Mobile Network Operators

Mobile Networks Explained

A Mobile Network is a system that allows users to communicate wirelessly over large geographical areas by using a series of interconnected base stations. Each base station contains large transmitters and receivers which facilitate communication between user devices. Modern day Mobile Networks can be thought of as enormous wireless internet connections, similar in many ways to a simple WiFi modem but on a much grander scale.

Mobile Network Operators (MNO's) are companies who have built and operate their own network infrastructure. This is contrasted to Mobile Virtual Network Operators (MVNOs), which are far greater in numbers, who rebrand and sell access to another company's network.

Each MNO operates one or more frequencies called carriers which, not surprisingly, are used carry data through the air. Data are encoded onto a carrier frequency according to a common standard, such as 3G, 4G, or 5G. Each standard details the digital techniques used to encode the data and the antenna techniques used to transmit the carrier, along with detailing how multiple carriers can be operated together to provide greater speed.

Samsung 5G mobile phone running speedtest on Telstra network
Vodafone holds Australia's underdog status as the country's third largest mobile network operator. Vodafone Australia operates one of the world's most advanced networks, despite a history of under-performing in some regional areas. Vodafone leads the pack in its IoT offerings, launching Australia's first dedicated NB-IoT network in October 2017 - months before the competition.
3G: Active
4G: Active
5G: Active
IoT: NB-IoT
A1 Telekom Austria (A1) is a major Austrian fixed and mobile network operator. It has been operating commercially since 1994 and in testing since 1992. It launched under the name Mobilkom Austria. After the merger with Telekom Austria in July 2010 it operates under the new name of A1 Telekom Austria. A1 Telekom Austria is a 100% subsidiary of Telekom Austria.
3G: Active
4G: Active
5G: Active
IoT: NB-IoT
Hutchison Drei Austria GmbH is a telecommunications company based in Vienna, operating since May 2003. Hutchison Drei Austria is a wholly owned subsidiary of Hong Kong-based CK Hutchison Holdings Limited. The company was the first mobile network operating in Austria. In January 2013 the company undertook a takeover of third largest operator Orange Austria, dissolving the Orange brand in the process and merging the network into its own.
3G: Active
4G: Active
5G: Active
IoT: NB-IoT
T-Mobile Austria is the second largest Austrian mobile operator and is a 100% owned subsidiary of Deutsche Telekom AG. Founded in 1996 as Ö-Call and later known as max.mobil, the company underwent a complete takeover by T-Mobile in 2000 to become T-Mobile Austria on 18 April 2002.
3G: Active
4G: Active
5G: Active
IoT: NB-IoT
China Mobile (中国移动) is the largest mobile network operating in both the People's Republic of China, and the world. The state-owned company, directly controlled by the government, was incorporated in Hong Kong on 3 September 1997.
3G: Not Available
4G: Active
5G: Active
IoT: NB-IoT
China Telecom (中国电信) is the third largest mobile network operator and telecommunications service provider operating in the Peoples Republic of China. The company was formed in 2002 when its state-owned parent China Telecommunications Corporation (中国电信集团公司) listed it on the SEHK as a publicly traded entity.
3G: Not Available
4G: Active
5G: Active
China Unicom (中国联通) is the second largest mobile network operator and telecommunications service provider operating in the Peoples Republic of China. The state-owned enterprise was founded in 1994 (then as 中国联合通信有限公司) by the Chinese Government as a GSM operator.
3G: Active
4G: Active
5G: Active
IoT: NB-IoT
DNA is the third largest mobile network operator in Finland. The company was formed in 1999 as Finnet, a cooperative of 40 local telephone companies. These companies gradually transformed into the Group's mobile communication operations company, DNA Finland Ltd.
3G: Active
4G: Active
5G: Active
IoT: NB-IoT
Elisa Finland is the second largest mobile network operating in Finland. The telecommunications company was founded in 1882 as HPY HTF, becoming Radiolinja in September 1988 with the launch of its first mobile services.
3G: Active
4G: Active
5G: Active
IoT: NB-IoT
Telia is the largest mobile network operator servicing in Finland. The company was founded in 1998 then as Sonera, however has a history dating as far back as 1917 as state-run Suomen Lennätinlaitos.
3G: Active
4G: Active
5G: Active
IoT: NB-IoT
018 Xphone is a telecommunications operator servicing Israel and its territories, and operates a 4G cellular network under the We4G brand. The company was founded in 2004 as a subsidiary of Xphone Inc.
3G: Not Available
4G: Active
Cellcom (סלקום) is the largest mobile network operating servicing Israel. The company was founded in 1994, the second mobile network to enter the region, breaking a monopolistic market dominated by Pelephone.
3G: Active
4G: Active
Golan Telecom (גולן טלקום) is a mobile network operator servicing Israel and its territories. The company was formed in 2010 by Michael Golan and quickly secured operating licenses for GSM and 3G networks, and becoming operational late 2011.
3G: Active
4G: Active
