MVNOs - The Next Wave - A Business Update
2010.11.11   |   42 pages   |   MVNOs & Distribution Strategies

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The MNO community has viewed MVNOs with mixed emotions since the model was first launched in 1999. The trade-off between being able to reach a group of customers that the host MNO would have difficulty addressing profitably and the potential for cannibalisation of its own base by the entity it supports has resulted in ambivalence in the way MVNOs have been handled. Meanwhile, MVNOs have been building a major position by addressing those segments that the MNOs have been unsure of - those with little money and with needs that are not congruent with the mass market.

Now, MVNOs have become major players in a number of spaces and their background means they have become lean and aggressive and highly focused on meeting customer needs, even if they are not mainstream. MNOs must now deal with an emerging situation, where they must address their role as wholesale suppliers to a powerful community of MVNOs.

This report examines the developing state of play and assesses how best MNOs should approach the issue, whether they should be establishing MVNOs themselves, or embracing the new players and winning their business at a wholesale level. The report concludes with concrete recommendations that should be taken into consideration when developing strategy in this critical area.

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Keywords: Ethnic MVNO, MVNO, Discount MVNO, Business Model, MVNO Business Model,

Table of Contents
1 Overview 1
2 Introduction 2
2.1 Background to the Report 2
2.2 Defining the MVNO 2
2.3 Report Content 3
2.4 Currency and Conversions 4
3 The MVNO Landscape 5
3.1 The MVNO Operational Framework 5
3.2 Market Background 6
3.3 The MVNO Opportunity Space 6
3.4 Exploiting Opportunity - MVNO Enterprise Growth 7
4 MVNO Opportunities & Positioning 12
4.1 Introduction 12
4.2 MVNO Target Groups 12
4.3 Optimum MVNO Propositions 13
4.3.1 Introduction 13
4.3.2 Low-Cost Providers 13
4.3.3 Prepay Providers in the US 14
4.3.4 Migrants & Expatriates 15
5 Sample MVNOs & Their Propositions 18
5.1 Introduction 18
5.2 Lycamobile - Ethnic and International Calling MVNO 18
5.2.1 Background 18
5.2.2 Company Positioning & Growth Plans 18
5.2.3 Lycamobile's Proposition 20
5.3 TracFone - Discount, US Prepay and Ethnic MVNO 23
5.3.1 Background 23
5.3.2 Company Positioning 23
5.3.3 Multi-Brand Approach 24
5.3.3.1 Introduction 24
5.3.3.2 TracFone 25
5.3.3.3 Net10 27
5.3.3.4 Straight Talk 32
5.3.3.5 SafeLink 34
5.3.4 Ethnic Component 35
5.4 Other MVNOs 35
5.4.1 Introduction 35
5.4.2 FRiENDi Group 36
5.4.3 Vertu Japan 36
5.4.4 giffgaff UK 37
6 Conclusions & Recommendations 39
6.1 Conclusions 39
6.2 Recommendations 41

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