Wind up order sought for Australian MVNO Lycamobile

The Deputy Commissioner of Taxation in Australia is seeking to wind up global mobile virtual network operator Lycamobile's operations in Australia.

The Deputy Commissioner is seeking to wind up Lycamobile's operations in Australia, just over three years after the UK global mobile virtual network operator (MVNO) launched in Australia.

The notice of application for an order to wind up Lycamobile was published on the Australian Securities & Investment Commission's website earlier this month, with a hearing scheduled in the New South Wales Supreme Court for March 20.

The company first launched in Australia in November 2010, operating on Telstra's 2G network, offering cheap calls and texts to a number of international locations where Lycamobile operates.

Last year, the company found itself before the Federal Court on claims that it had underpaid its employees by AU$28,000 in total over several months in 2011. Around 12 of the workers were foreign nationals employed to sell prepaid mobile SIMs and recharge vouchers, with many on varied types of visas, and all paid a flat rate of AU$15 per hour.

The Federal Court handed Lycamobile a fine totalling AU$59,400 for the underpayment of employee wages in February 2013.

In 2013, Lycamobile also got caught up with the Australian Communications and Media Authority over a failure to provide accurate customer data to the Integrated Public Number Database (IPND) Manager that is used by Australian emergency services.

ZDNet has attempted to contact Lycamobile, but no response has yet been received. The company's website is still active; however, its Facebook page has been removed. The company's call centre is still active, but staff were unaware of the application for the wind up order.

Telstra's promotional video highlighting Lycamobile's use of Telstra's wholesale 2G network has also been removed from YouTube.

A spokesperson for Telstra declined to comment.