What’s the point of MVNOs?

In July’s edition of Comms Business, we discussed the role that MVNOs have to play in our industry. To find out why we believe that MVNOs can be a vital part of the telecoms market, read our full feature:

Sometimes, it’s important to look back in order to look forward. MVNOs aren’t new, but to many mobile users and businesses, the term remains yet another piece of alienating telecoms jargon. We’re told by Ofcom that MVNOs promote competition in the UK mobile market, but has their objective been achieved?

The short answer is no. The infrastructure owners and big businesses still rule the roost, and are happy to keep MVNOs as bit-part players. Is that a bad thing? Not necessarily. It gives businesses such as 24 Seven the agility to meet customer’s needs and serve them as equals. Two telecoms giants in particular have been singled out for diabolical customer service just this year, so this is where MVNOs need to make ground, for the good of the market.

It’s vital that MVNOs find a niche and innovate, in order to differentiate themselves from the hundreds of other names out there. What is clear, is that the ‘race to zero’ mentality isn’t doing anyone any favours, as companies cut the very things that customers demand, such as customer service, in order to ‘buy’ business.

The MVNOs that have become household names could probably be counted on one hand – Lyca and Virgin Mobile spring to mind – but are these examples a ringing endorsement of MVNOs? Again, probably not.

Customers should be at the heart of what MVNOs do, regardless of their size and reach, but this sadly isn’t always the case. The service that MVNOs provide for their consumers, and the way they communicate with them is crucial to setting themselves apart from the rest.

In such a saturated market, it’s key that MVNOs realise that they will suffer if they simply look to replicate what others are doing. By pinpointing their key strengths, MVNO’s can play to them, and ensure that the products and services they provide are high quality and are perfectly tailored to the needs of their market. A more focused approach makes much more sense and can help MVNOs to stand out from the crowd.

MVNO’s not only have the ability to provide something which could totally change the way that users communicate by opening up new possibilities to them, but they can entirely change the industry through their innovation, which is why they are so instrumental in leading our industry forward.

You can find the published article on pages 48-50 at: http://commsbusiness.co.uk/Comms_mag.html?magid=534ca0a8#/534ca0a8/1