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Pandemic propels "record" number of MVNOs into UK market


BT Wholesale’s partner Transatel is supporting seven entrants to the market from a variety of industry backgrounds.

The companies were largely inspired to become mobile virtual network operators (MVNOs) by the changes wought by the pandemic according to Transatel.
For example, PopIT wants to become Yorkshire’s local mobile operator of choice while UK TELL caters for the Bangladeshi community in the UK. Both are supported by Transatel’s international carrier service with the flexibility to set their own international tariffs to those their own carrier routes. 

Remote workforces

B2B companies are also leveraging new market opportunities such as for companies to keep in touch with remote workforces. Transatel provides converged fixed-mobile services which are being used by CINOS and 9eons to offer SIM-based, unified communications service to their companies.
Jacques Bonifay, CEO, Transatel, says, “Transatel has been enabling MVNOs in the UK for the past 12 years, and this experience allows us to know what it takes to succeed in the MVNO market.”
Nick Wootten, MVNO Director, BT Wholesale adds, “As we’ve seen this past year through the pandemic, network resilience has been absolutely critical to the success of businesses not only navigating through the uncertainty but allowing them to thrive well after.”

MVNO trends

According to World Mobile Virtual Network Operator (MVNO) Market Report 2021-2029, published this month by ResearchAndMarkets.com, so-called migrant MVNOs have garnered lot of interest as they offer customised services to consumers of the same ethnicity.

As of 2020, Europe was the largest MVNO market followed by North America and Asia Pacific. This is because MVNOs are supported by favourable regulation: regulators see MVNOs as a good way to reduce prices and increase competition.

Europe is home to around two-third of domestic MVNOs that operate within a single market and this trend is expected to continue through to 2029.

However, Asia Pacific is expected to become the most attractive regional market with the fastest growth due to the still rising number of mobile subscribers and expanding penetration of mobile communications.