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

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12 Sep 2022

Fresh from its agreement with Pinamar-based telecoms cooperative Telpin last month, Camara de Cooperativas de Telecomunicaciones (Catel) – the parent company of Argentinean MVNO imowi has signed a new contract with Chaco-based co-op ECOM. The paperwork, which was signed on 30 August, will see the imowi brand extended to ECOM’s operational footprint. imowi, which launched Full MVNO services over the Movistar network in January this year, ultimately intends to serve multiple regional telecoms cooperatives across Argentina.

The UK government has extended a national security probe into the fire-sale of Truphone – the MVNO whose owners include Russian oligarch Roman Abramovich. Sky News has reported that officials at a division of the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy intend to take up to 45 additional working days to scrutinise the purchase of Truphone’s assets by German billionaire Hakan Koc and his fellow acquirer, Pyrros Koussios. The extension, which prohibits the sale from being completed, has been ordered by the Investment Security Unit (ISU) under the National Security and Investment Act. As previously reported by MVNO Monday, Truphone – which is owned by Abramovich and his business partners, Alexander Abramov and Alexander Frolov – is being sold for a nominal fee of just GBP1 (USD1.2), after sanctions imposed on the billionaire oligarch by UK authorities cast doubts over Truphone’s ability to remain operational.

Sticking with the UK, BT’s broadband/MVNO sub-brand Plusnet could be phased out in the near future, as the British telecoms group seeks to reconfigure EE as the ‘flagship brand for our consumer customers’. Marc Allera, the CEO of BT Consumer, told the Sunday Times that the future of Plusnet, which has traditionally been BT’s their low-cost brand has now also been placed under review. TeleGeography notes that Plusnet launched ADSL services in August 2000 and was acquired by BT for GBP67 million in November 2006. The telco’s MVNO proposition was launched in November 2016, leveraging the former LIFE Mobile assets acquired by EE two years earlier.

Finally, Singapore-based MVNE Plintron has revealed that MVNOs using its MVNA/MVNE platform can now offer differentiated services such as Ultra HD 4K to 8K video streaming, augmented reality (AR)/virtual reality (VR)-based media and 360-degree immersive media experience. The vendor notes that it has already helped several US-based MVNOs to launch 5G services, along with virtual operators in four European countries.

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