Orange signs three MVNOs

Orange has announced that it has signed three new mobile virtual network operators (MVNOs); Unicom, Catalyst and Axis Telecom.

These deals have been secured on the Orange Partner Platform via Transatel, Orange’s mobile virtual network aggregator (MVNA). This demonstrates Orange’s commitment to expanding MVNO opportunities in the UK and builds on the company’s five existing MVNO partnerships.

These MVNOs will benefit from Orange’s extensive GSM network which reaches 99% of the UK population and Orange’s 3G network which currently covers over 93% of the UK population.

This will enable Unicom, a fixed line service provider, to launch as a B2B MVNO selling mobile services, initially to its existing base of some 80,000 customers. It will provide billing for both fixed and mobile services on the same invoice.

Catalyst will provide mobile services through partners, for niche groups such as students, ethnic minorities and SMEs.

While Axis Telecom will provide a mobile offering to its current customer base of over 14,000 businesses and residential customers through a number of SIM only deals.

All three MVNO’s are expected to launch in the first half of this year.

Furthermore, with Transatel’s speed to market, companies are able to launch as an MVNO in just six weeks, making it quicker, easier and more cost effective than ever before. This is expected to appeal to telecom resellers targeting both the SME and residential market and companies that have either a brand distribution network or installed customer base that would like to become an MVNO.

Marc Overton, vice president of wholesale, business development and partnerships at Orange UK, said: “Orange has very ambitious plans to become the network partner of choice for new and existing MVNOs. This latest news shows that we are well on our way to achieving this and our ambition to have twenty new MVNO’s on the Orange network by the end of the year.

“It clearly demonstrates that there are untapped opportunities for telecoms services across business and consumer sectors. Through our partnership with Transatel, we are making it even easier for communities and companies of all sizes to enter the exciting mobile market.”

Jacques Bonifay, CEO at Transatel also commented: “We are pleased to announce our first three partnerships signed on behalf of Orange UK. For companies looking to launch their own mobile offering in the UK and also in other European countries, we believe we are the right partner as we broaden the availability, ease and speed with which MVNOs can come to market.”