Lyca Mobile terminates South African operations

Image: Lyca Mobile

Lyca Mobile, the mobile virtual network operator (MVNO) launched in South Africa in 2017, has stopped providing services to its customers and has announced that it is closing down.

“Sadly, it is no longer possible for Lyca Mobile to continue providing a service. Lyca Mobile services in South Africa will shut down on 9 January 2024. You will need to move to another mobile network operator before this date to continue using your mobile number,” the company said on its website.

Lyca Mobile is one of the largest MVNOs in the world, with operations in some 60 international markets including Australia, Austria, Belgium, Denmark, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Ireland, Italy, Macedonia, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Tunisia, the UK and the US.

Lyca Mobile is a subsidiary of Lyca Group, a multinational telecommunications and entertainment company founded and chaired by British-Indian entrepreneur Allirajah Subaskaran. “I built Lycamobile to create a world in which no matter how far people venture, they can always connect with their family and friends,” said Subaskaran on the Lyca Group website.

Like most MVNOs in South Africa, Lyca Mobile had been piggybacking on the network infrastructure of Cell C.

The company pulled out of the Romanian market in December, with a notice similar to the one on the South African website published on its Romanian site. South African customers were urged to port their cellular numbers to other networks by 9 January if they wanted to keep using them.

Competitive market

According to Daniel Swart, chief commercial officer at MVN-X, a network-agnostic mobile virtual network enabler, branded MVNOs such as TFG Connect and Capitec Connect, for example, which already have a customer base to which they can market mobile services, tend to have more staying power.

Read: Listed: MVNOs in South Africa – and a look at the state of the market

“The MVNO market is poised for growth, but MVNOs must gear themselves to retaining their customers. It’s a difficult space to play in, and the market is very competitive,” said Swart.  – © 2024 NewsCentral Media

AI-generated summary of this article

  • Lyca Mobile shuts down in South Africa: The multinational MVNO stopped providing services to its customers on 9 January 2024 after six years in the country.
  • Impact on customers: Customers were advised to port their numbers to other networks before the shutdown date to avoid losing them.
  • Global presence: Lyca Mobile is one of the largest MVNOs in the world, with operations in some 60 international markets.

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