FNB set to launch its own mobile network

FNB is expected to unveil its plans to launch its own virtual mobile network (MVNO) soon, according to a number of independent sources.

The plans have been described as an “open secret” in the industry.

Following the purported launch, FNB would join Mr Price and Virgin Mobile as the country’s third MVNO.

Mr Price’s foray into being a virtual mobile network operator emerged on Wednesday (30 July).

Like the country’s first MVNO, Virgin Mobile, the Mr Price Mobile network will run on Cell C, and FNB’s offering is also expected to follow suit, partnering with the operator.

Talk of FNB’s mobile network ambitions first emerged in June 2013, when two independent sources informed MyBroadband that FNB and Cell C were in discussions about an MVNO agreement, and that a positive outcome was likely.

When asked whether it plans to launch an MVNO, FNB’s head of corporate communications Virginia Magapatona said that discussions were underway with operators, but didn’t specify whether the talks were about an MVNO.

“We continue to hold confidential discussions with various operators, and we will only be in a position to formally announce any new features or customer benefits once launched,” Magapatona said.

She noted that FNB already had the necessary licences to be a telecommunications provider, and was already able to provide voice and data services.

“FNB will continue to enhance its services where it benefits our customers, such as providing free calls and messaging via the FNB App,” said Magapatona.

“As one of the largest bulk SMS users and airtime distributors, we have relationships with all mobile network operators and will continue to work closely with all parties.”

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FNB set to launch its own mobile network