Virgin gets first MVNO license in India

By : |January 31, 2008 0

Bhaskar Hazarika

NEW DELHI, INDIA: With the Indian government looking at de-linking spectrum from licenses, European mobile virtual network operator (MVNO), Virgin Mobile has made an entry into the Indian mobile market.

Virgin Mobile is launching its CDMA services under the brand name ‘Virgin’ in India on February 24.

Virgin Mobile is the first commercial MVNO in the UK. Virgin launched its MVNO business in UK in 1999. It has entered into a joint venture with CDMA operator Tata Teleservices Ltd (TTSL) for rolling out its services on Tata’s network.

Speaking to CyberMedia News, Vinay Dixit, director, Nikkys, a multi-brand store in Kolkata, said that Virgin has entered into deal with Tata for using the telecom infrastructure for launching the new brand Virgin.

“Virgin is the first mobile virtual network operator to get the license. The company has opened up an office in Kolkata and is launching the second office in New Delhi,” Dixit said.

The company will make an official announcement of the launch in New Delhi in February 24. According to the deal, Virgin would be using the telecom infrastructure of Tata for rolling out its services. 

TTSL declined to confirm or deny the deal. "As a matter of company policy, TTSL does not comment on speculations," a spokesperson for the company said.

The operator will be launching its own services, tariff plans, handsets and recharge coupons under the brand name Virgin.

The company was in talks with Ingram Micro for logistics and handset procurement. However, the deal failed and Virgin will be appointing seven distributors across the country for marketing its products.

“Initially the company is targeting to launch its services in East and North zone. Once stabilized, the company would be looking for expansion,” Dixit said.

CyberMedia News had earlier reported that the government was set to support Mobile Virtual Network Operator (MVNO) in the telecom sector, to end the spectrum war.

The Ministry of Communications had been carrying out studies on the countries that had successfully launched MVNO business.

Globally there are more than 350 MVNOs. MVNO is a company that provides mobile phone service but does not have its own frequency allocation of the radio spectrum, nor does it have the infrastructure required to provide mobile telephone service. They are also known as ‘switchless resellers’.

© CyberMedia News


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