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

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15 Nov 2021

Brazil has a new MVNO, in the form of Nomo. According to Mobile Time, the newcomer is backed by investors from companies such as Stone, Nubank and Ebanx, while Iporanga Ventures and Norte Ventures have reportedly supplied funding of BRL14 million (USD2.6 million). CEO Henrique Garrido noted that Nomo’s first 200 SIM cards were distributed last week, with a further 500 planned for distribution this week. Although there are 10,000 would-be subscribers on Nomo’s waiting list, the MVNO intends to release its SIM cards in small blocks, to ensure a quality experience – starting with Sao Paulo, followed by Rio de Janeiro. Nomo is working alongside MVNA Telecall, which uses the Vivo network for connectivity.

Romania’s Digi Communications has reported that its Spanish MVNO DIGI Mobil ended 30 September 2021 with 2.795 million mobile subscriptions, up from 2.211 million year-on-year. The virtual operator targets the Romanian diaspora in Spain, which is understood to represent almost 20% of the country’s foreign population. The Spanish unit also claimed 393,000 fixed broadband subscriptions and 135,000 fixed voice lines, via its fibre service, which leverages a wholesale deal with Telefonica Espana. The Italian DIGI Mobil MVNO unit, meanwhile, grew its customer base to 312,000 by the end of September 2021.

Elsewhere, Poste Italiane has confirmed that its PosteMobile subscription base stood at 4.8 million at 30 September 2021, up from 4.6 million one year earlier (note: published figure also includes fixed lines). In addition, the postal service noted that its new wholesale contract with Vodafone Italy is now up and running, with the network migration completed this quarter. The company expects to witness ‘running efficiencies’ from 4Q21.

The Vietnamese authorities are reportedly planning to make it easier for MVNOs to launch, as part of a regulatory overhaul. On 6 October 2021 the Ministry of Information and Communications (MIC) released a proposal to amend the Law on Telecommunications, including an outline for the proposed amendments. With reference to the MVNO sector, the regulator is expected to stipulate that operators are prohibited from providing wholesale telecom services to other enterprises with a price higher than the retail price that they currently provide. Wholesale pricing discrepancies are understood to be one of the main impediments for would-be MVNOs.

Finally, Optiva of Canada has launched its new MVNx Fast Track programme. The vendor says the new service ‘accelerates business velocity for MVNOs’ and allows virtual operators to go live within 90 days or less. The platform has been built with cloud technology and ‘applies a disruptive delivery methodology on private and public clouds’. Interestingly, the company says that MVNOs can make changes to their service plans and roll them out in three hours or less. A total of 120 out-of-the-box templates are said to be available to would-be MVNOs.

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