This week we have known the birth of the new brand of the Euskaltel Group for its landing throughout the Spanish territory, which will fight to become the fifth largest national operator. Baptized as Virgin telco, the operator has been presented with attractive prices, sitting on the premise of being able to contract only the services in which he is interested, and with the icing on the cake of unlimited mobile data.
And it is that perhaps, the most unexpected element has been the existence of rates with unlimited gigabytes, which although it is becoming common to find them in different operators, until now they had been limited to operators that have their own mobile network and not to the case of OMVs, which rent the networks to a wholesale operator.
Virgin telco has therefore become the first OMV to have a flat rate for mobile data among its options, clearing the doubts that these types of rates have on their profitability whom until now, have been paying for data volumes to their providers.
The agreement reached in late 2019 by Virgin, in this case with Orange as a wholesaler, should have clarified this term by making viable the offer of unlimited data in OMVs, at least in the largest, which are committed to a high volume of traffic. So open the ban, all glances are now directed to the MásMóvil Group.
The MásMóvil Group forced to move tokens
The MásMóvil Group has managed to obtain the title of the operator that wins the most lines by far in recent years, thanks to an offer more focused on low cost, with definitive prices and a service without too many additives, as the main difference between traditional operators. But MásMóvil is no longer alone, and Virgin telco is reinforced with very similar principles and objectives, which will force the fourth Spanish operator to react.
That MásMóvil already has more than 9 million customers is a multiple achievement, driven by the purchase of several OMVs, but also by having carried the initiative at low prices for a long time. An initiative that seems somewhat stagnant, after Lowi, and more recently, Amena, brands belonging to Vodafone and Orange respectively, have caused an earthquake among cheap fiber and mobile combined.
Lowi, Amena and Virgin offer a combination for almost all audiences, thanks to a powerful offer around 35 euros, that beyond the adjusted price, the conditions of these rates with unlimited calls and 20 GB cumulative on mobile and fiber at 100 Mbps symmetrical, make them meet the needs of a wide variety of customer profiles.
Meanwhile, rival operators such as O2, or the cheaper MásMóvil and Llamaya rates, which offer their combinations below 40 euros, limit their mobile rates data to 5 GB or less, while for data around 20 GB, the price rises between 10 and 15 euros more per month.
So far, the MásMóvil Group’s only reaction to the aggressive mixes of its direct competitors has been through a very similar offer, but only available at specific times as a counter offer to those who requested portability from some competing operators. But there has been no emphatic response from the Group, and the announcement that Orange will boost fiber offerings through brands like Simyo and República Móvil in the coming months should cause MoreMobile make movements about it sooner rather than later.
Unlimited data, closer to Pepephone or MásMóvil
Yoigo It was the first operator that two years ago established the first unlimited data rate in Spain, but somewhat restricted, as it was conditioned to the hiring of fiber, which made it an alternative for those who were willing to pay at least 79 euros per month. Since then, a year later Vodafone launched its artillery at unlimited rates, and more recently, Movistar and Orange did the same with Unlimited mobile-only rates available from 40 euros, or even from 25 euros on sale for a year.
Given the avalanche of rates with unlimited data, Yoigo has been pushed to apply them automatically to mobile-only clients They had a rate of 40 GB or more, but only in the form of a temporary promotion for two months. A promotion that ends on May 30, so the expected definitive answer could not be long in making itself known.
This passivity in those who were accustomed to taking the initiative, could be explained because Yoigo’s mobile network does not cover the entire population and needs agreements with Orange and Movistar to reach all corners of the country. That reliance on third-party coverage, it could have been momentous When it comes to not extending the unlimited to mobile-only rates for the risk of not being profitable, but its availability at Virgin makes everything change.
Assuming that unlimited data is coming to Yoigo’s mobile-only rates shortly, it would also be expected that the Grupo MásMóvil extends this possibility to one of its low cost brands if you want to face the Virgin telco offensive and gain some of the lost ground as the person in charge of taking the initiative.
In this situation, Pepephone and MásMóvil they could be the next MVNOs to introduce unlimited data rates, and they would probably be around the prices set by Virgin given the risk of dependence on the coverage of other operators, and which fluctuate approximately between 60 euros in combination with fiber, and 40 euros if it is only mobile.
But you must also take into account the other restrictions that appeared with the arrival of the rates with unlimited gigabytes. Some of them more awaited, like the roaming consumption limitation within the EU, and others that are more widespread, such as the limitation of streaming video quality that we see in Yoigo, Virgin, Jazztel, and in the cheapest rates of Vodafone and Orange.
The prices of the cheapest unlimited range between approximately 60 euros in combination with fiber, and 40 euros with mobile only.
If Pepephone or MásMóvil want to adjust the price below what is offered in Virgin, they may have to resort to restrictions on video quality or other proposals not yet explored in Spain, such as offering a comfortable amount of gigabytes at high speed and then gentler speed reductions with the use that is usually made of the internet on the smartphone.
It remains to be seen if the MásMóvil Group bets on ambiguous fair use policies, which generally intend to prevent the use of these tariffs as an alternative to fiber connections, with which real restrictions are not well known, or if they choose to continue referring to old concepts like DVD quality (which, being strict, refer to quality in SD). For this occasion, it would be appreciated that Yoigo recovered the spirit of “no small print” from its beginnings and that it alluded to full transparency of its conditions.
Vodafone unlimited data, also in the spotlight
With Movistar and Orange recently positioned with respect to unlimited data rates and their cheapest rates around 40 and 37 euros respectively, it remains to be seen how Vodafone will respond, which is also expected to renew your contract rates in the next few days.
Although Vodafone also currently has a data rate without limits on speed or quality of video streaming for 50 euros per month, the operator offers a total of three different versions of rates with unlimited data that allow adjust the price in exchange for reducing browsing speed.
But none of the rival operators has opted for these speed limits, so it remains to be seen if Vodafone maintains its strategy for the cheapest modalities, or substitutes it for other concepts such as tethering restriction or limitation in video quality.