Friday, 30 October 2009

GTEQ launches new B2B MVNO promotion – United Kingdom

GTEQ, formerly KCC Global Telecoms, has launched a new MVNO promotion to its dealer network. The firm already operates services for Toni & Guy, NSK, Diadora and Sedulo.

According to MobileNews the firm already has 50 dealers within its network and as looking to increase this amount to 80 in the short term and 250 within 2 years. GTEQ are seeking 20,000 active MVNO SIM customers.

Dealers receive a profit share based on 4 bandings. Band one receive 50% of monthly profits for revenues of up to GBP 50,000. Band two dealers receive 60% of profits on revenues between GBP 50,000 and GBP 100,000. Band three dealers receive 75% of profits on revenues between GBP 100,000 and GBP 250,000. Band four dealers receive 90% of profits for revenues exceeding GBP 250,000.

GTEQ Managing Director, Karl McCaffrey, was quoted saying: "We are a solutions company but we want to attract mobile dealers who want to add something extra to their kit bag. We seized the opportunity to use the SIM product to increase our own brand, or allow larger resellers to rebrand the SIM."

7-Eleven pulls out of Ottawa – Canada

The Ottawa Citizen has reported that 7-Eleven has pulled out of Ottawa entirely. The move means that all retail premises previously occupied by 7-Eleven are to be taken over by Quickie, a similar convenience store. No big story there, but for 7-Elevel mobile customers in Ottawa it apparently is. From now on to top up their mobile minutes they will have to leave Ottawa to do so as they can only get more minutes in British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba and Ontario.

Surprisingly (in fact, ludicrously) SpeakOut Wireless subscribers are not able to top up via their mobile or online, something we had to confirm by reading their FAQ section.

“Q: Where can I purchase SpeakOut Wireless Airtime?”

“A: Participating 7-Eleven Stores in British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba and Ontario. On-line or telephone airtime purchases are not available.”

It seems that a mass churn is going to occur from 7-Eleven’s plan for this part of Canada.

Thursday, 29 October 2009

PlatinumTel expands operation – USA

Arizona, Ohio, South Carolina and Texas are now covered by the retail footprint of PlatinumTel Wireless. The MVNO launched services in 2002 after forming in 2001. The company uses the Sprint network for its infrastructure access and operates a nationwide network as a result.

Telenet launches Walk and Talk 20 – Belgium

Telenet has launched a new mobile offering for EUR 20 per month. Subscribers to the service will receive roughly 2 hours of talktime as part of the offering. Certain handsets are also available with this offer priced at EUR 1. By opting not to receive a handset a EUR 10 per month discount is applied.

Telenet are primarily a cable operator, which have just posted a Q3 2009 profit of EUR 154.8 million, up from a forecasted EUR 151 million.

MTT gets licensed – Russia

According to local sources, MTT has received licensing approval to form a new country wide MVNO. The new service is expected next year but it is still unclear what shape the MVNO will take, specifically whether it will be an MVNE or a direct to consumer operation.

MVNOs are not actually new to Russia but in comparison to the size of the country and the potential market they are massively under represented. The lack of regulatory guidance and a complicated operating environment has made any MVNO activity difficult. To be noted is that not even all of Russia’s big MNOs are active across the entire region as the country is broken down into political regions for which a separate licence is required. As a country too the conditions of operating in one region can be massively different to another in terms of wealth, ethnicity of the local people and at a basic level their living conditions.

Tuesday, 27 October 2009

Tele2 France being bought out by Virgin Mobile – France

Virgin Mobile, a joint operation between the Virgin Group and the Carphone Warehouse, has agreed to purchase Tele2 Mobile France from the Tele2 Group. The deal follows a selling off of mobile assets by Tele2 in Austria, Belgium, Denmark and Spain, with further withdrawals from other markets.

Charles Dunstone, Chief Executive Officer of Carphone, commented: "The Tele2 France deal marks a major step forward in Virgin Mobile's growth plans in France and will help it progress towards its target of being profitable during 2010 and its ambition of having more than 2m customers."

The deal has been valued at EUR 56 million and will mean a transferring of 429,000 subscribers onto Virgin Mobile. Carphone’s own estimates, according to the Financial Times, are that this will fall to 385,000 new subscribers to Virgin Mobile by completion.

Megacable suggests MVNO in “the very, very close future” – Mexico

Raymundo Fernandez, General Manager of Megacable has stirred up the market again with interest in a quad-play offer from the company. In a recent conference call he is quoted as saying: "In quadruple play, we are still looking at an MVNO model with one of the actual players. You might find something about that in the near future. The very, very close future."

Without a network partner the intention of becoming an MVNO is no more than an ideal. Companies across the world have discovered that this can be a long process and until an operator decides to open up then there is little choice but and potentially sweeten the deal for the MNO at the cost of the viability of the MVNO.

Fernandez did go on to discuss the potential of Megacable also bidding for its own spectrum. Recent research by The MNO Directory for Q4 2008 found 4 companies already competing in this space. The 4th place MNO with 3.5 million subscribers only held a 4.5% market share in comparison to market heavy weight Telcel, with over 50 millions subscribers.

FRiENDi signs 100,000 subscriber and drops charges – Oman

Recent entrant to the Middle-East mobile market, FRiENDi Mobile has signed up its 100,000th subscriber. The MVNO launched services in April via Oman Mobile and targets both the value market and the immigrant workforce.

Commenting to CommsMEA, Mikkel Vinter, Group Chief Executive Officer of FRiENDi said: "We've moved into the six digit territory and that's about 3% market share in just short of six months. Things have been a bit quiet over the summer but we are starting to see things pick up again. Things will find a level at some point but we're seeing solid growth and are optimistic of moving deeper into six digit territory.”

This week the MVNO also announced it was reducing evening rate call charges for international calls made to Bangladesh, India and Pakistan.

USD 5 million and you can be an MVNO – Pakistan

The PTA (Pakistan Telecommunications Authority) has announced that MVNOs may be licensed at the cost of USD 5 millions. This will provide the operator with a 10 year authorisation to provide mobile services as an MVNO.

This decision forms part of the PTA’s new document, “Framework for MNVO services in Pakistan.” The document sets out how MVNOs will be brought into the market and provides guidelines as well as procedure.

Once an MVNO and MNO have agreed terms they must both approach the Security and Exchange Commission of Pakistan for permission to enter into such an agreement contractually. Significant changes to the agreement must also be ratified by the SEC and successful MVNOs may not build out their own infrastructure.

AENOM (The Association of New Spanish Operators) formed – Spain

Spain’s new mobile operators have formed their own association which will represent their interests by presenting a united force as opposed to many small players fighting for their rights against the bigger MNOs.

The following MVNOs are represented by AENOM (Asociación Española de Nuevos Operadores Móviles – The Association of New Spanish Operators): Digimobil, fonYou, Happy Móvil, Hist Mobile, KPN’s Simyo and blau, MASmovil and Pephone.