The U.K.-based mobile phone company Virgin Mobile has moved to enter Colombia’s market as a virtual operator.
On June 6, the Virgin Group announced an investment of $300 million to begin offering mobile phone services and broadband in eight Latin American markets over the next five years. The goal is to begin functioning as a virtual mobile operator in these countries under the Virgin Mobile label, as the company has done in various other markets throughout the world.
According to newspaper El Espectador, the main difficulties that Virgin Mobile will confront in Colombia include the lack of regulations for virtual operators that would clearly define rights and obligations of these actors in the market, as well as the need to set itself apart from the companies already operating in the Colombian market, both in terms of the plan and the price offered.
A virtual operator is one that rents capacity to an established operator in order to offer services under its own name. Colombia already operates one such model — Uff! Movil — which is still working to position itself as a low cost operator for international service.