After bowing out to apparently spend more time with his collection of classic cars, Tom Alexander, the former CEO of EE who has played a leading role in shaping today's UK mobile industry, has resurfaced to join a UK mobile virtual network enabler and aggregator called Viacloud.
Alexander is to take on the role of non-executive chairman of the company, which helps other companies to set up virtual mobile network operations in its roles as both an MVNE and MVNA, whereby MVNA services are provided via the Viacloud subsidiary Atmovia.
As well as his former role at EE, until recently the UK's only provider of LTE services, he was the founder and CEO of Virgin Mobile, which is itself an MVNO.
Alexander's appointment closely follows the recruitment of the new Viacloud executive team, which includes Emanuele Angelidis as CEO, Tim Stone as CCO, Jon Kandiah as CTO, and Richard Schaefer as CFO. The team comes with a mix of experience at companies such as EE, Vodafone, Fastweb of Italy and Bulldog Communications in the UK.
"I've been particularly interested in Viacloud as the company is now very well placed to help enable new MVNOs to address the mobile market," Alexander said in a statement. "MVNOs have been extremely important in developing the consumer market over the past few years and this will continue through to the next phase, especially in the growth of mobile data and 4G. Consumer brands, content players and segmented routes to market are all key."
Viacloud announced a strategic partnership with EE in July 2012, when the Atmovia platform was selected to support the launch of MVNOs on the EE network. Viacloud's platform is deeply integrated with Nokia Solutions & Networks (NSN) technology, and has an out-of-the-box capacity to manage up to 7 million subscribers.
EE now supports a wide range of MVNOs on its networks, including Virgin Mobile, Hutchison 3 (UK), Telecom Plus, Ikea, Vectone, Nowmobile, Matrix, Econet, Lycamobile, Cable and Wireless, i-Pass, Talk Talk Business and Intercity.
It also supports China Telecom (Europe), Axis Telecom, Unicom, Priyo, The Phone Co-Op, Shebang, Apollo, Zamir Telecom, Team SIM and Natterbox via the Transatel MVNA platform.
Research firm Informa Telecoms & Media said in a July report that MVNOs can be hugely profitable for mobile network operators, noting that in the UK, operators' margins for their MVNO business exceed 50 per cent, while their own retail operations barely reach 25 per cent.
Informa estimates that MVNOs in the UK alone bring in £900 million to £950 million ($1.45 billion to $1.53 billion) in annual revenue for mobile operators, with profits of £400 million to £500 million.
- see this Viacloud release
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