Truphone joins GSMA

Mobile company Truphone, which is actively seeking to distance itself from the MVNO tag, this week joined the GSMA as an Associate Member, under the ‘Application Developer’ category.

Essentially, the move means Truphone is compliant with GSMA standards that ensure interoperability with fellow telecommunications organisations around the world. But it could also give Truphone leverage as it seeks to become recognised as an operator in its own right.

In an interview with James Tagg, CTO and founder of Truphone, earlier this year, he said that the reason the company doesn’t like to be pigeon holed into the MVNO bucket is the associations the term immediately conjures in the mind of the marketplace as a technology-free company.

“We have a great deal of technology,” he said. “When you look at global market trends in telecoms, it’s apparent that all operators are increasingly viewing the radio access network as a commodity product. Where they add value to their subscribers is in the core of their mobile networks—that’s how they differentiate themselves from a technical perspective.

“This is, in fact, the exact same model as Truphone operates, we rent bandwidth under strict KPIs from world leading network providers. We own and run a highly differentiated, globally distributed mobile core. This is where we add value and provide service from. We lease the last mile of connectivity in the countries where we operate—the Radio Access Networks.”

Tagg said that critics might define an MVNO as a pure branding and marketing machine that sells services to customers that it would be uneconomic for a license holder to address. But once the company starts owning and running its own core network, creating value added services that even the provider of bandwidth is unable to match – then its doing the same things that a ‘traditional’ operator does.

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  • MVNOs North America

  • MWC19 Los Angeles

  • MWC20 Barcelona

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