Italian MVNO plans to become 4th largest operator

Despite being one of 15 MVNOs operating in Italy, PostMobile claims that it will become the country's fourth largest operator in three to five years, overtaking rival 3 Italia.

According to the CEO, Roberto Giacchi, the company will generate sales of between €160 million and €200 million this year--with an EBITDA of between €5 million and €10 million. However, 3 Italia's 2009 revenues were €1.65 billion with more than nine million subscribers, compared to PostMobile's 1.4 million.

Undaunted by this formidable challenge, Giacchi said the company was growing at a faster rate than forecast. "I see years of strong growth ahead of us, and we're still a long way off our full potential."

PostMobile does have the advantage of being able to distribute its handsets and provide mobile banking and payments services using the 14,000 post offices in Italy. The company would also seem to have achieved success by selling its own-branded handsets made by ZTE it had forecast sales of 10,000 in the first month, but the entire stock was sold out in the first week. PostMobile now has plans to introduce other devices, including Samsung products.

Giacchi added that the company, which is presently state-owned, is considering an IPO. "We're creating a credible equity story. [A decision on an IPO hasn't been taken] but I'm working to make PostMobile attractive to possible investors."

PostMobile, which launched its mobile services in 2007 using Vodafone's network, was created as part of a drive by the Italian Post Office to gain revenues from new markets.

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