Wednesday, 8 June 2011

60,000 wholesale Lightyear clients to Sprint

Verizon has lost 60,000 wholesale clients to Sprint, following Lightyear’s decision to sign a 5 year MVNO contract with Sprint. The operator originally signed up to Verizon’s Wholesale Mobility Solutions suite back in July 2008. Then CEO of Lightyear, Sherman Henderson III, said at the time: “Single-source service bundles mean convenience, simplicity and value to both the business and residential customers that Lightyear Network Solutions serves nationwide … Our agreement with Verizon Partner Solutions will enable us to deliver those benefits to our customers, backed by the power of the Verizon networks and the attentive customer care of Lightyear.”

Lightyear Network Solutions launches mobile agreement with Sprint (MVNO agreement expected to contribute to wireless growth – Press release – Lightyear Network Solutions (June 8, 2011)

Lightyear, a provider of data, voice and wireless telecommunication services to business and residential customers throughout North America, today announced that it has launched its MVNO (Mobile Virtual Network Operator) operations under a new five-year agreement with Sprint.

The contract allows Lightyear to partner directly with Sprint on new wireless products, and provide postpaid and prepaid mobile telephone products and service utilizing the Nationwide Sprint Network. The agreement provides numerous benefits for Lightyear, including a larger and improved selection of the newest Sprint wireless devices, quicker access to those products, greater flexibility regarding product and service offerings for Lightyear customers, and the ability to offer bundled Lightyear wireline and wireless products.

The MVNO agreement enables Lightyear to offer an enhanced suite of wireless products, while lowering its costs. Lightyear’s sales force will immediately begin offering these enhanced services under the MVNO agreement to its more than 60,000 customers.

Lightyear recently initiated a marketing program to increase its commercial business activities, and this agreement with Sprint will enable the company to expand its efforts with new and existing business customers, including the availability to offer new solutions such as fixed mobile convergence. The agreement will also provide benefits to residential customers who will have access to a broader selection of wireless handsets, including a number of phones with the increasingly popular Android operating system.

“We are pleased to announce the launch of our MVNO with Sprint, which has been a valuable Lightyear provider partner for a number of years,” said Stephen M. Lochmueller, Chief Executive Officer of Lightyear. “This MVNO agreement will contribute to our long-term strategy to increase our organic growth. We expect our wireless business to contribute to our growth and profitability in 2011, with increasing benefits in future years.”

Monday, 6 June 2011

Virgin branded mobile services in Latin America (... in 2012)

The Virgin Group hopes to monetise Latin America. Currently Virgin Mobile are active in the UK, France, South Africa, India and by brand name in the USA, Qatar, Australia and Canada. This will be the company's first venture into South America. No definite entries to market have been given but the company expects launches in 2012. The press release heading and Virgin's change in policy to mobile indicate that the venture will not be an MVNO, it will be a branded operation with an MNO driving the workings.

UPDATE (10th June): Tribe Mobile will be the venture partner. The 2 companies have pledged USD 300 mln towards the joint mobile outing. Tribe will be the operational partner while Virgin will offer the branding. (Source Tribe Mobile)

Virgin Group planning to launch Virgin branded mobile services in Latin America - Press release - Virgin Group (June 06, 2011)

Virgin branded mobile virtual network operators (MVNOs) in Latin America will be in partnership with Tribe Mobile, in order to become the leading MVNO across the region.

This will mark the first time the Virgin brand has launched in the Latin American market, something Richard Branson is looking forward to.

The Virgin founder said: "We are excited by the opportunity to launch the Virgin brand in Latin America for the first time.

"Latin America's mobile telecom consumers will benefit from Virgin's entry into their markets to provide our exciting customer focused product offering, wide range of great services, transparent pricing and value for money. We look forward to launching our first businesses within the next 12 to 15 months."

Tribe Mobile Founder and Chairman Phil Wallace added: "Latin American consumers have proven to be avid mobile users from the early days of mobile telephony and continue to be so.

"More than in any other region, wireless has replaced fixed line service for consumer use and the region is ripe for new options that can either attract new customers or focus on special consumer segments."

Virgin Mobile branded businesses already operate in Australia, Canada, France, India, South Africa, the UK and the USA, serving approximately 15 million mobile subscribers.