China’s new class of 41 MVNOs, after a slow start in the first half of last year, is picking up speed and now has a total of more than 2.1 million customers.
The top four have signed up 1.67 million customers. The largest is Snail Mobile with 670,000, followed by Suning Mobile (500,000), Gome G++ (300,000) and Alibaba (200,000), C114.net reported. D-phone, Aisidi and Telline each have about 100,000 subscribers, while Bus Online and Jindong have fewer than 100,000.
The government moved a year ago to allow private firms to re-sell mobile services in a two-year pilot project. It will reportedly review the status of the MVNOs at the end of this year and revoke the licences of firms with a poor performance.
One of the biggest obstacles they face is that the wholesale price offered by the country’s top operators is higher than the retail price.
The Industry and Information Technology Ministry first granted licences to 19 private firms, and is part of its efforts to restructure the industry to create more competition and innovation.