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

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4 Oct 2021

Retail giant Carrefour Brazil has reportedly requested permission from the National Telecommunications Agency (Agencia Nacional de Telecomunicacoes, Anatel) to launch a new MVNO. The preparations – which are said to be at an advanced stage – will see the virtual operator launched in conjunction with MVNE Surf Telecom and its network partner TIM Brasil. The MVNO will be branded Carrefour Chip. Carrefour Brazil, which has been present in the country since 1975, operates 489 stores across the country and generated gross sales of BRL74.7 billion (USD13.9 billion) in 2020 and adjusted EBITDA of BRL5.6 billion.

Over in Singapore, mDR Group, an after-market service provider for consumer mobile products, is edging closer to launching MVNO services under the ZYM Mobile brand name. Would-be customers can now sign up to register their interest via the company’s new website. The MVNO has the legal name Handphoneshop Pte Ltd and will offer services via the Singtel network.

According to the Economic Times, India’s Department of Telecommunications (DoT) has cancelled letters of intent (LoIs) issued to 71 firms for the provision of virtual network operator (VNO) services. As per the article, the affected companies all failed to submit their respective compliance statuses to the watchdog within the stipulated 60-day window. According to TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database, the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) published recommendations on the introduction of VNOs back in May 2015, with the categorisation designed to accommodate ISPs as well as mobile resellers.

Finally, the Czech Telecommunication Office (CTU) plans to impose an obligation on incumbent mobile network operators (MNOs) O2, T-Mobile and Vodafone to allow MVNOs access to their wholesale mobile services at a regulated price, amid concerns that there is still limited competition in the overall mobile market. It is understood the regulation would apply after confirmation of notification by the EC – expected to be completed by mid-2022. A CTU spokesperson has been quoted as saying: ‘The CTU found the market for wholesale access to mobile services suitable for ex-ante regulation and found companies with common significant market power’.

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