Nowtel, the parent company of Orange MVNO Now Mobile, has been wound up, according to reports.
Nowtel, which has been in the prepaid calling card market for the last six years, is understood to have a strong share of the market.
Now Mobile, a subsidiary of Nowtel, launched an MVNO with Orange this summer targeting the ethnic MVNO market. It is understood to be unaffected.
One source said: ‘Orange is aware of the issue with the Irish company and there is no impact on the MVNO, it affects the calling card business.’
Orange said it can not comment on its partners.
A Nowtel spokeswoman said: ‘Nowtel and Now Mobile are on target with their trading objectives. Nowtel remains focused on providing international calling solutions for their leading calling cards and remains committed to offering quality and value on UK and international voice, text and data services with the Now Mobile Pay As You Go SIM.’
Nowtel has two companies based in Ireland, Nowtel Global and Nowtel Europe. Nowtel Global is understood to have debts close to 100m euros and assets of 23,000 euros. Nowtel Europe has 140,000 euros worth of assets and creditors of 43m euros.
Nowtel also has a company in Hong Kong, which is understood to have relationships with mobile operators.
Nowtel Europe’s last set of accounts show a turnover of £113m in the year ended July 2009 and a profit of £1.8m.
At the time of the Now Mobile launch Now Mobile MD Andrew HAllam said: ‘Now Mobile, supported by Orange, has developed a strong brand and product set that has been positioned to attract a diverse sector of ethnic international calling customers. We believe there is a genuine demand for clear communications, quality, value for money and excellent customer service within the ethnic MVNO market.'
Everything Everywhere VP of wholesale Marc Overton had said: ‘There is a lot of growth in the ethnic market and there is definitely room for MVNOs other than Lycamobile and Lebara. Now Mobile has a different approach.’