Chennai-based Plintron, a Mobile Virtual Network Operator (MVNO) which has operations in 25 countries, has made its entry into the Indian MVNO space. The company provides Mobile Virtual Network Enabler (MVNE) related services–a telecom service providers that aggregate network infrastructure, mobile terminals, and business administration services to MVNOs. MVNEs do not have a direct relationship with the customer, and only provides services to businesses and enterprises (B2B).
Plintron said that it is “investing in building capacity (bandwidth), radio coverage (spectrum) and infrastructure in India, and is in talks with Network Service Operators (telcos and ISPs) to access their network on a VNO model especially for rural Indian markets.” The company provides two kinds of services to MVNOs:
-As a Mobile Virtual Network Enabler (MVNE), by providing services like, billing and revenue management, supply chain management, analytics, infrastructure and communications systems, among others.
-As a Mobile Virtual Network Aggregator (MVNA), it aggregates data and voice services and sells it to MVNOs at wholesale rates.
The company said it received an MVNO license from the DoT this month for providing all services classified under the VNO regime, including Access Services (Voice and Data), all India ISP license (for providing broadband) and other licenses for providing aggregated telecom infrastructure. The ‘All services’ license costs Rs 7.5 crore with companies requiring to show a minimum net worth of Rs 10 crore.
Plintron also claims to have VNO clients from various industry segments including retail, insurance, financial institutions, postal departments, IoT/M2M, and travel among others in their countries it operates in.
Most MVNOs in India seem to focus on rural areas
Plintron is one of the many companies that recently received approval from DoT for providing MVNO-based services in India. In this month, DoT published a list of 61 companies that received an MVNO license. At that time we pointed out that a majority of the VNO licenses were awarded to companies in Tier-2&3 cities as such as Surat, Ahmedabad, and Vadodara, Rajkot, Kanpur, Agra among others. Chennai-based Adpay was the first MVNO to launch its broadband services this month in the B2C segment. Similar to Plintron, Adpay is also focused on a rural strategy.
Apart from this, Plintron will also compete with Japan-based NTT Communications which is also looking at providing MVNE services like enterprise networking solutions and other managed IT services. Last month, NTT had received an MVNO license. Media reports have mentioned that tablet maker Datawind and retail giant Future Group may also launch an MVNO. Videocon had also mentioned that it might re-launch telecom services in India through the MVNO route.
Note: A spokesperson from the company told us that although it provides MVNE and MVNA services, in India, it classifies itself as an MVNO operator. The headline and the story have been updated to reflect the changes.