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

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13 Mar 2023

Japanese entrepreneur Takafumi Horie is poised to launch a new brand called Horie Mobile later this week. The new virtual operator is being launched in association with existing budget player X-mobile and will utilise the NTT DOCOMO network. SIM cards will go on sale from 16 March.

Another company with plans to enter the MVNO sector in 2023 is Ghana’s P-Mobile, which is the brainchild of local businessman Nana Philip Brobbey, CEO of Philbro Group. In an interview with business website Marcopolis, Mr Brobbey noted that the MVNO has been planned since 2018 and originally hoped to launch in 2020, only for COVID-19 to derail its plans. The new player will target students and low-income citizens, with SIM cards and handsets available via P-Mobile retail outlets. In order to facilitate the launch, a ten-year wholesale contract has been signed with Glo.

HiTS Mobile Espana, which was acquired by Grupo MASMOVIL back in July 2019, has belatedly switched from the Vodafone Spain network to MASMOVIL’s Yoigo network. It is understood that MASMOVIL waited for the existing wholesale contract to expire before migrating the sub-brand’s subscriptions.

French telecoms provider Legos has launched MVNO services in Germany in association with Enreach. Pascal Prot, founder of Legos, commented: ‘We are thrilled to source our Mobile First service in Germany with the help of Enreach’s MVNO capabilities. Enreach’s existing relationship with Telefonica Deutschland will help us to bring our convergent services to this new market, and we believe that this partnership will set the basis of further developments in other European markets.’

Finally, Swiss mobile retailer mobilezone has provided progress reports on its two MVNO units in its 2022 annual report. Annual sales at Swiss MVNO TalkTalk amounted to CHF21.2 million (USD22.6 million), up from CHF17.1 million in 2021. The number of post-paid SIM cards, meanwhile, increased to 66,600, up from 45,700 year-on-year. In Germany, High Mobile generated revenues of CHF23.0 million, up from CHF17.3 million one year earlier. High’s subscription base reached 98,000 at end-2022, up 42% from 69,000 y-o-y, and went on to pass the 100,000-milestone in January 2023.

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