South African telecom operator Telkom has revealed plans to enter the mobile virtual network operator network (MVNO) race, a niche market that Cell C has dominated over the years.
Following the announcement, Telecoms analysts believe Telkom will gain market share from Cell C over time.
In 2020, MTN also entered the MVNO race, with Vodacom said to follow suit.
JSE-listed Huge Group announced last year that it would also make forays into the MVNO market with a new company dubbed Huge Connect.
However, as the MVNO race heats up, analysts think that Cell C still has the upper hand in the local MVNO market, which is experiencing growth.
An MVNO is a wireless communications services provider that does not own the wireless network infrastructure over which it provides services to its customers.
In SA, Cell C has historically led the MVNO market, with players such as FNB Connect and Mr Price Mobile, among others, piggybacking on its network.
In a statement, Lunga Siyo, CEO of consumer and small business at Telkom, said, “We have leveraged its extensive network footprint across South Africa to offer MVNOs the opportunity to provide quality services over its network – thereby enhancing the much-needed competition in the telecoms space.”
Telkom believes partnering with MVNOs will enable them to effectively deliver their propositions to selected target markets.
Siyo said, “With a best-in-class network, we believe that such partnerships will help create jobs, create a path into the industry for smaller players, and ultimately contribute to the growth of our digital economy.”
“Telkom is committed to ensuring that MVNOs providing services over its network are sustainable,” Siyo adds.