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Privately held company
Industry Mobile, Telecommunication
Founded 2000
Headquarters 49-51 Quai de Dion Bouton, 92806 Puteaux Cedex, La Défense, France
Key people

Jacques Bonifay, founder & CEO,

Bertrand Salomon, co-founder & Deputy CEO
Products MVNO, MVNE, MVNA, Machine to machine, Internet of Things
Number of employees
180 (2016)

Transatel is a French telecom corporation headquartered in Paris, La Défense. The organization is privately owned and led by the founders, Jacques Bonifay (CEO) and Bertrand Salomon (Deputy CEO).


Founded in 2000, Transatel provides cellular mobile services as a mobile virtual network enabler (MVNE/A) and provider (MVNO).[1] The company operates globally with a cloud-based technical infrastructure in France, in the UK,[2] and in the USA.[3]

Transatel is active in three main market segments:

It is profitable company, with 70% of revenues generated outside of France.


Jacques Bonifay[edit]

CEO and founder of Transatel, is head of the company’s general management, as well as shareholder relationships.

In November 2009, Bonifay became president of Alternative Mobile, the French MVNO association made up of the country’s largest MVNOs, where he leads the association’s interests in relation to the French government and telecom regulatory authorities.[7]

Bonifay was elected president of EAFM, the European Association of Full MVNOs in October 2012. Now renamed MVNO Europe, the group includes major European operators, such as Liberty Global, Telenet, PosteMobile, Cyta Hellas, Voiceworks, and El Telecom (NRJ Mobile). Jacques guides their European lobbying efforts.[8] Before founding Transatel, Bonifay had a career in the space industry at Airbus Group, and afterwards as a consultant for McKinsey & Co. at the Paris office. Jacques later headed Strategy & Business Development for the Professional & Consumer Division of Alcatel, where he initiated new businesses based on fixed mobile convergence and e-commerce with several operators.

Jacques holds an MBA degree from INSEAD and an engineering degree from ENSERG/INPG (Ecole Nationale Supérieure d’Electronique et de Radioélectricité de Grenoble).

Bertrand Salomon[edit]

Bertrand Salomon leads the design of the MVNE platform and the product development roadmap.

He also manages Transatel's relationships with mobile network operators worldwide, as well as the delivery of customized solutions for MVNO or Machine-to-Machine customers. Prior to founding Transatel, Salomon was at Bouygues Telecom France, first as the Manager for New Products & Services, then as Director of the Mobile Internet activity. Before that, he worked for Sagem France, in technical development and project management.

Salomon holds an engineering degree from the Polytechnic School of Lausanne (Switzerland), and a MBA degree from INSEAD (France).


Transatel enables mobile services (BtoB) as an MVNE/A or M2M enabler, and provides mobile services (BtoC) through its own MVNOs.

Enabler of mobile services : BtoB activities[edit]


In Europe, Transatel enables access to the following MNO networks for voice, SMS and data services

In addition, Transatel delivers added value services around provisioning, prepaid and post-paid billing, as well as fixed-mobile convergence.

The enabler activity follows two different business models, according to clients' needs: the pure enabler model (MVNE) and the aggregator model (MVNA) for companies wishing to launch and monetize a mobile offer under their brand, be it prepaid or post-paid.

When an MVNO wishes to purchase airtime directly from an Mobile Network Operator (MNO), Transatel acts as the MVNE (MVNO enabler)-- the technical provider servicing either the MNO or the MVNO.

Transatel's MVNE references include:


As an MVNA, (MVNO Aggregator) Transatel purchases mobile airtime in bulk from a partner mobile operator, adding the value of its service platform, and wholesales this airtime to multiple MVNOs. Each MVNO in turn sells the mobile service to consumers or companies. The MVNA activity is concentrated in Europe, particularly France, the UK and Switzerland.

Major clients include The People's Operator (TPO), China Telecom Europe, Sewan, Paritel and Netcom.

Machine to Machine connectivity[edit]

In 2011, Transatel entered the Machine to machine (M2M) arena, using its existing MVNE infrastructure across Europe to provide M2M services along similar business models. Transatel enables M2M players to include airtime connectivity to their services, as well as a range of applications, such as fleet and asset tracking, vehicle telematics, smart metering, entertainment, telehealth.

