Last time we looked at the larger operators and how their offers compared. In this part we’re giving you a brief overview of the option to the main companies: mobile virtual network operators.
Mobile Virtual Network Operators
The first of these operators appeared in 2012 with the bulk following a year later. They use the communication networks of the existing operators. One of the most notable aspects of the MVNOs is that they are a lot cheaper than the main operators.
Due to space I won’t cover these in quite the same amount of detail as the companies in the last article. Also their offers are a little more limited.
Yes as in the tabloid, this operator works through the O2 network. Calls are 2.50 CZK a minute to all networks. Each SMS is 1.50 CZK. It’s available from a number of places around the country. Internet is an extra 100 CZK a month.
This well-known supermarket brand has moved into the communication market. They are also on the O2 network, they have the same prices as BLESKMobil.
Using the T-Mobile network, this operator is run by MAFRA, who own Mladá Front Dnes among other publications. The price is the same as the two MVNOs above, but Internet is free.
Owned by Internet provider ha-vel.com and on T-Mobile’s network, calls within ha-loo network are 0.50 CZK a minute and calls to other networks are only 1.00 CZK. They also have quite cheap international calls.
This company, which appears to be one guy, offers a greater range of monthly plans. The calls within the Connectica network are cheap but outside they can be as much as 2.59 CZK per minute if you have a lower monthly rate. With the higher plans the price goes down to 1.49 CZK a minute. You can also add Internet to the package. The operator works through T-Mobile’s network.
This is a very new operator which has also put a human face to the otherwise intangible world of telecommunication. For 37 CZK a month, calls are 1.11 CZK a minute within the network and 2.22 CZK out of the network. The link also contains info on Internet. No information at present on which network they use.
This is not technically an MVNO. However, they provide services to the MVNOs below which are actually on the T-Mobile network. On top of that they do offer unlimited calls from landlines and mobile phones and Internet for companies for 650 CZK. You can read more here and this is the brochure.
This MVNO offers three plans 100 CZK a month, 200 CZK a month and a free plan. The latter is free on the condition that your bill for the first 6 months is 500 CZK. However, the paid plans have cheaper rates. They also operate on through GTS.
• 99 Mobile
This virtual operator has a range of monthly plans most of which offer calls and SMS for 1.49 CZK. Calls within the 99 Mobile network are 0.49 CZK. They are owned by MAXPROGRES s.r.o. and operate through GTS.
They offer some of the cheapest monthly plans on the market, starting as low as 39 CZK a month. Rates are 0.59 CZK a minute within the network and 1.69 CZK a minute to other operators. They also operate through GTS.
• Relax Mobil
This operator keeps it simple. They offer one plan for 49.90 CZK a month. Calls are 1.50 CZK a minute. Unlike other providers, they charge you per MB (0.50 CZK to be precise) for Internet use, with a maximum charge of 150 CZK. They then claim everything above that is free. This operator is also run through GTS.
• Open call
OpenCall has two tariffs. The Plus tariff at 150 CZK a month offers calls in the network for 1 CZK per minute with international calls starting at 2.50 CZK per minute. Internet access is extra. See link for rates.
The appearance of these MVNOs suggests a positive development. It shows the market is more open which shows more competitive prices. However, the MVNO market is in its infancy. Who knows how many of these MVNOs will be around when we next do a comparison? And at the end of the day the main operators still own the networks.
Have you had any experience with MVNOs? How did it compare with the other phone companies?