Tuesday, 10 November 2009

Netvision and others can not be MVNOs - Israel

Israel’s Ministry of Communications has been publically criticised by Netvision due its new policy on MVNOs which bar companies like Netvision from launching as MVNOs.

The problem for Netvision rests with it being a sister company to Celcom. In an effort to ensure true competition the regulator has stated that companies already in possession of licensed mobile spectrum may not launch their own MVNOs. This will stop what is a common wheeze as performed in Europe where MNOs launch new mobile brands and market them as being MVNOs; thus fooling the consumer into thinking they have bought the services of a different company from the known MNOs. As is the case with recently launched GiffGaff; the latter has been trumpeted as a new MVNO which heralds the way forward for a consumer run and consumer owned and operated network, but it is in fact owned and operated by o2.

In a Globes article, Richard Hunter, Chief Executive Officer at Netvision is quoted saying that the situation is illogical. The illogical part we are struggling to understand is why Netvision needs to be an MVNO. If they are in fact sister company to Celcom then there is nothing stopping Celcom from launching a branded offer for Netvision.