Today, Transatel manages over 1 million SIM cards related to its M2M activity.[11] Its largest client is EE in the UK.

Internet of Things[edit]

In 2014, Transatel launched the concept of global embedded connectivity for consumer electronics with the SIM 901 concept.

Transatel helps consumer device manufacturers deliver global 3G/LTE connectivity through the use of a universal reprogrammable SIM card that can be embedded at manufacturing stage. This SIM card provides connectivity for laptops and tablets at local conditions in 38 countries to date. The service is based on the non-geographic Mobile Network Code MNC 901-37, and made possible through agreements signed in each country with local MNOs. New agreements are signed every month, and should bring the global Transatel footprint to over 60 countries by the end of 2016. SIM 901 gives the end-user of the device uninterrupted cellular access to the internet when residing or traveling in affiliated countries. For the manufacturer, SIM 901 generates new revenue streams and up-markets the device.

To date, Transatel has signed agreements with three of the top ten worldwide laptop/tablet OEMs, with commercial soft launches planned in Q1 2016 with Windows 10,[12] targeting the consumer and SME segments.[13]

Provider of mobile services : BtoC activities[edit]


Precursor to the Eurotariff,[14] and the Digital Single Market Strategy,[15] Transatel has paved the way for low-cost transnational mobile communications, by being the first operator to offer calls to and from other countries within the European Union.

Transatel Mobile was created in 2000 for border dwellers and frequent travelers to solve problems associated with roaming charges applied in France, Switzerland and the Benelux Union. The influx of workers commuting between these geographic locations, paired with their obligation to stay connected, created a need for a mobile connectivity solution. By offering a multi-number SIM card that allows cross-border commuters to place calls at local rates and receive calls for free in four countries, Transatel is able to contribute to the facilitation of trade and the circulation of workers across European borders (Schengen).

In 2010, Transatel decided to address foreign travelers visiting France, and later the European Union, by developing LeFrenchMobile. The creation of the new mobile phone service that allowed Transatel to provide mobile communications on a larger scale by giving students, workers and tourists from around the world the ability to contact their original country while in France or in the European Union.

In regards to transnational communications, international travelers have begun to depend on mobile applications such as TripAdvisor, Uber and Facebook instead of using their mobile devices for just placing calls. Due to this behavioral change, travelers now live by one rule, which is to constantly stay connected the internet.[16]

In April 2015, Transatel decided to respond to this global demand by creating Transatel DataSIM. The brand exclusively offers mobile internet access and allows users to connect to 3G/4G networks in 43 countries (to date) at local rates.[17] Unlike Transatel’s previous offers, Transatel DataSIM was designed to be used throughout the world. To reach the goal of providing global connectivity, the French SME signs new agreements every month with national mobile operators around the world.

Research & Development[edit]

The following are examples of Research & Development partnerships that Transatel has developed in recent years:

French R&D[edit]

  • MOBISIP: IMS architecture for MVNOs
  • SOLIDORE: smartphone / tablet security
  • EXOTICUS: IMS experimentation services
  • MOBEMO: NFC services for corporate markets

European R&D[edit]

  • SEIMONET: transparent mobility between WiMax and 3G
  • EXPESHARE: multimedia expert community


  • Manufacturers: Alcatel-Lucent, Gemalto, Nokia, NXP
  • Laboratories: France Telecom R&D, Fraunhofer, Telecom Sud Paris, Telefónica R&D, University of Rome
  • SMEs: Brieftec, Deveryware, Ingelys, Kutalab


Transatel's offices around the world either host local teams (160 people in total) or enable the relationship with consumers, in compliance with local tax and legal rules.

Transatel's infrastructure is deployed in several hosting centers: two in Paris, one in London, and since October 2015, one in New York City,[18] in order to address North American device manufacturers and data MVNOs.

