Friday, 2 October 2009

KT interested in BC Card – South Korea

Following reports in September that BC Card had shown interest in becoming an MVNO, iStockAnalyst have now reported that KT is looking to acquire BC Card in a deal with Hana Financial Group.

KT is one of the 3 MNOs operating in South Korea. This latest development would signal the end of credit card companies becoming MVNOs in the country. Once owned by KT the service would simply be a subsidiary offering by KT and not an MVNO. BC Cards are a South Korean credit card company.

Mazoon partners with Nawras – Oman

Mazoon Mobile has signed a deal with Omani MNO Nawras to use the latter’s mobile phone network to launch its mobile phone services in the country.

Jamil Ali Sultan, the chairman of Mazoon Mobile, stated that the company is ready for the launch of its services by the end of 2009 and to offer its subscribers high-quality services.

In July 2008, the Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (TRA) of Oman awarded Class II MVNO licences for a duration of five year to five companies—Connect Arabia (FRiENDi Mobile), Injaz International, Kalam Telecommunications, Majan Telecom (Renna) and Mazoon Mobile.

Of the five licensees, FRiENDi Mobile was the first to launch its MVNO operations in the country. The company introduced its services in April 2009. FRiENDi uses the mobile phone network of Omantel to offer its services. Soon after, Majan Telecom launched its MVNO operations under the Renna brand in May 2009.

Mazoon’s Chief Executive Office, Mohamed Alhashili, has been quoted stating the service can be up and running within 40 days.

Thursday, 1 October 2009

Vectone enters another market – United Kingdom

European MVNO Vectone has expanded its operation to include the United Kingdom. The operator already offers its services in Austria, Denmark, Norway, the Netherlands and Switzerland. The MVNO is a discount operation focused on selling SIMs with a budget offering. The UK operation will offer 5p calls and texts, 1p calls at weekends, free same network minutes and texts as well as GBP 5 for porting an existing number to the operator.

Richard Moat, T-Mobile UK’s Managing Director commented: "We are delighted to be supporting Vectone’s ambitious expansion plans for the UK market. The deal with Vectone signals our intent to become a major player in the ethnic MVNO arena. With international calling card minutes rapidly migrating to mobile, this is an excellent time to be forging new partnerships in a segment, which is showing signs of bucking the recession with strong projected growth rates. Vectone builds on our eight existing MVNO partnerships and underlines our ambitions to target new growth areas in the wholesale market."

Cubic Telecom subscribers to get access to Wi-Fi – Global

Global MVNE, Cubic Telecom, has signed a deal with Trustive which will provide its subscribers with access to a global Wi-Fi network.

Cubic focuses on the travel SIM market by offering cheaper roaming rates compared to MNOs. This new service will allow Cubic subscribers to have 3G Internet access when roaming and at a much lower cost than compared to MNO offerings. The Trustive network is a combination of over 70 Wi-Fi providers which as a unified service offers over 90,000 hotspot locations.

Cubic Telecom has roaming agreements with over 600 MNOs and active partnerships in Europe, the USA and Australia. Cubic Telecom provides services in 213 countries.

Wednesday, 30 September 2009

Gamma launches new dealer service – United Kingdom

Gamma Telecom has launched a new service for its dealers which allows them to retain ‘customer ownership’. Gamma operates over 3’s network and targets the enterprise sector. The new service is known as BrandBuilder. It allows Gamma’s dealers to sell packages to clients and then retain the relationship while Gamma operates the service. The service will allow dealers to pick how much they charge clients and ultimately how much they can make.

Richard Bligh, Marketing Director for Gamma Telecom commented: "Mobile dealers face many challenges where commissions are being cut and businesses are often being funded through cash backs. Add to this the inflexible nature of MNOs with fixed tariffs and minimum ARPU commitments, together with no direct customer ownership, and the situation is very difficult. BrandBuilder offers mobile dealers easy entry into the mobile market as Gamma is able to take care of all the back office and network service tasks."

Tuesday, 29 September 2009

Lebara sponsors music awards – United Kingdom

The MOBO Organisation is teaming up with Lebara Mobil in a three-year sponsorship deal. MOBO champions diverse genres of music and has been successful in raising the profile of British artists. The partnership with MOBO provides a platform for Lebara Mobile to strengthen its links with multi-cultural customers. As part of the deal, Lebara Mobile will sponsor the Best UK Act category. Nominees include Chipmunk, Tinchy Stryder, N-Dubz and DJ Ironik.

MOBO Chief Executive Officer and Founder, Kanya King commented: “Both Lebara Mobile and MOBO are keen to connect with their target audiences throughout the UK and have a deep understanding of their respective cultures – MOBO reaching out through music and Lebara Mobile through bringing people closer together. Through these synergies, we are looking forward to a long and fruitful partnership for both parties.”

Lebara Mobile’s UK Managing Director, Russell Atkinson commented: “Lebara Mobile is very excited to be working with an organisation with such an impressive track-record. Through our partnership with MOBO, we will be able to communicate with our target market on a deeper level through the international language of music. By working closely with MOBO over the next three years, we are looking to develop and take both brands to the next level.”

Monday, 28 September 2009

Fecosur looking to launch soon – Brazil

A new MVNO under the banner Nusetro Movil is expected soon. The operation will be launched by Fecosur (a telecoms cooperative) and will be hosted on Telecom Personal’s network, according to El Cronista (local newspaper).

Pilot tests have been cited for Colonia Caroya, Rio Tercero, Villa Gesell, San Bernardo, Mar del Plata, Pergmanino, San Bernardo, Balcarce and Dolores. Completion of the trials period is expected Q1 2010.

Digitalk MVNO solution wins award – Global

Technology Marketing Corporation (TMC) has named DIGITALK Prepaid Mobile as a recipient of the 2009 Internet Telephony Excellence Award presented by Internet Telephony magazine. The DIGITALK Prepaid Mobile solution for MVNOs is the latest service-ready application available on the DIGITALK Multiservice Platform.

Justin Norris, Chief Executive Officer and Co-Founder of DIGITALK commented: “The DIGITALK Prepaid Mobile solution was designed to address the saturated mobile market to allow MVNO to exploit niche opportunities utilising DIGITALK Next Generation technologies, and the uptake and interest received has been hugely successful. This award is further testimony to DIGITALK’s prepaid expertise delivering long term value in a complex and evolving market. I am naturally delighted at its success and esteemed recognition."

Sunday, 27 September 2009

FRiENDi gets two new investors – Middle East

The FRiENDi Group has announced a new equity investment by Oman based Dolphin International LLC and ePlanet Ventures. Dolphin is a privately owned Omani company established in 1985. The firm has a portfolio of investments in banking, infrastructure, education, healthcare, bio-technology, advertising, real estate, construction, surgical products and energy. ePlanet Ventures is a venture capital company with offices across Asia, North America and Europe. It has funded companies which include Baidu, Skype and Focus Media.

The amount raised from the new investors is undisclosed but is quoted by FRiENDi’s Chief Executive, Mikkel Vinter, as being greater than USD 10 million.

Vinter, commented: ”We have raised this additional double-digit USD millions equity to further improve our financial readiness for launching multiple MVNO operations in quick succession across the region, now we successfully have validated the MVNO model in the region with the launch of our operation in Oman. We are particularly pleased with both Dolphin International LLC and ePlanet Ventures being existing regional and local investors, so their additional investment that we have announced today is a sign of trust in the company and our business model”.