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

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30 May 2022

Virgin Mobile Kuwait has officially launched – over a year after receiving its MVNO licence from the Kuwaiti authorities. Via its new website, the virtual operator has pledged to make its subscribers ‘fall in love with mobile all over again’. On 21 March 2021 the Communication & Information Technology Regulatory Authority (CITRA) awarded an MVNO licence to Virgin Mobile Kuwait, a consortium comprising Virgin Mobile Middle East & Africa (VMMEA) and STC Kuwait, the latter agreeing to act as network host. The website notes that ‘well known and reputable local shareholders such as Wafra and *Impulse*’ also back the company, although the updated shareholder structure is not clear.

The US has a new MVNO in the form of Go Talk Wireless. The seed-funded start-up has a privacy-focused business model, and its website explains: ‘Millions of dollars are stolen every year from SIM card fraud. GoTalk is a security conscious company that knows just how important your digital security it. With our SafeSIM technology, you’ll rest easy knowing your digital assets and data are protected from SIM Swap fraud. Not only that, we’ll never sell or share your data. Don’t waste time, protect your wireless account with our SafeSIM Two-Factor and Three-Factor Authentication today.’ While a network partner has not been confirmed, the MVNO says it offers 99% 5G coverage, suggesting T-Mobile US could be the network provider in question.

Over in Italy, meanwhile, preparations are underway for the launch of Ovunque Mobile. According to Mondo Mobile Web, the brand is owned by Axera (formerly Interplanet), which received an Enhanced Service Provider (ESP) authorisation from the Ministry of Economic Development (Ministero dello Sviluppo Economico, MiSE) on 11 September 2020. The report suggests that the newcomer will utilise the Vodafone Italy network for connectivity.

Finally, Mexican wholesale network operator ALTAN Redes (Red Compartida) has confirmed that it reached the six million subscriptions milestone earlier this month. A total of 114 MVNOs are now offering connectivity via the Red Compartida 700MHz network, while 81% of the subscriptions are mobile users and the other 19% correspond to fixed wireless access (FWA) accounts. Red Compartida currently offers coverage to 70.97% of the population.

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Italy, Kuwait, Mexico, United States, ALTAN Redes (Red Compartida), Go Talk Wireless (US), Ovunque Mobile, Virgin Mobile Kuwait