IRELAND: Tesco to launch 1st Irish MVNO in 2007? has discovered that the 1st MVNO in Ireland is expected to launch in 2007. Following on from the successful UK partnership, Tesco are to launch an Irish MVNO operation. This 1st for Ireland will be a joint venture following the same business plan as in the UK. The two partners are Tesco Ireland and O2 Ireland. The pair are to jointly form Tesco Mobile Ireland drawing upon O2’s technical skills and assets and Tesco’s brand presence and retail abilities.

Tesco Mobile Ireland will have exclusive MVNO market share, at least until Vodafone, Meteor and 3 Ireland rally their efforts to minimise potential CHURN out of their prepay customer bases. This news will come as a shock to the market due to the regulator’s (Comreg) failure to advance the market and the unofficial block on MVNO entrants – even though Comreg did start to allocate MVNO phone numbers to hopeful MVNOs back in April 2005.

When The MVNO Directory launched last summer we predicted that Tesco and o2 would launch an Irish joint venture. Now we are looking for other MVNOs including Clever Communications, Dome Telecom, Eircom, Minute Buyer, Perlico, BT, Carphone Warehouse (Fresh Mobile) and Ryanair to also enter the market. Our research found evidence that these companies were looking but were unable to find an agreeable carrier, now o2 has broken rank with the other carriers there could be a scrap to win the MVNO market share, which in turn is ultimately overall market share.

According to Tesco Mobile, the UK operation has one million subscribers as of July 2006. The operation targets families and the pre-paid market using in store promotion, online marketing ( and as part of their overall marketing campaigns for their range of services. It is believed that Tesco Mobile Ireland will also follow suit but can not expect to gain the same quantity of subscribers due to Ireland’s smaller population (4 million compared to the UK’s 60 million) and 02 Ireland having already having a customer base of 1,602,000 current subscribers.

MVNO stands for mobile virtual network operator. An MVNO operates in a similar way to a normal mobile network operator but does not typically own their own infrastructure or have a radio frequency licence. Instead, MVNOs work in agreement with a licenced mobile network who does own a physical network. is a research portal dedicated to the MVNO space. The lead publication is a global directory of MVNOs and visitors to the site can also subscribe to a supporting news service regarding MVNOs, there is no cost. For more information visit

More to follow on this story when available.

MVNO News – Article IRELAND: Tesco to launch 1st Irish MVNO in 2007?