Mobile Virtual Network Operator (MVNO) market will expand at a CAGR of 7.4% to reach $75.25 billion by 2023, according to a research conducted by Transparency Market Research. The additional unused bandwidth offered by Mobile Network Operators (MNOs) to MVNOs is a reason cited for this growth.
In layman’s term, MVNO is a wireless service provider that does not own the wireless network infrastructure and instead offers the service to customers over the networks provided by an MNO. This is made possible through a business agreement between an MVNO and MNO, in order to obtain bulk access to network services at wholesale rates, but sets its own retail prices.
MVNOs facilitate an increase of customer base for MNOs. Since the MVNOs utilize the existing infrastructure of MNOs, it’s comparatively easy for them to enter the telecom market. The onset of 4G services has improved the markets of MVNOs since the technology leads to improvement in speed and value-added services.
Among the MVNOs, full-MVNOs hold the largest market share of 61% in 2014, the research pointed out. Full-MVNO model of operation proves to be more successful because of its ability to create its own value-added services for a more competitive and proactive position in the marketplace. The services it offers differentiate it from other MVNOs.
In mature markets like Europe and North America, there is an increasing competition between MVNOs, resulting in competitive prices and innovation in services. In 2014, Europe held major market share in terms of revenue generated by MVNO globally, followed by North America. Prepaid customers are more for MVNOs compared to the postpaid, which is expected to surge in the coming years owing to high data demands. New technologies like Internet of Things (IoT) are further likely to contribute to its growth. New business models are also likely to emerge in this segment.
The key players operating in the MVNO market include AT&T Inc., Lycamobile Group, Sprint Corporation, T-Mobile AG, Verizon Communication Inc., CITIC Telecom International Holdings Ltd., Telefonica S.A., TracFone Wireless Inc., Truphone Ltd., and Virgin Mobile.