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MVNO enabler eyes expansion as subscribers grow – ITWeb


Valde Ferradaz, CEO of Ignition Telecoms.

Valde Ferradaz, CEO of Ignition Telecoms.

MVN-X, an enabler of mobile virtual network operator (MVNO) platforms, has reached one million subscribers across its portfolio of MVNO clients, says the company in a statement.

South Africa’s MVNO market witnessed explosive growth over the past two years, as more players came onto the scene.

A subsidiary of Ignition Telecoms, which is a sub-division of Ignition Group, MVN-X entered the South African market in 2014, offering solutions and services to MVNO platforms.

It counts Standard Bank Mobile within its portfolio, and has also enabled other South African blue-chip companies to advance into the mobile voice, data and fixed LTE sector.

In the statement, MVN-X says it estimates its market share at 60% and MVNO subscriber share at 40%, noting the growth of clients within its portfolio as a contributor to it topping the million subscriber mark.

Ignition Telecoms CEO Valde Ferradaz says MVN-X is heavily invested in simplifying the route to market for new entrants, adding this has given rise to the company developing an “affordable, uncomplicated” foundation phase for clients.

Through its access to MTN and Cell C’s host networks, MVN-X provides “greater” mobile coverage and choice for its telecoms partners, states Ferradaz.

“In theory, we can enable an MVNO through any of the operators; we’re not limited in this respect,” he explains. “But to actively open up the market even further, all the networks should be around the table. This will help to stimulate economic recovery, drive affordability and increase connectivity for the people who need it the most but can afford it the least.

“Enabling a million subscribers is evidence of robust growth in the MVNO market and consumers are becoming increasingly responsive to the convenience, affordability and benefits of bundling services together with one service provider – like Pick n Pay.”

The South African MVNO market has seen several MVNO products rolled out recently by the Shoprite Group, Sakeng Mobile and Standard Bank. Established MVNO brands include FNB Connect, me&you and Mr P Mobile.

With more entrants coming onto the scene, the local MVNO market is expected to register a compound annual global growth rate of 8.8% from 2018 to 2023. It’s also poised for greater acceleration, with a market cap of approximately 8.5 million subscribers, according to MVN-X.

Ferradaz adds: “The market is in an upswing and I am optimistic about the opportunities of future expansion into Africa. For now, our core focus remains on South Africa, where there is still much work to be done. We are unreservedly driven to connect South Africans. Affordable, consistent and good quality access to data is a basic human right.”

MVN-X targets up to 100% growth in the next 18 months. Its business plans include launching a new MVNO for one of South Africa’s largest retail groups, in the latter half of 2022.

Ferradaz points out that healthy competition in the market and growth potential is likely to be tapped into by established retailers and banks over the next four to five years.

He adds that greater consolidation is also needed. “Mergers and acquisitions will strengthen the mobile virtual network market considerably.”

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