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Cellular operator

Pele-Phone Communications

is in advanced negotiations with Poalim Communications, and the Virgin group of Britain to allow an additional virtual wireless operator (MVNO) on Pele-Phone's CDMA network. An announcement from the three firms concerning a deal is expected shortly.

Poalim Communications will act as Pele-Phone's financial and strategic partner in the transaction, but it is not yet clear what percentage of the deal it will receive in return. According to the proposed deal, Virgin Mobile would purchase infrastructure services from Pele-Phone.

The premise is that another operator, in addition to Pele-Phone, will use the mobile virtual network operator (MVNO) model to sell cellular services, or airtime. That's once it has bought the right to use the infrastructure. Under such terms, Pele-Phone would become a service channel, and would not have to share in any of the costly marketing expenses.

This system is relatively new in the cellular world, and only came into existence in 2000. But already tens of MVNO companies are operating around the world. Virgin hopes to capitalize on its strong brand name in Britain, where it already operates through the new cellular firm One2One, and has over one million subscribers. Virgin hopes to expand its service to other countries around the world.