Update: China Telecom looks to Europe for an MVNO

18 August 2011 |


China Telecom Europe is looking to launch an MVNO in the UK as part of its plans for greater expansion across the region.

According to reports, the European subsidiary of China Telecom is talking to network operators about a potential deal to launch an MVNO later this month.

The aim is to market a new virtual network at Chinese people living in the UK leveraging on the experience in China from its parent company. The operator will launch a SIM only solution to deliver Mandarin content more easily to Chinese consumers.

A number of MVNOs have been launched in the UK over the last few years, most notably Virgin Mobile and Lebara, which focus on cheaper handsets and services while incumbent operators are attempting to move their customers to next generation networks. 

Yan Ou, MD of China Telecom Europe, explained that despite the competitive environment among UK operators, China Telecom Europe will serve a niche in the market: "The UK has a Chinese community of over half million in addition to the huge number of tourists who visit the country every year," he said. "We are focusing on these customers which we hope will differentiate our services from other operators."

China Telecom Europe grew by a staggering 70% last year and, reportedly, plans to expand by a further 40% over 2011. 

"In terms of Chinese content providers we are the largest, so I'm hoping that we can copy our successful launch of mobile appilications in China within Chinese communities in the UK," added Ou.

This latest announcement follows plans set out earlier this year to increase the Chinese operator’s presence in Europe. In May 2011 China Telecom announced an agreement with Russian carrier Rostelecom to offer 10G wavelengths between the regions. To read Capacity’s full coverage of the story please click here.