AppChat MVNO agreement close: John Holdsworth

AppChat is on track to launch its first products later this year, and is ‘very close’ to signing a mobile virtual network operator (MVNO) agreement

John-Holdsworth

Mobile voice over IP (VoIP) startup, AppChat is on track to launch its first products later this year, and is ‘very close’ to signing a mobile virtual network operator (MVNO) agreement with one of the mobile operators.

Industry speculation suggests that AppChat will become Cell C’s second MVNO after Virgin Mobile. Cell C CEO, Alan Knott-Craig said in March that the company is “about to appoint a second MVNO”.

However, Holdsworth would not confirm that he is in discussions with Cell C, explaining that legal reasons prevent him from revealing the name of the operator.

Holdsworth did say that “Alan Knott Craig is a giant of the mobile industry and if I were to be given the opportunity to work alongside the new Cell C CEO it would without doubt be the highlight of my career.”

Cell C would also not confirm the discussions, saying that they “cannot disclose any details at this stage, but an announcement will be made in due course.”

AppChat on track

AppChat is currently embroidered in a legal dispute with Reunert, which had instituted proceedings against John Holdsworth.

Reunert is seeking to enforce contractual restraint of trade and confidentiality undertakings given by Holdsworth in favour of Reunert. This followed Reunert’s acquisition of the ECN Telecommunications business in June last year.

However, Holdsworth is not concerned about the impact of this legal battle on AppChat’s operations.

“The balance of probabilities clearly favours AppChat and I am confident that we will win the case. Nashua ECN is a fixed-line operator and has no protectable interests in the mobile market,” argues Holdsworth.

“Nashua ECN currently does not have any mobile products and services in its portfolio; has no customers in the mobile market; has never generated any revenue from the sale of a mobile service and has never connected a single mobile voice call from a cell phone in its seven year history.”

Holdsworth added that Nashua ECN only adopted mobile VoIP as a strategic initiative after the announcement of his future plans.

“The application has been launched for an ulterior purpose, through a court process, and thus amounts to an abuse of the process. Reunert, a large, listed company, is simply conducting itself as the proverbial ‘bullyboy’, using ECN, a fixed-line operator, as a proxy for one of its other group companies, Nashua Mobile,” Holdsworth said.

Holdsworth said: “my restraint of trade expires at the end of August 2012”. It would appear that the outcome of the court case is therefore unlikely to influence the company’s launch plans.

Related articles

Mobile voice disruption planned for SA market

Cell C to sign another virtual operator agreement

“Business as usual” at AppChat amid court battle

Reunert trying to shut AppChat down: John Holdsworth

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