Timeline for MVNO launches[edit]

  • 2006 Launch of Ten Mobile on the Orange France network
  • 2006 Launch of Telenet Mobile on Belgian network Mobistar, and Calao Mobile and BelSim prepaid offers on Base
  • 2007 Launch of prepaid offer IDT Mobile on the Orange UK network
  • 2007 Start of wholesale packaged offers sold to medium-size MVNO targeting French companies
  • 2007/2008 Launch of ethnic prepaid offers on French Bouygues Telecom network : Mobiho, Budget Mobile / Phenix Mobile, Mankono, Horizon Mobile, ZeMobile, Avantaje ;
  • 2008 Launch of GlobalCell on the Orange UK network ;
  • 2010 Launch of EcoNet Wireless (prepaid) on the Orange UK network
  • 2011 Launch of M2M enabler
  • 2013 Life Mobile launch
  • 2015 Provides service for Post Office mobile[19]

Awards & Recognition[edit]

  • 2015 Received Best MVNA award at the MVNO World congress for three consecutive years[20]
  • 2011 Selected as one of ten winners of the Champions du Pôle, an award designated for medium-sized Paris based companies[21]
  • 2007 Ranked one of the 50 fastest growing companies in France by OSEO-Deloitte[22]


  1. ^ Garner-Purkis, Zak (11 December 2014). "The SIM's the start of it for Transatel". Mobile Today. Retrieved 27 November 2015. 
  2. ^ Pearce, James (5 November 2015). "EE MVNE Transatel launches 4G services". Mobile News. Retrieved 9 February 2016. 
  3. ^ "Transatel to start embedded SIM trial in the US". Telecompaper. 2 October 2015. Retrieved 9 February 2016. 
  4. ^ Heuillard, Romain (23 January 2014). "Clubic". LeFrenchMobile : une offre intéressante pour saisonniers et vacanciers. Retrieved 9 February 2016. 
  5. ^ "Transatel supplies M2M Sims for FC Telecom security service". Telecompaper. 24 February 2015. Retrieved 9 February 2016. 
  6. ^ "Transatel Expands into US To Serve MVNO, IoT Markets". Pipeline. Pipeline Publishing, LLC. 4 January 2016. Retrieved 9 February 2016. 
  7. ^ Basyn, Dirk (12 December 2013). "Channel News". Jacques Bonifay réélu président d’Alternative Mobile. Retrieved 27 October 2015. 
  8. ^ "MVNO Event". Jacques Bonifay. Retrieved 27 October 2015. 
  9. ^ "Everything Everywhere Signs Three New MVNO Partners with". Explore EE. 7 April 2011. Retrieved 9 February 2016. 
  10. ^ "TeleGeography". Transatel signs MVNE deal with Orange Switzerland. 20 January 2010. Retrieved 21 January 2016. 
  11. ^ Gueugneau, Romain (25 April 2016). "Les Echos". Transatel déploie ses cartes SIM dans les PC. Retrieved 29 April 2016. 
  12. ^ Bamburic, Mihaita (10 January 2016). "Microsoft teams up with Transatel to sell mobile data plans". IT ProPortal. Retrieved 22 January 2016. 
  13. ^ Russon, Mary-Ann (11 January 2016). "Microsoft to release SIM card that gives Windows 10 devices contract-free mobile data". International Business Time. 
  14. ^ "Téléphonie : le Parlement européen vote la fin des frais d'itinérance". Le Monde. 27 October 2015. Retrieved 29 April 2016. 
  15. ^ Wruuck, Patricia (11 November 2015). "Updating the single market: Will Europe's digital strategy succeed?" (PDF). Deutsche Bank Research. Retrieved 28 April 2016. 
  16. ^ "Cisco". Visual Networking Index: Global Mobile Data Traffic Forecast Update, 2015–2020 White Paper. 1 February 2016. Retrieved 29 April 2016. 
  17. ^ "Swiss IT Magazine". Transatel lanciert SIM-Karte fürs Data-Roaming. 26 May 2015. Retrieved 26 April 2016. 
  18. ^ "Transatel Deploys Affirmed Networks' NFV-based Mobile Content Cloud Solution". The Fast Mode. 5 January 2016. Retrieved 22 January 2016. 
  19. ^ Rockman, Simon (22 June 2015). "Post Office launches mobe service for aged greybeards". Retrieved 21 January 2016. 
  20. ^ "MVNOs World Congress". MVNO Awards 2015 Winners. 2015. Retrieved 25 October 2015. 
  21. ^ "Systematic Paris-Region présente son 1er panel de « Champions du Pôle »" (French).
  22. ^ "7e édition Deloitte Technology Fast 50" (PDF). Deloitte. 2007. Retrieved 27 October 2015. 

External links[edit]