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 Tuesday, December 22, 2009

The number of active mobile virtual operators in the Netherlands at the end of Q3 was down by two compared to Q1 to a total 47. The virtual operators had 3.1 million customers at the end of September, up slightly from six months earlier, according to Telecompaper's latest report on the MVNO market. The share of VO subscribers, as a percentage of the entire mobile market, declined to 14.6 percent versus 16.9 percent a year ago, and was stable compared to March 2009.

The report finds that despite the effects of the economic crisis, regulation and competition, the VO market remains dynamic with more new entries and exits. Niche players, organisations with a large customer base and investors interested in exploiting the difference in wholesale and retail voice prices are attracted to the market, while mobile network operators see wholesale as a high-margin business and a way to sell excess capacity and target niche markets. Telecompaper sees data services as a still under-exploited area for virtual operators, but they will face high wholesale prices and will have a hard time entering the competitive market. The upcoming spectrum auction planned for early 2010 in the Netherlands may help some of the current VOs stay in business and new players enter the market.

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Source: TelecomPaper