Yatango, a startup in Australia, is the world's first mobile virtual network operator (MVNO) to say it will create an online travel shopping portal.
A MVNO leases access from the mobile voice and data networks of standard carriers and resells it to consumers under creative marketing. Virgin Mobile is the most famous example, having made much of Richard Branson's early fortune.
Yatango has layered on top of its Australian MVNO an e-commerce platform for retail shopping. Its next step is to add a travel comparison shopping service that's truly mobile-first.
Yatango's plane ticket, hotel, and vacation package inventory will come from Expedia Affiliate Network. The startup is adding booking functionality from Sabre, one of the three largest global distribution systems.
The travel portal will appear in the last three months of the year, well after the startup's IPO in July. In the meantime, Tom Alexander, who started Virgin Mobile and once ran the standard mobile network Orange, has joined Yatango's board.
If its travel shopping model is successful, VMNOs in other regions of the world may be tempted to copy it.