Orange Belgium has agreed that Neibo, a new mobile virtual network operator (MVNO), can use its 4G network.
Neibo is Belgium’s first mobile telephony cooperative, and plans to reinvest its profits in sustainable and local businesses, as well as between members.
Following a recent bid for €250,000 in funding, Neibo is preparing to launch commercially in September 2019.
Werner De Laet, Chief Enterprise, Innovation & Wholesale Officer of Orange Belgium, said, “I am very happy to start this new collaboration with the first entirely citizen-led cooperative in Belgium.”
Neibo CEO, Quentin Verstappen, added, “Our original set-up as a full-fledged co-operative for and by citizens is taking shape and I am delighted that our customers will be able to benefit from Orange Belgium’s state-of-the-art mobile network shortly.”
Neibo is working with MVNO enabler Effortel to launch its offering.
Arkadi Panitch, CEO of Effortel, said, “As a specialist in enabling innovative MVNO business models, we are excited to welcome a cooperative-based MVNO on our global platform along with bank, retail, fin tech and media MVNOs all over the world”.
Rise of the MVNOs
Sticking with the topic of MVNOs, recent research by UK consumer watchdog Which? concluded that UK MVNOs generally offer better value for money and customer service than their host networks.
Vodafone was rated lowest among the ‘Big Four’ networks in the UK (alongside 02 UK, EE and Three UK), with one-star ratings for customer service, value for money and technical support.
EE and 02’s customers gave them 13% and 10% respectively on value for money. Three was ranked highest among the Big Four, in eighth place overall among UK providers. Four in five customers told Which? they felt Three was good or excellent value for money.
MVNO Giffgaff, which uses 02’s network, was ranked top – 95% of customers said Giffgaff is good or excellent when it comes to value for money, making it the only provider to achieve a five-star rating in this category.
Almost all (97%) Giffgaff customers told Which? they would recommend the network to friends and family.
The research noted, “While these smaller providers pay the big networks to carry their signal, customers told Which? that not only do they mostly tend to be better value than their larger counterparts, they also tend to provide better customer support.”