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Vodafone pulled plug on Ovivo over withheld payments, say sources

Tuesday, March 25th 2014 by Richard Murphy
Vodafone pulled plug on Ovivo over withheld payments, say sources

Ad-supported, SIM-only carrier Ovivo was reportedly shut down because of a three-way feud with Cognatel and Vodafone.

According to anonymous sources, Vodafone pulled the plug on ad-supported mobile virtual network operator (MVNO) Ovivo last week because it withheld payments.

The carrier, which handed out unlimited calls, 300 texts and 500MB of data per month in exchange for a £20 sign-up fee and regular online ads, closed abruptly on 19 March 2014, citing "reasons beyond our control".

Mobile News reports this was because of an ongoing dispute between Ovivo and Cognatel, a company that supplies software to MVNOs. Believing Cognatel had breached a three-way contract, Ovivo cancelled payments to use Vodafone's network.

The carrier later announced it was shutting down, effective immediately. "We'd like to thank each and every one of you for your support and friendship over the last two years," it told the 50,000 affected customers, some of whom had only signed up the same day.

Ovivo and Cognatel were unavailable for comment when contacted by Mobile News, while Vodafone declined to make a statement. Ovivo's Twitter and Facebook accounts have also been deactivated.

The carrier did, however, provide a PAC request form so customers could continue using their mobile phone numbers.

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