Starting an MVNO is a lucrative proposition if you have nailed down the right strategy. Most successful MVNOs thrive in the telecom domain because of their tenacity and ability to acquire and keep hold of subscribers. But, what most new entrants do not know is that even the best had their limitations when they started. And, a surprising fact is that not all virtual operators overcame these limitations to get where they are now. So, the question arises how they landed up where they are now. How could they taste success when others that were equally capable faltered? And astoundingly, the answer is not as abstruse as you might think, it is quite simple actually. Those who became successful actually took the best approach towards success: they chose the right MVNO model.
Why MVNO Model Selection Really Matters?
Playing to your strengths is extremely important if you want to win in a game. The same concept applies to MVNOs as well. This will become clearer by analyzing the different MVNO models out there, and the type of strengths (capabilities) they require. Have a look:
- MVNO as Reseller – To start a reseller MVNO, you do not have to make significant financial investments. So, if you are short on capital but marketing is your strong suite, then you can set up a branded reseller MVNO. Apply your strengths in conceptualizing a brand, find distribution channels to sell your services and focus on marketing your brand in the best possible way. Although you will not have any control on the infrastructure, you will surely be able to make a lot of profit by applying the skills you have. Reseller MVNO works best for those who are not tech savvy but still want to get into the MVNO game.
- MVNO as Service Provider – For those with IT expertise, experience of overseeing customer service operations and some capital at their disposal, Service Provider MVNO model fits the bill perfectly. In order to start this type of MVNO, you would have to make some capital and operational investments in the IT platforms. Branding can be done individually or in partnership with the host operator, which offers flexibility. Your success will depend on your branding capabilities along with the execution of your customer care. It is essential that you partner with a capable MVNE that can provide you essential tools like CRM, so your customer service department performs consistently.
- MVNO as Enhanced Service Provider – As evident from the name, it is an enhanced version of the former. Apart from all the previously mentioned functions, it can procure its own mobile network code albeit not completely free from host operator’s control. It is also possible to add self-selected Value Added Services (VAS), which can help you differentiate yourself from the competitors and attract new subscribers. So, for those business owners who have IT capabilities and some experience of telecom domain, the enhanced service provider MVNO makes good business sense.
- Full MVNO – This option is solely for those who want to go all in. As being a full MVNO means you have to perform hardcore telecom operations, you need to be tech savvy and preferably have long-term experience in the telecom industry. Apart from procuring the Radio Access Network (RAN), you would have to execute every function that an MNO does. Below are some of the important functions that a full MVNO performs:
- SIM card delivery
- Control of HLR, VLR, GGSN, SMSC, GMSC
- Perform interconnect and roaming agreements
- Set tariff for plans and different bundled packages
- Execute and interpret Big Data analytics
- CRM management
- …and a lot more
If all the above mentioned tasks have you puzzled and you feel out of your depth, then being a full MVNO is not for you. But, if you are ready to take the plunge and perform all these tasks diligently, then you can expect to become a major force to reckon in the market.