Ethnic market MVNO Lycamobile strikes broad-ranging aggregator deal with O2 UK to allow new MVNOs to launch within five weeks, starting with Nomi Mobile, poached from Vodafone
MVNO Lycamobile has broadened its wholesale arrangement with O2 UK to work as an aggregator and bring traffic from new MVNO brands onto the O2 network.
It has already agreed a deal with Nomi Mobile, one of the first ethnic market MVNOs to debut in the UK, to transfer to O2 from Vodafone.
Nomi Mobile previously worked with Vodafone via a wholesale deal Vodafone has with BT. The Lycamobile deal has been worked through mobile virtual network enabler (MVNE) Plintron, with which Lycamobile has struck a deal for its aggregator business.
Lycamobile chief executive Milind Kangle (pictured right) said: “Consistent with our mission of building a benchmark business model in the MVNO sector, we are now positioned to offer aggregator services to brands that wish to provide profitable mobile services to their customer bases.
“The development of our pan European full MVNO model can be leveraged by brands that wish to brand extend into the mobile space, but do not wish to be encumbered with the huge investments in time, people, process, technology and operational costs that are required to build a full MVNO business.
“By investing in the resources to manage the complexities of regulation, supply chain management, logistics and product lifecycle management we have significantly lowered the barriers for entry for big retail brands, allowing them launch pan European mobile services whilst remaining focused on their core competitive advantages of brand management, marketing and sales.”
O2 UK business sales director Ben Dowd (pictured right) said: “The extension of our commercial relationship with Lycamobile will allow us to pursue new MVNO business. O2 is the obvious home for MVNOs that want to become really successful, and we’re taking our time to build strong relationships with some of the largest and most interesting parties.”
Nomi Mobile chief executive Stuart Eve said: “Nomi Mobile took a strategic decision to partner with Plintron and utilise its MVNA aggregation capabilities for various reasons.
“Firstly, the service provider model that our previous MNO allowed us restricted our ability to react in the market as quickly as we wanted. Secondly, we knew that by partnering with Plintron we would be able to very quickly scale our operations into other European markets offering innovative product differentiators, without huge capital expenditure.
“We are delighted with the results from our relationship with Plintron and recommend their end to end service proposition.”
Lycamobile said it has invested over £200 million in development of its “full MVNO status” over the last five years, allowing it to reduce barriers to entry for new brands.
It said its hosted solutions incorporate regulatory expertise, SIM card production, number ranges, supply chain management, service definition and product lifecycle management expertise. It will use Plinitron’s MVNE technical solutions to enable new MVNOs to launch on the O2 network within five weeks of contract signature at a fraction of the cost of full MVNOs.
Plintron said it works with 11 network operators on MVNO deals, with around 25 network operators in different markets on interconnection, and with over 300 carriers for call termination. It said it has links to over 250,000 points of sale throughout Europe.
It said its switch SMSC platforms and full MVNO architecture offer partners HLR capabilities, a full media platform (IVR, Data and MMS), prepaid Mobile SCP with IN capabilities, 20 language voicemail platform, least cost routing, full USSD functionality, multilingual customer care, channel management and electronic top-up integration.