Hot Mobile (הוט מובייל‎) is a mobile network operator servicing Israel and its territories. The company was founded in 1994 then as Mirs Communications Ltd, part of Motorola's Communications division. Today the company is a subsidiary of Hot Telecommunication Systems Ltd, a publicly listed multi-play telecommunications company.
3G: Active
4G: Active
Partner (פרטנר‎) is the second largest mobile network operating servicing Israel. The company was incorporated in September 2007 and began operations in 1999 as Orange Israel which Partner Communications Company Ltd used under licence until a rebranding in 2016.
3G: Active
4G: Active
Pelephone (פלאפון) is a mobile network operating servicing Israel. The company began operations in 1986, the first mobile network to operate in the region. Pelephone was formed a year earlier in 1985 as a joint venture between Motorola and Tadiran after the securing of a government contract to provide telephony services to the region.
3G: Active
4G: Active
Bitė Lietuva is a mobile network operator providing telecommunications services in Lithuania. The company was formed in May 1995 as a subsidiary of Bitės grupė. The group has expanded operations to neighbouring Latvia.
3G: Active
4G: Active
Tele2 operates a mobile network in Lithuania. The company began in 1993 as UAB Levi & Kuto and was acquired by Swedish NetCom in 1999 and rebranded to Tele2 in early 2000. Tele2 launched its first GSM services in 2001.
3G: Active
4G: Active
Telia is a European mobile network operator providing services in Lithuania. Telia Lietuva is the only telecommunications company in Lithuania with a full scale offering of fixed and mobile telephony, broadband internet and television services. The company also has a strong presence in the IT sector, providing tailored solutions for local and international businesses.
3G: Shut Down Announced
4G: Active
5G: Build-Out
Two Degrees Mobile Limited is New Zealand's newest full service telecommunications provider.  It is controlled by US holding Trilogy International Partners, which provides wireless telecommunication services in Latin America as well as investments in a range of other countries.
3G: Active
4G: Active
Spark New Zealand Limited is a supplier of telecommunications and digital services in New Zealand. The company operates through three segments: Spark Home, Mobile & Business; Spark Digital, and Spark Connect.
3G: Active
4G: Active
5G: Active
IoT: LoRa, LTE-M
Vodafone New Zealand Limited provides telecommunication services in New Zealand. The company was incorporated in 1998 and is based in Auckland, New Zealand. Vodafone New Zealand Limited operated as a subsidiary of Vodafone Europe B.V. until its sale to local infrastructure investment firm Infratil and Canada’s Brookfield Asset Management.
3G: Active
4G: Active
5G: Build-Out
IoT: LTE-M, NB-IoT
MTN is the largest mobile network operator in South Africa, and its parent company, MTN Group, the largest operator on the African continent. The company has been in operation since 1994.
3G: Active
4G: Active
5G: Active
Vodacom is the second largest mobile network operator in South Africa. The company is a wholly owned subsidiary of Vodacom Group Limited, a multinational telecommunications company operating in 32 African nations.
3G: Active
4G: Active
5G: Active
Sure delivers telecommunication services in the South Atlantic to Ascension Island, Falkland Islands and Saint Helena. Sure provides national and international fixed line, mobile roaming and broadband services as well as data centre and enterprise solutions to consumer and corporate customers.
3G: Not Available
4G: Active
Salt is one of three national mobile network operators in Switzerland. Formerly known as Orange, the company's history dates back to its founding in January 1998. Salt Mobile SA was formerly known as Orange Communications SA and changed its name to Salt Mobile in April 2015. The company was acquired by billionaire Xavier Niel's investment vehicle NJJ Holdings in February 2015.
3G: Active
4G: Active
5G: Planned
Sunrise is the second largest mobile network operator providing telecommunication services in Switzerland. The company was founded in 2000. With ownership previously held by TDC Group, the company became privately held by CVC Capital Partners up until CVC's IPO in 2015. Sunrise Communications Group AG is now publicly traded on the Swiss Exchange.
3G: Active
4G: Active
5G: Active
Swisscom Mobile is a mobile network operator providing cellular services in Switzerland and Liechtenstein. The company operates as a subsidiary of Swisscom AG, a major telecommunications provider owned by the Swiss Government.
3G: Active
4G: Active
5G: Active
IoT: LTE-M, NB-IoT
Asia Pacific Telecom, founded in 2000, was formed by the parent company, Asia Pacific Broadband Telecom Co., Ltd. (originally named Eastern Broadband Telecommunications Co., Ltd) consolidating the subsidiaries, "Asia Pacific Mobile Broadband" and "Asia Pacific Online Service" respectively in 2007 and 2011.
3G: Not Available
4G: Active
5G: Planned
IoT: LTE-M, NB-IoT
Chunghwa Telecom (中華電信) is the largest telecommunications service provider in Taiwan. The company was founded in June 1966, following privatisation of the state telecommunications service under the Directorate General of Telecommunications which had been operational since the 1880s.
3G: Deactivated
4G: Active
5G: Planned
IoT: NB-IoT