Cashing in on the virtual mobile gold rush

Mobile virtual network operators are doing brisk business, and there are more players on the way.

03 August 2023

It’s boom-time for “virtual” mobile networks. Five of these, Shoprite k’nectmobile, DStv Internet, Capitec Mobile, TFG Connect and Melon Mobile, have launched in the past two years. When it comes to mobile connectivity providers, South Africans have never had so much choice.

Beyond these five mobile virtual network operators (MVNO) and the five telcos with licensed spectrum (Vodacom, MTN, Telkom, Cell C and rain), there are also FNB Connect, Standard Bank Mobile, PnP Mobile, mrpmobile, Afrihost Air Mobile, uConnect and hellomobile. That’s nearly 20 options, and with all operators working to enable MVNO services as part of their obligations under the auction of 5G spectrum, there are more players on the way.

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