Dispute over network software led to abrupt closure of network yesterday evening (March 20)
Ovivo Mobile was terminated by MVNA Cognatel following an alleged dispute over network software that would have allowed the MVNO to uniquely identify each user, Mobile News understands.
It is believed that Cognatel was contractually obliged to deliver the software but had failed to do so. Uniquely identifying each user was essential to the operator’s service which provided free airtime, texts and data in exhange for agreeing to being targeted by marketing materials.
Furthermore, it also understood that Ovivo Mobile had been withholding cash from the Vodafone MVNA as part of the dispute and it was this that led to the plug being pulled at short notice yesterday.
Customers of the operator are furious at the sudden nature of the cessation of their connectivity although the value of money owed is likely to be very little due to the ‘advertiser-funded nature’ of the service.
The firm said last month it had sent out 50,000 SIMs (it didn’t say how many were active) and was in the process of raising £3 million in financing but the reputational damage means it will close permanently.
Ovivo Mobile and Cognatel were unavailable when contacted by Mobile News earlier today while Vodafone refused to comment on the story.