Connecting Africa is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them. Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 3099067.

Connectivity

App-based MVNO Vyke reports major user growth

Article Image
Vyke, the digital mobile virtual network operator (MVNO), saw a major increase in users in the last quarter of 2020 as the growth of app-based MVNOs continues in Africa.

Mobile enabler x-Mobility shared figures with Connecting Africa about the growth of Vyke, saying that the MVNO saw a 50% increase in subscribers in the last quarter of 2020.

Vyke is a digital MVNO service, also known as an AppVNO, that is downloaded as an app and can be used to subscribe to multiple mobile numbers. It offers users free calls and texts to other Vyke subscribers and low-cost calls and SMS to anyone.

x-Mobility said Vyke's new net additions are in excess of 50,000 per quarter, and although Vyke has subscribers across the world Nigeria is its biggest market in terms of subscribers.

The company does not release detailed country-specific data, but said the Nigerian users are in the hundreds of thousands. Vyke also has good penetration in other African countries such as South Africa, Ghana, Cameroon and Kenya.

However, the fastest growing country in the fourth quarter was Pakistan, and Pakistan and India are now Vyke's second and third biggest markets after Nigeria.

African growth story

x-Mobility enables brands with telecoms services as MVNOs or SIM-less AppVNOs, and the UK-based company has been rolling out more services in Africa over the past year.

In 2020, x-Mobility helped Kenyan smartphone financing company Follow Me Talk launch an app-based MVNO, with big plans to disrupt Kenya's telecoms market.

It also powered Gist Mobile to launch an AppVNO service to Nigerian subscribers and the African diaspora earlier in the year.

"2020 has seen a decrease in the number of new SIM-based MVNOs launching, but a dramatic increase in the number of digital MVNOs launching and enquiring," Shanks Kulam, co-founder of x-Mobility, said in an emailed statement.

x-Mobility co-founder Shanks Kulam   (Source: x-Mobility)
x-Mobility co-founder Shanks Kulam
(Source: x-Mobility)

"With more and more people globally working from home they can use their home Wi-Fi and don't need an additional SIM-based service. But they still want the flexibility of a second line, free calls to contacts and international numbers on their existing handset. An AppVNO provides all of that," Kulam added.

A Vyke spokesperson said it had seen an increase in its customer base throughout 2020, but a dramatic increase in the last quarter.

"Even while stuck at home in the pandemic, or possibly because of that, people still wanted to stay in touch with loved ones around the globe. They also wanted the additional flexibility of extra phone numbers, for social media app registration, dating or use for business calls," he said.

*Top image source: GSMA

— The Staff, Connecting Africa

Innovation hub

Story

Customer experience is telco's next 'battleground'

South African social data and insights company BrandsEye thinks its unique blend of AI and human intelligence could help Africa's telcos face a battleground around customer service.

Story

Liquid, Project Taara beam broadband across Congo River

Liquid Intelligent Technologies and Alphabet's Project Taara have found a way to bridge a particularly stubborn connectivity gap between Brazzaville in the Republic of the Congo and Kinshasa in the DRC.

More Innovation hub

Latest video

More videos

Guest Perspectives

Story

Omdia View: August 2021

By Omdia Analysts

Omdia's analysts provide context and analysis about MTN's decision to exit Syria and not bid again for an Ethiopian license, as well as 5G news from Mauritius, Ghana, Mayotte and Reunion.

Story

Research Bites: Blockchain potential for SA agriculture

By Roberto Mavilia and Roberta Pisani

This article, in collaboration with the African Journal of Science, Technology, Innovation and Development explores how blockchain can be used in the agricultural sector to help improve production and distribution processes.

More Guest Perspectives

Partner perspectives

All Partner Perspectives

AfricaCom perspectives

Story

Digital inclusion as a catalyst for economic empowerment: Mastercard's Imelda Ngunzu

Mastercard's Imelda Ngunzu talks to Connecting Africa about how digital payment solutions and mobile money are transforming the lives of small business owners, women and marginalized groups in East Africa.

Story

Accelerating women in STEM: In conversation with GirlCode's Tinyiko Simbine

GirlCode co-founder and CFO Tinyiko Simbine talks about why it's important to help girls and young women excel in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) fields.

Story

How Poa Internet is unlocking meaningful connectivity in East Africa

Poa Internet's CEO Andy Halsall shares his views on what it takes to develop last-mile connectivity and get Africans online in a meaningful way.

More AfricaCom perspectives

Upcoming events

More Upcoming events

Flash poll

All polls

Archived webinars

Digital Skills Enhancing Human Capital

As nations begin to look beyond the crisis of COVID-19 to the new future of work, an opportunity to leverage this disruption as a powerful catalyst for positive change exists – one that could reshape the future and provide more accessible, fair, and impactful digital education and training.

In this webinar, we focus on how digital skills can enhance human capital and help realise the extraordinary potential of intelligent, 4IR-ready African workforces.

Key topics include:

  • Importance of having more than basic digital skills – upskilling & reskilling
  • Championing access to online educational resources – affordable and reliable internet, electricity and hardware
  • Future career options for industry specific roles: Cloud, AI, industrial IoT, big data analytics
  • Education 4.0: How updating educational curricula is key for growth
  • The importance of progressive, industry-driven educational policy frameworks

More Webinars

Sponsored video

More videos

Like us on Facebook

Newsletter Sign Up


Sign Up