FreedomPOP – a data provider company from the United States offering free text, calls and data – has launched its services in Belgium. According to Business Monitor International, the company is set to perform extremely well in the Belgian market.
Belgium could indeed be the ideal country to launch a new MVNO service at the moment. The demand for MVNO services in Belgium is among the strongest in Europe and business has seen a sustained growth over the last three years.
Saturation in the current market
The current mobile market is showing signs of heavy saturation. This gives international MVNOs a chance to expand their reach, particularly when they’ve already got solid business models and strong track records of success at home.
Historically, MVNOs have always had the most success in saturated mobile markets, when there are few opportunities for organic growth. Belgium’s current penetration levels stand at 114% – putting the country in a great position for MVNO expansion.
MVNOs provide a solution
As a small country with a large number of its population living in cities, the growth rate in rural areas is extremely limited. New subscriptions and additions to the networks are rare and MNO companies are reporting regular losses.
Operators have instead started to rely on MVNOs for net subscriptions and growth. Last year, the number of MVNO subscribers increased by 200,000, while standard mobile additions declined by almost the same figure. By the end of 2013, MVNO subscribers added up to more than 2 million – up nearly 11% compared to 2012. This accounted for over 15% of the entire mobile market, including any M2M connections.
Expansion in the UK
This high penetration of MVNOs is among the highest in the world, and likely the reason that FreedomPOP has decided to target Belgium as its test market outside the USA.
As the UK’s market becomes more and more data saturated– with EE, Vodafone and O2 all fighting for 4G space – MVNOs are moving into the saturated 3G market to be the competitive difference. It’s no surprise that FreedomPOP is planning to expand into the UK in the future, potentially sparking a new era in mobile services at home.
Big opportunities for MVNOs are opening up in countries all over Europe and Asia, making it an exciting time for communication service providers worldwide.
SmartIPX is ideally set-up to work with new and existing MVNOs. Contact us to learn why and how we can help give your MVNO the competitive advantage.