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

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4 Jul 2022

Australian ISP Swoop Broadband has purchased Queensland-based MVNO Moose Mobile for AUD24 million (USD16.5 million). The purchase is broken down as AUD19 million in cash and AUD5 million in Swoop shares. A further AUD2.85 million of the cash payable on completion will be held in escrow for six months for any potential claims and adjustments. Moose currently serves more than 94,000 MVNO subscriptions via the Optus network. Swoop CEO Alex West commented: Their subscriber growth has been outstanding over the last few years with over 94,000 active customers and increasing aggressively in recent times and are motivated to achieve more as a combined group. The most exciting part is the cross-sell potential into the residential broadband space, with over 94,000 users a target to provide Swoop fixed wireless and NBN internet services through; as well as nearly 26,000 Residential Swoop customers that could receive a Moose mobile service.’ Swoop hopes to close the deal by 1 August 2022.

Over in the Netherlands, retailer-backed MVNO ALDI Talk has announced plans to discontinue its operations. As of 30 June 2022 ALDI Talk stopped selling calling credits. In a statement on its website, the MVNO explained: ‘Your existing credit and bundles booked remain valid. So, you can keep calling, texting, surfing the internet or booking bundles until your calling credit is used up. When your calling credit is used up, you can be reached by phone or text message for twelve months after the last top-up.’ ALDI is urging its users to port their number to fellow KPN hosted MVNO L-mobi to minimise disruption.

New York-based cybersecurity company World Health Energy Holdings (WHEN Group) has completed the acquisition of an initial 26% stake in CrossMobile, a Polish Full MVNO. While CrossMobile is registered with Poland’s Office of Electronic Communications (UKE), WHEN says that it has ‘the necessary licences and key infrastructure to service the entire population of 540 million in the EU’. The company has the option to ultimately acquire the controlling interest in CrossMobile. Tom Tromer, CEO of CrossMobile, commented: ‘Together we plan to invest in the technologies of tomorrow that enable us to deliver flexible, scalable and repeatable solutions that meet the demanding and ever-changing needs of customers, from medium size enterprises to individual consumers.’

The proposed merger of Malaysian mobile operators Celcom and Digi has been given the green light by the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC), but the enlarged entity must establish an independent business unit to manage its MVNO wholesale activities within six months of the merger’s completion, while ensuring continuity of access for MVNOs at terms ‘no worse off’ than their existing agreements. In addition, the combined companies must divest Celcom’s Yoodo sub-brand, which was launched in January 2018.

Finally, the US National Cable Television Cooperative (NCTC) expects to have an MVNO deal in place by the end of the year that would enable the company’s Tier 2 and Tier 3 fixed broadband and pay-TV provider members to offer mobile access to their customers, NCTC CEO Lou Borrelli has informed Telecompetitor. Borrelli told the website that the NCTC has been exploring its MVNO options for over a year and a half, adding: ‘We’re on the verge of an MVNO solution.’ The NCTC, a not-for-profit organisation based in Kansas, is understood to have over 700 members.

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