<- Blog

MVNO and MVNE as a scaling solution for your telecom infrastructure

Find out what is mobile virtual network enablers (MVNEs), and mobile virtual network operators (MVNOs) and how it will help to scale your telecom infrastructure.

There is a generally accepted concept of a mobile network operator (MNO) - this is a communication provider that has direct access to the licensed frequency spectrum, such as 3G, 4G, 5G, and LTE, and also owns and operates its own radio access network (RAN).

In addition, mobile operators manage their own core network infrastructure, which includes operations support systems (OSS), business support systems (BSS), and other tools required to run a mobile/cellular business. Some of the most common mobile carriers include AT&T, Vodafone, Verizon, T-Mobile, Orange, Telefonica, etc.

Mobile Virtual Network Enabler (MVNE) provides network enablement platforms and value-added services (VAS) for MVNOs and other companies looking to launch mobile brands.

A Mobile Virtual Network Operator (MVNO) is a company that provides wireless services but does not have direct access to the licensed frequency spectrum or its own radio antennas. MVNEs also do not own their own radio network infrastructure but resell the capacity of the mobile/cellular network that they purchase from mobile operators, often bundled with other telecommunications services such as OSS, BSS, and administration.

In this article, we will talk in detail about:

  • What is an MVNO and its pitfalls
  • What is MVNE, and the difference between MVNO and MVNE
  • Survey services and key features of MVNEs

What Is a Mobile Virtual Network Operator (MVNO)?

Mobile communication technologies every year more and more captures the telecommunications market due to its availability and wide range of opportunities. Demand for mobile Internet services is growing. This fact encourages companies to enter the telecommunications services market. This is how virtual telecom operators appeared. But what is it - a mobile virtual network operator?

A mobile virtual network operator (MVNO) is a company that does not have its own telecom infrastructure. Therefore, she rents it from mobile communication companies and works on their base under her own brand. In fact, the virtual operator buys large volumes of traffic from mobile operators at a wholesale price. And resells it at retail to the final consumer.

In the world, the first virtual operators appeared in the late 90s in the UK. This was facilitated by the rapid spread of cellular communications among the population. When the penetration rate reached 50%, the British regulator, Oftel, decided to stimulate competition in the telecommunications sector. Thus, he obliged the existing telecom operators to lease their infrastructure to firms that wanted to enter the telecommunications services market. But they did not have the opportunity to build their networks. The first MVNOs include the British company Virgin Mobile, a subsidiary of the Virgin Group, which appeared in 1999.

MVNO's benefits:

  • High customer focus: a wide range of services for specific tasks and goals of the subscriber.
  • Beneficial tariff systems within the network, such as corporate tariff plans.
  • Possibility of personal and round-the-clock support.
  • Large network coverage area. Some virtual operators cooperate with several mobile operators at the same time.
  • Opportunity to conclude short-term contracts and purchase disposable SIM cards.
  • No roaming when calling from a virtual number via IP telephony.

Despite the obvious benefits, there are the following nuances in working with virtual telecom operators:

  1. Possible leakage of information to third-party companies. In fact, the operator receives valuable information about his client: who he calls, what he buys, where he happens
  2. The disappearance of the operator. Due to the demand for a new service, more and more virtual operators began to actively appear. But not all companies survive in the competition. Therefore, it is possible to lose connection for some time until a switch to another service provider is made.
  3. Termination of the contract between the infrastructure provider and the virtual operator for any reason.

What is a Mobile Virtual Network Enabler (MVNE)?

Mobile Virtual Network Enabler (MVNE) is an organization that provides business infrastructure solutions to mobile virtual network operators (MVNOs). Services include billing, administration, operations, base station subsystem support, operations support systems, and provisioning for internal network elements.

The MVNE provides a capital cost deferral to the MVNO. This allows the MVNO to focus on customer service and loyalty, product improvement, brand awareness, and marketing. MVNE and MVNO often share risk/reward agreements.

