One of the biggest issues within the MVNO space is the way analysts chart success based upon irrelevant KPIs. The bottom line is essentially what matters, not the size of the operation and its ability to be omnipresent.
The idea should be that groups of subscribers are identified. By spotting that they are a group they are then either brought into the world of mobile communication for the first time or pulled from a competitor MNO’s order book to the host MNO’s order book via the MVNO. There is also scope for providing a service to groups based upon their unique make up, this in turns increases ARPU (average revenue per user).
Any new MVNO entrant to the market looking to echo the performance of an MNO needs a budget capable of sustaining national advertising, sponsorship, customer support, technical support, logistics and so on. The task of being a success at the national game is a mammoth one and that is why most people working within the MVNO sector can recite from memory all the big names. But big still does not mean a profit, as shown by the Virgin Mobile USA operation which was always a work in progress in terms of making money in the future.
So being good means making a profit (unless you are a loss leader for a massive brand), bringing new business or improved business to your host MNO and having a niche market to claim as your own.
The MVNO Whitepaper