Unexpected players entering the telecoms space in Africa
Monday, September 8, 2014
South African fashion chain Mr Price recently launched a mobile virtual network operator (MVNO), becoming the first retailer in the country to do so. Essentially a MVNO offers mobile communication services without owning its own network infrastructure. MVNOs typically use the network infrastructure of an existing mobile operator to provide services to consumers under their own brands. Mr Price’s offering will piggyback on Cell C’s network.
MVNOs have yet to take off in Africa as they have done elsewhere in the world, but there is a slow movement towards adoption.
In Kenya, MVNO licences have been issued to three firms, one a subsidiary of Equity Bank, the country’s largest financial services provider. The bank plans to use its network to offer mobile banking solutions to customers.