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

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14 Feb 2022

Malaysia’s Axiata Group has confirmed that its subsidiaries Celcom Axiata and Celcom Mobile have responded to the initial arbitration notice regarding the group’s proposed sale of a 35% stake in local MVNO Tune Talk. The three aggrieved parties were previously named as Padda Gurtaj Singh (9.77% stake), East Pacific Capital (5.85%) and Tune Strategic Investments (14.4%). Last Autumn they filed for a court injunction to stop Axiata Group from including the Tune Talk stake in the proposed merger between MNOs Celcom Axiata and Digi. Axiata noted: ‘Axiata is aware that Celcom and Celcom Mobile have responded to the initial arbitration notice and the matter is now pending next steps before the Asian International Arbitration Centre (AIAC) … Axiata will make further announcements as and when there are material developments on the court matter.’

Boca Raton-based infrastructure firm DigitalBridge has acquired 100% of Chilean ISP/MVNO Mundo from Linzor Capital Partners and its minority partners, Teras Capital Spain and CyC. Linzor and partners acquired the company in September 2019. Matias Gutierrez, partner at Linzor Capital, commented: ‘Mundo is now in great hands with its new shareholder DigitalBridge and the management team that remains in the company.’ Mundo launched its MVNO in November 2020 and counted 19,427 mobile subscriptions as of 3Q21. More notably, the telco served 566,116 fixed broadband subscriptions at the same date.

Finally, AGL Energy, which launched its AGL Mobile MVNO over the Optus network in January 2021, has reported growth for its fledgling telecoms business. In a presentation to mark the release of the company’s financial results for the six months ended 31 December 2021, chief customer officer Christine Corbett called telecoms growth ‘a highlight for the first half’. At end-2021 AGL served 42,000 telecoms subscriptions under its own brand, and a further 182,000 via Southern Phone Company, which AGL acquired in December 2019.

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