The month of May in Singapore’s MVNO market includes a horse and a gorilla

The month of May in Singapore’s MVNO market sounds like a riddle and includes a horse and a gorilla

A MVNE sister company, to a MVNO, on the MNO M1, makes a bid for the MVNE M1 is using, to host it, and other MVNOs. One MVNO on the MNO M1 moves, while a red one enables VoLTE and VoWiFi.

No, the above is neither a riddle nor a sobriety tests but the latest update from Singapore and a sector filed with acronyms.

VoLTE and VoWiFi

We’ll start the update with the Malaysian MVNO Redone, who has become the latest MVNO in Singapore to enable VoLTE and VoWIFI for its subscribers in Singapore.

All the MVNOs and sub brands on M1 and Starhub’s network have already enabled VoLTE.

Singtel’s own sub brands Gomo and newcomer Heya (Launched May 1st, 2022), also have VoLTE enabled. However the option is still not available on Singtel’s MVNO partners: Zero1, CMLink SG (China Mobile), ZYM Mobile and VIVIFI.

Circles makes a MVNE platform bid

Earlier this month, it was revealed that Circles MVNE Pte. Ltd has execute a stalking-horse asset purchase agreement for some of the assets of the CPaaS company, Pareteum Corporation, who has filed for a voluntary Chapter 11.

Circles has agreed to acquire Pareteum’s Mobile Virtual Network Enabler (MVNE) business and associated contracts.

To help fund and protect Pareteum’s operations, Pareteum has received a commitment from Circles for up to $6 million in debtor-in-possession financing. Upon approval from the Bankruptcy Court, the DIP financing, along with normal operating cash flows and the consensual use of cash collateral, will fund post-petition operations and costs under normal terms.

Circles of interest?

This deal with Circles acquiring Pareteum’s MVNE platforms, creates some conflict of interest in the Singaporean market.

In 2019, the mobile operator M1 selected Pareteum’s platforms, as part of its plan to deploy MVNOs – initially in Singapore before extending to other Asian-Pacific markets. (It is still so far only in Singapore). M1 is the host operator for five (soon four) MVNOs in Singapore, one of them is Circles Life.

The company “Circles MVNE Pte. Ltd”, who has agreed to acquire Pareteum’s MVNE business and associated contracts (among them the contract with M1), is a sister company to the MVNO Circles Life.

Imagine how the current and potential MVNOs will feel about having their business and data enabled and stored, on a platform belonging de facto to their competitor.

Question is, what M1 thinks about the issue, having a MVNO on its network, who actually owns the contract and the platform M1 use to enabled MVNOs – or if they already knew about it and it is part of a larger co-operation between the two?

Going in circles yet? Lets add some fuel to that conspiracy theory. Prior to becoming M1’s CEO in 2018, Manjot Singh Mann, actually served as CEO for Pareteum in Asia.

The Gorilla in the room

While on the subject, blockchain MVNO Gorilla Mobile, has decided to switch host operator and is moving from M1 to Starhub instead.

This leaves M1 with: Circles Life, Changi Mobile, GeeNet and MyRepublic, while Starhub will host two MVNOs: Redone and Gorilla. Singtel’s MVNO partners remains: Zero1, CMLink SG (China Mobile), ZYM Mobile and VIVIFI.

MVNOs on M1’s NetworkMVNO’s on Singtel’s NetworkMVNO’s on Starhub’s Network
  • Circles Life
  • My Republic (4G)
  • Geenet Mobile
  • Changi Mobile
  • ZΩH (Lifeway Singapore)
  • Zero 1
  • ZYM Mobile
  • CMLink SG (China Mobile)
  • redOne
  • Gorilla Mobile
  • My Republic (5G)

Someone to manage this

To manage the current, and supporting the onboarding of new MVNOs, M1 is currently looking for a MVNE Product Operation Lead, to support product operation organization on day-to-day operation on the Pareteum (perhaps soon to be Circles) MVNE platform.

Starhub meanwhile, is looking for a Assistant Manager, Commercial Management to seek out and explore new MVNO opportunities in the market with potential business leads. Negotiate with MVNOs, MVNEs or other commercial partners on new commercial agreements and active engage with existing MVNOs to understand and support their on-going business needs

Author: Allan Rasmussen
Managing director at Yozzo. Allan is a MVNA/MVNE/MVNO specialist with hands-on experience from more than 60 projects in both competitive and greenfield markets. His expertise includes business case development, execution, launch and growth strategies. Advisor and consultant to mobile network operators, MVNA, MVNE, MVNO, National Regulatory Authorities, Government Agencies, Broadcast Companies, TMT Industry Associations, Innovation and Investment Banks.
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