The global mobile virtual network operator (MVNO) market size is expected to reach USD 112.0 billion by 2025, owing to the increasing demand for low tariff network services among consumers.
MVNOs have evolved from being an operator providing its customers with just the basic services such as voice calling, to its present status as a provider offering several value-added services. These services include low cost roaming calls, data plans, and media & entertainment content among others. These enhancements in their offerings were added with a view to reduce the customer churn rate. The virtual operators strive hard to create small pockets in the market by virtue of product and price differentiation.
The MVNOs are operators that lease spectrum and radio frequency from mobile network operators (MNOs) and resell it to the consumers. This exchange benefits both the MNOs as well as the consumers. The operating costs of MNOs in terms of billing, customer service, and marketing are reduced. It also expands the MNO’s customer base to include niche customers. The MVNOs can target customers that lie beyond the reach of traditional MNOs by means of aggressive segment targeted pricing strategies. The oligopolistic nature of the MVNO market compels an operator to restructure its tariff plans, when its competitor reduces the rates of its services. Therefore, the MVNOs compete against each other by means of price differentiation. This benefits the customers as they are presented with a wide range of low-cost services to choose from. Thus, the MVNO model is a genuine profit-making proposition which is gaining momentum at a tremendous pace in global telecom market.
The primary factors that are having a significant impact on the growth of global MVNO market are the growing number of users having access to mobile phones, and the development in the wireless services industry. The number of mobile phone users globally was estimated to be around 4.3 billion in 2017 and is expected to increase due to individuals owning more than one handset. This has also led to an increasing demand for low cost plans along with excellent customer relation management services.
On the basis of operational model, full MVNO accounted for the largest market share in 2017. A full MVNO has total control over the retail pricing and also over the client with its own International Mobile Subscriber Identities (IMSIs). It operates like an MNO in all ways except for the ownership of radio access networks. It offers network switching, content and service applications, billing and customer care, branding, marketing and sales services in the MVNO value chain. Thus, the extended suite of services offered by a full MVNO results in a high revenue generation as compared to the other operational models.
Geographically, Europe accounted for a major market share in the MVNO market owing to the presence of a large number of MVNOs in this region. There have been a series of new product launches, mergers, and acquisitions in especially in Western Europe. In December 2017 China Mobile International, a subsidiary of China Mobile – the world’s largest mobile operator by subscribers–launched an MVNO in the UK under the CMLink brand name. The rapid growth of MVNO in the Europe is due to the increasing initiatives by telecom regulators to reduce tariff rates by increasing competition. Along with this, maximizing the use of radio frequency and spectrum capacity of the MNOs is another factor leading to growth of MVNOs in this region.
The competitive landscape of global mobile virtual network operator market is highly fragmented owing to the presence of several local players. Companies including Boost Mobile, Drillisch Mobile, FRiENDi Mobile, Globecomm Systems, Inc., KDDI Mobile, Lebara Group, Lycamobile, PosteMobile, Tesco Mobile Ltd, TracFone Wireless Inc., and Virgin Mobile USA amongst others.
Key Segments of the Global Mobile Virtual Network Operator (MVNO) Market
Operation Model Overview, 2014 - 2025 (USD billion)
- Service Operator
- Full MVNO
Subscriber Overview, 2014 - 2025 (USD billion)
Application Overview, 2014 - 2025 (USD billion)
- Cellular M2M (Machine to Machine)
- Media & Entertainment
Services Overview, 2014 – 2025 (USD billion)
- Sales Service
- Customer Service
- Mobile Service
Regional Overview, 2014 - 2025 (USD billion)
- North America
- Rest of Europe
- South Korea
- Rest of Asia-Pacific
- Latin America
- Rest of Latin America
- Middle East & Africa
- South Arica
- Rest of Middle East & Africa