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

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24 Jan 2022

Russian state-owned nuclear power corporation ROSATOM plans to launch an MVNO next year, Kommersant reports. According to the business daily, the MVNO will operate on the Tele2 network. The report notes that Greenatom – a subsidiary of ROSATOM – received a five-year licence to provide mobile communications services on 29 September 2021. The MVNO will commence operations in September 2023.

Telenor and Amazon Web Services (AWS) have revealed plans to invest in joint go-to-market activities in select industries – including manufacturing, supply chain and logistics, and automotive – as they seek to enable more 5G and edge services for customers. Working with AWS, Telenor says it has already implemented an entire mobile core, running in the cloud, for Vimla – the group’s Swedish MVNO sub-brand. Telenor notes: ‘Running on AWS, Vimla’s mobile core is scalable, programmable, and employs self-service APIs, enabling Vimla to create simple, innovative and valuable services for its customers.’

Thai MVNO The White Space Co (Penguin SIM) has switched its business model, as it seeks to keep pace with the shifting market landscape. Rather than focus on pre-paid mobile users, the company seeks to become a smart solutions provider focusing on 5G private networks. Chaiyod Chirabowornkul, chairman of board at The White Space, told the Bangkok Post: ‘We provided services mainly for pre-paid users in the beginning, but have gradually adjusted services to cater to IoT for enterprise customers … The competition landscape has been changing and it is hard to stick to the old business model.’ The executive told the newspaper that the MVNO’s subscription base peaked at one million in 2018 (around 800,000 active users), but this figure has since plummeted to around 200,000.

Bulgarian VoIP firm Zadarma has announced that it has become an MVNO in France, and can now offer customers French mobile numbers. The company’s press release notes: ‘In 2022 Zadarma is coming with a disruptive approach that does not limit customers use of services and comes at a competitive price with no connection fees.’

Finally, the National Commission for Markets and Competition (Comision Nacional de los Mercados y la Competencia, CNMC) has fined Lycamobile Spain EUR552,000 (USD626,000) for breaching its obligations to supply subscriber data through its Subscriber Data Management System (Sistema de Gestion de los Datos de los Abonados, SGDA). The watchdog explains that the SGDA is used by emergency services, among others, and needs to have up-to-date data for all customers. (Note: the fine has been reduced after Lycamobile recognised its responsibility and paid the penalty in advance.)

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