European travel company TUI Group is to launch its own MNVO using Telefónica Deutschland’s network. 

TUI Connect will be aimed at travellers seeking to use their mobile device abroad, offering pre-paid and fixed-rate contracts as well as “integrated offerings” such as digital travel services.

Chief Operating Officer Sebastian Ebel said the MNVO would provide customers with additional services at holiday destinations via TUI Content that would “considerably reduce the associated costs and make them predictable.” He added the venture would also generate new turnover for the group.

The news comes after Telefónica was told to hand over assets to either a new German operator or an MVNO following its acquisition of E-Plus earlier this year.

After the sale of the former KPN subsidiary was approved by the European Commission, Deutsche Telekom accused the regulator of creating imbalance in the market by giving Telefónica access to more than 60 percent of the region’s frequency resources.

As a result, the EC forced Telefónica to relinquish 30 percent of its combined spectrum holdings for use by a new player.

TUI said the new MVNO will allow travellers to surf the web with “total peace of mind” both in Germany and abroad by selecting the best partner network available when moving beyond the boundaries of Telefónica Deutschland’s network.

Kai Czeschlik, Managing Director at TUI Connect, commented: “Mobile communications has become a crucial component of the travel experience. International roaming costs are perceived as a major element of uncertainty by our customers. TUI Connect will open up the opportunity for holidaymakers to use their tablets and smartphones abroad just as they would do at home.

“We also offer digital travel services related to the location concerned abroad. However, TUI Connect customers will also benefit at home, in Germany, where they can make phone calls and surf the web in total peace of mind and with full cost control and flexibility.”

The company said that smartphones and tablets bundled with fixed-term contracts would be available online and in shops with starter packs available to customers from December this year.

The network will be advertised on TUI Group websites, through travel agencies onboard TUIfly aircraft, it added.​

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