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BT and Transatel Deal Means 5G Mobile Upgrade for UK MVNOs

Wednesday, November 25th, 2020 (9:47 am) - Score 4,896
mobile network masts four uk 3g 4g 5g

A number of UK Mobile Virtual Network Operators (MVNO) on BT’s (EE) national UK mobile network, such as the mobile solutions offered by broadband providers like Plusnet and The Phone Co-op, may soon gain access to modern features (ultrafast 5G etc.) as a result of an expanded deal with Transatel (NTT Group).

Transatel is a technical sub-contractor that tends to sit in the middle between the primary MNOs (e.g. EE) and the virtual (MVNO) operators. Essentially, they take a lot of the technical and management hassle out of establishing an MVNO, which also means that the service features they provide to virtual operators will depend a lot on the agreements they’ve been able to sign with primary MNOs.

At present some of the UK MVNOs that benefit from working with Transatel include utility companies (Utilita, Ecotalk), community-based MVNOs (China Telecom Europe), B2B reseller MVNOs (Abzorb), and retail MVNO brands (broadband and phone providers like Plusnet and The Phone Co-op).

The company has just signed an expanded deal with BTWholesale, which we’re told means that the aforementioned MVNOs will soon be able to benefit from modern features like Wi-Fi Calling, Voice-over-LTE (VoLTE), and of course ultrafast 5G based data (mobile broadband) connectivity, via EE’s national mobile network.

Alex Tempest, Managing Director of BTW, said:

“For over 12 years, we have proven a successful relationship with Transatel, and as we firmly enter a period of data-driven business outcomes, we are very pleased to support Transatel with superior voice and data solutions, from the UK’s number one network. As the largest wholesale provider of telecommunications services in Europe, BT values working with Transatel and its customers to grow our wholesale business.”

Exactly when each of the aforementioned operators will be able to introduce these new features is unclear, but given the COVID-19 crisis it’ll probably be sometime a little later in 2021.

Leave a Comment
11 Responses
  1. Avatar Peter Gradwell says:

    We’ve been told it will be summer time (IQ Mobile)

  2. Avatar Phil says:

    Interesting that Wi-Fi calling will be added – got a email the other day from Smarty that they now offer wi-fi calling.

    1. Mark Jackson Mark Jackson says:

      I don’t believe Transatel work with SMARTY, not least because they use the Three UK network and not EE. There’s a non-exhaustive list of Transatel MVNO clients here:

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_United_Kingdom_mobile_virtual_network_operators

    2. Avatar Peter says:

      Its amazing how few have wifi calling. It was the only reason I left Giffgaff and had to go back to one of the main providers.

    3. Avatar Davros says:

      5G coming soon too apparently. The Wifi calling is good but the Three signal needs to improve before I will use it

      https://smarty.co.uk/5g

  3. Avatar Anonymous says:

    Hopefully more MVNO will have 5g soon, as the 24 month contracts for sim only deals, is ridiculous.

    1. Avatar Ian says:

      I agree as sim only should be rolling on 30 days or 12 months. As 24 months is for contract pay monthly phone only (not on sim only plan)

  4. Avatar Ryan says:

    It a bit weird Plusnet uses Transatel since EE and Plusnet are subsidiaries of BT you would think Plusnet would be a MVNO directly with EE.

    1. Avatar Peter Gradwell says:

      I believe the commercial agreement is direct, but because plusnet mobile was originally another mvno (I think life mobile) and Transatel run all the ee mvnos, so it was simplest to leave it on those systems.

  5. Avatar Tom says:

    Anybody know if iD mobile are allowed to use three’s b32 or b1 4g

  6. Avatar Neha Sharma says:

    Thanks for Sharing. https://www.macandro.com/

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