a wider launch strategy. While the identity of the host network has not yet been divulged, the Correos website indicates that the new player also offers fibre-optic broadband connectivity.

Over in Saudi Arabia Integrated Mobile Telecom has signed an agreement with Zain KSA to support its planned MVNO. Integrated was selected as the winning bidder of one of two new MVNO licences in February this year, and took receipt of the concession from the Communications and Information Technology Commission (CITC) last month.

Australia’s Boost Mobile has confirmed that it will stay on the Telstra network for another ten years, after renewing its existing wholesale deal. Announcing the renewal, Boost Mobile founder Peter Adderton noted that the MVNO has doubled its customer base in ‘recent years’, and now plans to expand its product suite to incorporate post-paid mobile services and fixed line NBN broadband. Mr Adderton commented: ‘This is a major moment in Boost Mobile’s history as we further expand our longstanding relationship with Telstra.’

Tennessee-based blockchain fintech company SurgePays has received approval from the Emergency Broadband Benefit Programme to offer discounted broadband services via its wholly owned MVNO subsidiary, SurgePhone. SurgePhone is permited to offer EBB services to qualified users (based on income) in California, Colorado, Florida, Illinois, Maryland, Mississippi, Missouri, Nevada, New Jersey, Ohio, Oklahoma, Rhode Island, Tennessee and Texas. The company operates MVNO via both the SurgePhone and Loco Rabbit brands.

Sticking with the US, Altice Mobile (which was rebranded as Optimum Mobile last month) ended 30 June 2021 with approximately 180,000 MVNO lines, after net additions of 5,000 in Q2 2021. The service generated revenue of USD20.7 million for the quarter (up 4.0% year-on-year) and achieved 3.8% penetration of Altice USA’s residential customer base. Since the beginning of 2021 all active Optimum Mobile customers have migrated onto the T-Mobile US network from the Sprint network.

Fellow cableco Charter Communications added 265,000 Spectrum Mobile lines during the second quarter of 2021, to end June with a total of 2.940 million MVNO customers. Of this figure 2.855 million were residential accounts, with the remaining 85,000 small/medium business users.

Finally, Comcast Corp added 280,000 Xfinity Mobile customers in 2Q21, which it says represents its ‘best quarterly result on record’. Xfinity ended June with 3.383 million MVNO subscribers.

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