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

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8 Nov 2021

Telefonica Deutschland has confirmed it has signed a new wholesale agreement with long-term MVNO player Lebara Germany, which will switch to its network from 2022. According to TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database, Lebara launched MVNO services in Germany in January 2010, after it sealed a ten-year collaboration deal with Telekom Deutschland to offer pre-paid services over its network. The two parties followed-up with a three-year renewal in August 2019, but it appears time has now run out for Telekom.

Over in the US, AT&T sub-brand Cricket Wireless has announced that it has reached 12.4 million subscriptions, an increase of more than two million in two years. In addition, Cricket has added 5G network access on all plans and removed the 8Mbps speed cap that was present on certain tariffs. John Dwyer, president of Cricket Wireless, commented: ‘The last two years have been challenging for people. During this unprecedented time, when in-person contact has been limited, we all have relied on our wireless devices to keep us connected to the people, things and experiences that matter most.’

Sticking with the US, DISH Network has reported that its net retail wireless subscriptions decreased by approximately 121,000 in the third quarter of 2021, compared to a net decrease of 212,000 in the year-ago quarter. As such, the company closed 3Q21 with a total of 8.774 million retail wireless subscriptions. DISH entered the wireless business in 2020, as a result of its acquisitions of Boost Mobile and Ting Mobile and expanded in 2021 via its Republic Wireless takeover.

Elsewhere, Altice USA has confirmed that its Optimum Mobile MVNO unit served approximately 181,000 mobile subscriptions as of 30 September 2021, after posting net additions of 1,000 in Q3 2021. The MVNO generated revenues of USD20.5 million for the quarter, an increase of 3.7% year-on-year.

Finally, Milan-based utility firm Italia Power is expected to add a mobile proposition to its fixed voice service in the near future, after receiving an Enhanced Service Provider (ESP) authorisation from the Ministry of Economic Development (Ministero dello Sviluppo Economico, MiSE). According to Mondo Mobile Web, the company appears on the MiSE ESP list that was updated on 26 October, although the authorisation itself dates back to 23 August this year.

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TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database is now home to the telecoms industry’s fastest-growing collection of MVNO data, covering more than 90 countries and 1,400 virtual operators. If you would like to find out more, please email