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MVNO News in Brief

Three in a bed: How Virgin Mobile is faring on the EE network 

In 1995 the Princess of Wales famously said: "…there were three of us in this marriage, so it was a bit crowded." In the mobile phone industry most marriages between Mobile Network Operators (MNOs) and Mobile Virtual Network Operators (MVNOs) are conventional in that they too only have two partners, with the MVNO being hosted on the network of an MNO. As well as Princess Diana’s marriage, the UK also has a unique telecoms partnership with Orange, T-Mobile and Virgin Mobile involved in a three-way relationship.

In the beginning MVNO Virgin Mobile was hosted on T-Mobile’s mobile network infrastructure. However, the UK had become a saturated market, with limited opportunities for growth. T-Mobile and Orange therefore took the bold decision to merge their operations. The new entity was branded ‘Everything Everywhere’. There have been changes, with duplicated resources being identified and eliminated. Sometimes this has meant areas that had poor coverage from base stations on both networks now have poor service from only one base station!

Now that there are three members in this ‘marriage’, it begs the question whether all three are equal partners, or whether there are marked differences that subscribers might see in terms of the service levels they experience.

Given that one network is ‘virtual’ and so totally reliant on its host for service levels, it might be assumed that the Virgin Mobile subscribers will experience a ‘lesser’ service than subscribers to hosting networks Orange or T- Mobile, particularly at peak times when resources might be switched to the host network’s traffic. Conversely, how effectively have the two hosting networks been merged, or, are they in fact, still two separate networks?

And if there is a difference in performance between the two partner networks, how does this then effect Virgin Mobile?   ...Read more>>>

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What qualifies as part of this industry?

Mobile virtual network operators, the ‘virtual’ part is crucial to defining what this industry off-shoot is all about. The starting point is to think of a normal mobile network operator such as Vodafone or T-Mobile. Now take away the actual network, as in the towers and the infrastructure needed to make a call jump from your mobile phone to the person you want to speak with ...

What makes an offer successful?

Conventional Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) such as subscriber numbers are not a helpful measure of success in the MVNO sector, as the owners may judge success either in terms of profitability or as enhancing their retail brand. This would be the case for Rami Levy in Israel or Tesco in the United Kingdom. Indeed, in the context of a large retail group, the MVNO element may be seen as part of its overall value added proposition, and not as a stand alone division or profit centre. 'Success' for Sainsbury in the United Kingdom will be a very different sort of success for that required - and expected of - Virgin Mobile in South Africa.

Thinking of launching your own network?

The idea sounds great - diversify your business and bring in another revenue stream by targeting your existing client base or a niche no one else has seen ... MVNOs are evolving: checkout the free whitepapers, notably 'The multifaceted world of MVNOs: Growth and challenges ahead' and 'Revival of MVNOs 2013-2018'. There are also briefing papers on two major markets; the Middle East and Latin America.

Thinking of hosting virtual operators on your network?

Push or pull, one way or another these ventures make it onto a network's infrastructure. It is clear that where operators compete against each other new ventures can find their way into the market. Your choice is whether to embrace this form of agency sales or to battle your competition who will ...

Vendor thinking of targeting this new market to you?

There are over 800 established mobile networks in the world to sell your systems and technology into. The latest 'MVNO Directory' details 633 additional networks you could be targeting ...

 

 

A pile of SIM cards: the mobile industry is formed of mobile network operators; mobile virtual networkwork operators (MVNOs) and resellers.
The rationale for setting-up an MVNO varies by organisation, and a common error is to assume that the number of subsribers is a meaningful measure.
The MVNO business model is evolving and there are some useful whitepapers available that chart this evolutionary process going forward
The MVNO Directory provides an invaluable snapshot of virtual operators globally