With mobile phones increasingly ubiquitous in both the business and consumer markets, the time is ripe for MVNOs to take advantage of the growing number of niche marketing opportunities.

A time for MVNO growth

According to Pyramid Research, the number of MVNO subscribers is predicted to rise globally with a compound annual growth of 10% by the end of 2016. This rate is expected to be at its highest in North America and Western Europe, where roughly one in six people are expected to move to using an MVNO in the next two years.

Similarly, big growth is predicted for MVNOs in the enterprise market: Capacity Magazine forecasts that the annual enterprise revenue for MVNOs will reach $120 million by 2016, an increase of 33% on 2011’s figures.

Seizing the opportunity

As an MVNO, there are a number of things you should be doing to seize this opportunity.

Firstly, you must be savvy about niche marketing.

Secondly, you should have a rock solid business plan. You also need an effective distribution set-up, and to brand properly for your audience.

Thirdly, you need to choose the right carrier partner. This relationship can make or break an MVNO.

The importance of the carrier partner

The right carrier partner is important to an MVNO because they deliver a key part of what is being sold: the core network.

But a carrier partner can offer an MVNO so much more than this. A carefully selected MNO can provide you with valuable advice and data that will help you shrewdly take advantage of your chosen market niche.

Let’s look at an example. One Asian MVNO partnered with carrier to deliver a wireless service to expats in their home language. The carrier provided them with market data that let the MVNO reach their target demographic; helped them acquire custom mobile devices in the language they needed; and set up a new customer support structure to support the MVNO’s market.

This relationship added significant value to the MVNO’s offering, and allowed them to realise their business idea effectively. It’s partnerships like this that MNOs and MVNOs should be forging.

Spotting and exploiting a gap in the market is a big factor in building a successful MVNO. But choosing the right carrier partner could provide invaluable data, and allow you to offer a customized service that is properly unique.

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