So long Barcelona, this week the mobile industry will travel to Nice on the French Riviera for the MVNO World Congress, #MVNOIS, where a much thriving community of operators and enablers, aka the MVNXs, are gathering.
Europe is the pioneer of the MVNO model, its regulators have been encouraging the growth of MVNOs as a way to increase competition and reduce price, and it is home to two thirds of domestic MVNOs (GSMA Intelligence).
But is really the low-cost pricing the main factor that has been driving the success of the MVNO market?
Not necessarily; many MVNO’s went out of business in the last decade. Several, found themselves competing with the MNOs’ aggressive pricing but still ended up more expensive than the incumbent MNOs.
The survivors are the ones that kept their focus on specific segments such as migrant, retail, business, media/entertainment, and those that had a sales force in place already able to reach millions of end users. Prepaid or pay-as-you-go offerings, exceptional customer service and aggressive advertising and point-of-sale placement have also been factors in MVNO success.
The big retailers, such as supermarkets or gas companies that have become successful MVNOs added telecommunication services to complement existing retail offerings to their customers. They have also used them as an appealing means to retain and grow their customer base by allowing them to redeem either points or monetary discounts or, in other instances, by bundling this type of service with others they normally offer. For example, when you go into a post office in Italy they look at you strange if you only ask for stamps! They have diversified their offerings to include MVNO mobile service bundles including voice, messaging and data.
Service is key. Successful MVNOs understand their target customers and know how to deliver service and support, and those that are doing so, I predict will grow further.
Let’s see what the MVNX community has to say at the conference; tell Dialogic what your thoughts are or your experience with the MVNOs by tweeting us at @Dialogic