Cognatel is set to launch another six MVNOs, including a well-known high street brand and fixed-line operator, on Vodafone’s network over the next six months.
The new additions will see Cognatel, which acts as a mobile virtual network aggregator (MVNA) for Vodafone, managing a total of 13 MVNOs.
Cognatel CEO Mark Ashdown said there was increasing demand from large brands wanting to reach new and niche markets via the MVNO space, as well as smaller disruptive entities such as Cognatel MVNOs Ovivo and Cycell. He said: ‘It was always our ambition to be the MVNA partner of choice and we are very much seeing that happen now with the number of MVNOs that are choosing Cognatel as their partner.’
Ashdown said Cognatel could help brands reach these markets by helping them create and manage their own mobile presence. He added: ‘We are bringing some really exciting brands to the market over the next three to six months. There is a lot of momentum.’
The Cognatel CEO said MVNAs play a crucial role in simplifying the complex route to becoming an MVNO. He said: ‘What we do is lower the barriers of entry to those that come into the marketplace. Setting up an MVNO is still a complex operation. We offer a supportive model and we work closely with our partners at every stage of their development. We provide our expertise and insight into the market, helping our partners with their initial proposition, right through to supporting the final market implementation and we can speed up the process so they can launch much more quickly. We take away a lot of the pain so that our MVNOs can concentrate on marketing and branding their proposition.’
Ashdown said Cognatel has a similarly supportive relationship with Vodafone. The company signed an MVNA agreement with the operator in 2010. Ashdown said: ‘We chose Vodafone because it has the most developed wholesale model and because they offered us a real partnership. We have a very supportive relationship with them. Over the two years we have been with them they have proven themselves to be real partners.’
Cognatel has recently increased its staff numbers in its London head office from 16 to 20, across its commercial and service delivery teams. The business is also investing in new acquisition and churn management software systems to add to its existing operational, Sim fulfilment, logistics, billing and call centre services, enabling it to offer a fully managed MVNA service. Referring to the expansion of services, Ashdown said: ‘We are confident we are the market leader but we are not complacent. There is a lot of competition to keep us sharp and we recognise we need to keep evolving our services, which is why we have made a major investment into our software systems and our network infrastructure.’