US-based industry body the National Content & Technology Cooperative (NCTC) has entered into a preferred partner agreement with ReachNEXT, whereby the NCTC is providing its members with access to the Reach platform to quickly deploy and monetise mobile services. The NCTC represents almost 700 independent communications service providers who connect approximately one-third of North American/US Territory households. As per the agreement, members will have the ability to bundle their existing broadband service with mobile; mobile can be subsidised as an acquisition tool for the ISP’s primary revenue driver. In addition, NCTC members will have their own app in the Google Play/App Store where their customers can sign up, activate and manage their plans. Lou Borrelli, CEO of the NCTC, commented: ‘We have successfully crafted a deal that works for all NCTC members, and through this process, our new partner Reach has been thorough and responsive to meet our unique needs.’ Reach utilises the T-Mobile US network for connectivity.
New US MVNO MobileX officially launched on 27 February via the Verizon Wireless network. Introducing the new service, founder Peter Adderton commented: ‘The wireless industry has long pretended to give consumers control but has instead taken advantage of their limited options. MobileX offers consumers the tools to better understand their mobile needs so they can make an informed choice whether they want a customised or unlimited plan … It’s an incredibly easy-to-use, intelligent platform that learns in real time from every user to help consumers save money. We use AI to learn and evolve with a customer’s usage patterns so they have the ability to only pay for what they use.’ Customers start with a free prediction period of up to ten days. During that time, MobileX learns a user’s data consumption patterns and provides a forecast of how much data they will need each month.
mobilezone Germany has renamed its powwow unit – which owns the brands Sparhandy, Deinhandy, Handystar and High brands – to mobilezone. The operator notes that this branding shift underscores the affiliation with the mobilezone group and strengthens the mobilezone brand in Germany.
Console Connect, which describes itself as a ‘global Network-as-a-Service (NaaS) platform’, has teamed up with Three Wholesale in the UK to launch a new mobile virtual network enabler (MVNE) platform.
Elsewhere, Melon Digital, a new digitally-led MVNE based in South Africa, has selected Amdocs’ Digital Brands Suite to provide customer care and monetisation capabilities ahead of the planned launch of its Melon Mobile MVNO later this month. The vendor’s platform is powered by Amazon Web Services (AWS).
Australian ISP Swoop Broadband, which closed its AUD24 million (USD16.5 million) takeover of Queensland-based MVNO Moose Mobile in November 2022, ended 2022 with a total of 100,609 MVNO subscriptions, up from 88,987 one year earlier and 60,237 at end-2020. Going forward, Swoop hopes to cross-sell mobile services to its fixed wireless and NBN broadband subscriptions. Moose Mobile piggybacks on the Optus network.
South African MVNO FNB Connect ended 31 December 2022 with 879,000 active SIM cards in service. The virtual operator launched in June 2015 over the Cell C network, making FNB the first bank in the country to establish a mobile offering.
US MVNO Google Fi has dropped UScellular as a wholesale partner, Android Central reports. The change leaves T-Mobile US as Google Fi’s only network partner. However, subscribers will still be able to utilise the UScellular network when roaming at no extra charge.
Finally, Helium Mobile, the decentralised mobile network provider backed by Nova Labs, now plans to launch its beta testing service in the second quarter of this year. (Note: when the MVNO, which will use the T-Mobile US network, was announced in September 2022, Helium Mobile said it expected to launch beta services in the first quarter of 2023.) Helium Mobile subscribers can opt-in to earn ‘MOBILE’ token rewards for sharing data about coverage quality and helping identify Helium dead spot locations nationwide. In a blog post, Boris Renski of Nova Labs noted: ‘The Helium 5G network presently consists only of CBRS radios and gateway bundles, and as of this writing, there are over 8,000 radios deployed in 1,618 cities in 49 US states.’
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