The MVNO market has had its ups and downs in recent years. Virgin Mobile in the UK is now a quad-play provider, the US outfit has been bought by Sprint, the Canadian outfit has been bought by Bell and the South African outfit seems to be unable to take off.
Various other players have also fallen from the growth tree. EasyJet tried with EasyMobile in 3 countries across Europe, but found that they brought nothing new to the market. Blyk tried to create a new market by offering free minutes and texts for adverts. This proved a great model for gaining subscribers, but not for making a business.
But beyond these headlines is a different reality. 217 MVNOs in 2006 became 645 in 2011, a massive three fold increase.
Take a look at the free PDF download listing out (MVNO list) all the MVNOs active in 2006.