Exclusive: Dispute with Cognatel led to Ovivo Mobile termination


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.


  1. Only had my SIM a month paid thru Paypal, disputed it an got my money back after a few days 🙂

    Moved to 3 and used the PAC code from OVIVO with no problems.

    Shame such a good deal has gone, but the internet was very slow and it always sounded too good to be true.

  2. Just felt I had to comment although it’s late in the day. I was with Ovivo from the start and
    As others have said, the service was excellent, I got brothers and friends and their friends to join and we were on a rollercoaster ride. Whoever could believe they would keep going? Being low usage users in our 50,s and 60’s Ovivo was a life saver, yes we lost some top up cash between us but if we could shake the hand of any of the team who came up with such a brilliant deal we all would. VERY sorry it came to a close, but it was expected and I for one saved a bundle through them and if anyone from Ovivo is reading this, THANK YOU FOR TRYING SO HARD!

  3. I bet they saw this coming, yet they kept on raising funds aggressively online. Im one of those that “invested”. Glad was only a little, but a lot of people believed in this company and invested several thousands last summer.

  4. I luckily persuaded them to give me a PAC code as they were not able to activate service on my phone.The PAC code they gave me is useless as per OrangeEE who have been trying to give me my old number back.They asked me to go back to OVIVO and ask for another PAC code but now all in vain.?Who do you contact at OVIVO and where?

  5. I was with Ovivo for about 18 months and always got good service from them. I had a data only sim and the only problem I ever had was the very poor 3G coverage on the Vodafone network.

  6. Had two years superb service with customer service that Orange and TalkTalk can only dream of. Ads could be a bit annoying but a perfectly acceptable price for a first rate mobile service.

  7. My wife and I joined Ovivo recently (one last week and the other Less than 2 months ago) I also passe the details to further two people who informed ovivo my recommendation and earned a further £10 so total credit of £32 is owed to me.
    Is there is chance I am able to get this back?

  8. I have disputed the transaction with me credit company for the £20

    Not section 75, but Visa Chargeback. Inly had the card since 26 Feb.

    2nd one, had one previously for over a year. Very happy. up until Wed.

  9. Ordered a SIM for my daughter for £20 paid with PayPal and it arrived the day they closed down was not even able to activate it. To add insult to injury PayPal say service is not covered under their buyer protection and said they will not issue a refund!

  10. sad to see them go, only realised when I couldn’t send texts today. I had £11 there but most of that was because I ported my number in so I’m fine, been with them for almost a year and was very happy, I knew it wouldn’t last. Hope I get my pac code it’s a unique number!

  11. I used Ovivo for what must have been a couple of years. It was great! No problems at all, and i didn’t mind the adverts when browsing.

    This article says ” reputational damage means it will close permanently. ” I have about £7 credit left there and they can keep it! I would have no problem signing up again. I got excellent service and for little cost

  12. I’m one of the consumers who have saved a lot of money with Ovivo over the past year and a half and not too worried about the £12 on my account but I’m getting a bit p**** of now because they’re not responding to my request for my PAC code.

  13. I am also a paying customer and I also toped up with £15 as well as the original £15 which was also on the phone at the time.
    I have read that if you send the sim back you could get your credit back.
    where do I send my sim card to?
    I just need clarification this is true and if so can i have an address thank you