Designing an MVNE is a complex process that includes commercial off-the-shelf applications (COTS) and multi-tenant business model transformations. MVNE aggregators provide integration and consulting services and link back office network components through alliances to promote money solutions. These specialized MVNEs provide redundant network components such as messaging platforms, billing solutions, and data platforms. MVNEs may rely on wireless network infrastructure such as a host mobile network operator or own/manage private network elements.

MVNEs also provide advanced offerings such as applications, content, e-commerce, General Packet Radio Service (GPRS), and EDGE.

What is the difference between MVNE, MVNA, and MVNO?

The main difference between MVNE and MVNA is as follows. MVNAs have only one wholesale agreement with mobile operators. They use this agreement to provide network access to their MVNO clients. On the other hand, MVNEs usually require wholesale agreements between mobile operators and MVNOs.

Services and Key Features of MVNEs

MVNEs specialize in the planning, implementation, and management of mobile services.

MVNE services include:

In essence, they allow the MVNO to outsource both the initial integration with the MNO and the day-to-day management of the business and technical operations.

Key MVNE`s features:

  • providing and setting up a SIM card;
  • issuing invoices to clients;
  • customer relationship management and value-added service platforms.
  • reduction of initial capital costs for MVNO; funding mechanisms offered by MVNE to cover start-up costs;
  • reduced wholesale airtime costs achieved through economies of scale of hosting multiple MVNOs on a single MVNE platform;
  • reduction of operating expenses due to outsourcing of business management and technical operations;
  • smoother startup processes and usage;

Market prospects

According to a report by Transparency Market Research, the global MVNO market will reach over $75 billion in 2023, with a CAGR of 7.4% from 2015 to 2023. Market growth through 2022, according to Global Market Insights, is even more - $85 billion. At the moment, the most successful international mobile virtual operators are Virgin Mobile and LycaMobile.

Due to the high competition in the telecommunications market, mobile communication companies, along with traditional services, provide value-added services in order to generate income. Therefore, they introduce and develop new services for customers, earning on television and music content, mobile applications, and mobile commerce, or, in other words, on the provision of value-added services (VAS).

The introduction of new service delivery models, such as mobile device management, has empowered stakeholders in the mobile value-added services (MVAS) marketplace. The global market valuation is projected to advance at CAGR of 10.1% during the forecast period of 2021–2031.

Mobius Software as your trusted Value Added Services provider

While many telecom companies' earnings come from the rising number of subscribers, the global mobile Value Added Services market is booming. The ongoing customization of consumer services, especially in education, advertising, IT, and telecommunications, is driving the growth of the value-added mobile services market.

At Mobius we use innovative technologies in providing telephony solutions. We develop products taking into account the latest technologies and trends in telephony. Using our solutions, you will get a cost-effective, flexible, and easily scalable approach to the provision of Value Added Services.

Jul 12,2022 ● 7 min read

More from our blog

The Importance of SS7 Stack in Mobile Networks
May 08,2023 ● 7 min read

This article comprehensively summarizes the SS7 stack's significance in mobile networks, including its architecture and diverse range of services.

Read now ->
Innovative Technology and MVNO Success: How Cutting-Edge Software Solutions are Revolutionizing the MVNO Landscape
Apr 18,2023 ● 8 min read

The mobile virtual network operator (MVNO) industry has experienced enormous growth and evolution in recent years as a result of the rising demand for reasonably priced mobile services and the widespread use of smartphones. As a result, MVNOs are growing to be an essential player in the telecom industry, and numerous operators are making an effort to differentiate themselves through cutting-edge technological advancements.

Read now ->
MVNO Best Practices: Strategies for Building and Sustaining a Successful Mobile Virtual Network Operator
Apr 10,2023 ● 7 min read

In this comprehensive article, we will delve into the various essential strategies for creating and maintaining a thriving MVNO.

Read now ->

Start innovating with Mobius

What's next? Let's talk!

Mobius Software

As a company you'll get:

  • Get started quickly

  • Support any business model

  • Join millions of businesses

Questions? websupport@mobius.com