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What does the MVNO market hold for me – as a potential MVNO?

Being here means you have begun your research into the MVNO market and whether there is something for your company to reap from the mobile space. The idea sounds great - diversify the business and bring in another revenue stream by targeting your existing client base.

But the 1st step is to decide whether those thousands upon thousands of theoretical subscribers are going to want to move from the operator they already use, to you. And for those who are not already connected to a network, why are they going to connect to you? This is a pretty negative introduction to what the market holds for you, but having published 5 editions of The MVNO Directory what is notable is the churn in the market, mainly from operations where there was never really a unique selling point or a specific target market who knew they were the market.

If you are already a major high street presence and touching upon your customers lives’ daily then of course there is a market for you. For supermarkets already active in financial services and other telecom sectors making the step into mobile is a logical move. If your involvement in your customers’ lives is more sporadic then you need an angle. Just because you provide their electricity for instance does not mean they will switch mobile providers to you because their mobile will become a smart metre. For the client you could just make that a mobile app which they can run via their MNO connection. Maybe your offer is to donate 10% of your revenue to a good cause, but in turn their bill will be higher and service inferior, that’s not really viable either. So the niche market, your laser target subscriber group, people who need you for you, they are the ones you have to find before deciding to go ahead.

Having said that, you have found your gap in the market and all is going well. In return you have managed to diversify your business, a new profit centre is in action and you have a method of constant contact with a paying customer. You now have opportunities for up-selling and cross-selling both within mobile and out of.

How much you make is always going to come down to what agreement you make with an MNO in terms of what parts of their network you get access to, how much that costs and whether or not you have control or they have control. You will also need to build your client base like you would for any commercial venture and crucially within telecoms, and more so in the MVNO space, you must maintain those relationships. If you go down the pay as you go route there is almost nothing to stop a subscriber turning against you and porting their number to a competitor.

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