Cell C’s mobile virtual network operator business, which includes Virgin Mobile and FNB Connect, has contributed 25% to the company’s growth.
“If you break it down, it is probably R600-R800 million of Cell C’s revenue,” said Cell C’s wholesale business chief Björn Flormann, speaking at the 2017 MyBroadband Conference.
Flormann said it would be a “good guess” to state that the figure is mainly driven by the success of FNB’s mobile virtual network operator.
Despite the success of the wholesale business, Flormann said South Africa’s market is still in the early stages compared to mature European markets.
Cell C’s partners already generate R3 billion in revenue, but this only makes up 3% of the total market. Elsewhere in the world, MVNOs typically take 10% to 15% of the market, he said.
He added that the MVNO model is not rocket science, and that there are many different partnership models available.
While European operators have found that a minimum of 50,000 clients is necessary for a new mobile brand to be successful, this is not necessarily the case for South Africa.
“It is all about you and your customers,” said Flormann.
Cell C’s MVNO clients include FNB Connect, MRP Mobile, me&you mobile, and Virgin Mobile.