Lycamobile have been around for some time here in the UK, they are a virtual network and here in the UK they have MVNO deals in place with both O2 and EE. Never used them myself!
Seen their logo in almost every corner shop window for as long as I can remember, having such a high number of people coming to live and work in the UK from abroad no doubt has boosted their popularity.
Here in the UK we have, EE (formally T-Mobile and Orange), Three, Vodafone and O2 mobile networks. Then we have a load of MVNO's who piggy back on those networks such as Virgin Mobile, GiffGaff, Tesco Mobile. See: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Un ... _operators
I'm with the Three network myself. :D
Here is an Ofcom report from back in 2010 which states...
MVNOs have the highest market share in Germany among our comparator countries
A mobile virtual network operator (MVNO) is a mobile provider that has neither its own spectrum allocation nor network infrastructure, and instead resells mobile services purchased on a wholesale basis from a network operator to its customers.
The share of mobile connections held by MVNOs at the end of 2009 ranged from zero in Australia and Ireland to 23% in Germany (including independent service providers, i.e. resellers) among the 13 comparator nations for which figures were available. In most countries MVNOs' share increased in the five years to 2009, with MVNOs being first introduced in Italy, Japan, Spain and Poland during this period. The strongest growth in MVNO share was in France, where it increased from 0.2% to 6%, largely driven by Virgin Mobile, which accounted for half of all MVNO connections in France in 2009.
In the UK, MVNOs accounted for 13% of mobile connections in 2009, up from 10% in 2004, driven by the emergence of supermarket MVNOs such as those run by Tesco and Asda, and MVNOs which target immigrant communities in the UK by offering low-cost international calls, such as Lebara Mobile and Lycamobile.