BT and Transatel Deal Means 5G Mobile Upgrade for UK MVNOs

Wednesday, November 25th, 2020 

A number of UK Mobile Virtual Network Operators (MVNO) on BT’s (EE) national UK mobile network, such as the mobile solutions offered by broadband providers like Plusnet and The Phone Co-op, may soon gain access to modern features (ultrafast 5G etc.) as a result of an expanded deal with Transatel (NTT Group).

Transatel is a technical sub-contractor that tends to sit in the middle between the primary MNOs (e.g. EE) and the virtual (MVNO) operators. Essentially, they take a lot of the technical and management hassle out of establishing an MVNO, which also means that the service features they provide to virtual operators will depend a lot on the agreements they’ve been able to sign with primary MNOs.

At present some of the UK MVNOs that benefit from working with Transatel include utility companies (Utilita, Ecotalk), community-based MVNOs (China Telecom Europe), B2B reseller MVNOs (Abzorb), and retail MVNO brands (broadband and phone providers like Plusnet and The Phone Co-op).

he company has just signed an expanded deal with BTWholesale, which we’re told means that the aforementioned MVNOs will soon be able to benefit from modern features like Wi-Fi Calling, Voice-over-LTE (VoLTE), and of course ultrafast 5G based data (mobile broadband) connectivity, via EE’s national mobile network.

Alex Tempest, Managing Director of BTW, said:

“For over 12 years, we have proven a successful relationship with Transatel, and as we firmly enter a period of data-driven business outcomes, we are very pleased to support Transatel with superior voice and data solutions, from the UK’s number one network. As the largest wholesale provider of telecommunications services in Europe, BT values working with Transatel and its customers to grow our wholesale business.”

Exactly when each of the aforementioned operators will be able to introduce these new features is unclear, but given the COVID-19 crisis it’ll probably be sometime a little later in 2021.