How can MVNE vendors help your mobile brand?

Tuesday, 16 June 2020

While choosing the right MNO is important, the MVNE vendor can be your most significant partner. When taking your brand mobile, you need to think long-term – and the MVNE vendor is key to ensuring you can realise your vision, sustainably and throughout your mobile journey.

How does the MVNE vendor help?

Taking a brand mobile can unlock new opportunities but it can be a significant challenge. To accomplish this successfully, an MVNE (Mobile Virtual Network Enabler) vendor partner is essential. What’s the role of MVNE vendors, and why are they crucial to your success?

Having made the decision to mobilise your brand, your most likely option in most markets is to become an MVNO. As such, the next step is to choose an MNO partner that can provide the coverage, data, voice and messaging capabilities (your ‘airtime’ packages) you seek to offer to your customers. This requires detailed negotiation and evaluation with MNO wholesale teams, but, ultimately, will provide key inputs into your business plan.

MVNE vendors must be able to support all MVNO models

However, the next step is crucial. That’s because the way in which you control and manage your service is fundamental. It’s not just about the airtime, but about how you deliver and manage it. There are choices to be made – what level of control do you need on day one? How will your offer evolve? How do you anticipate adding new service capabilities and extending your offers? How will you interact with your customers? How will you connect your mobile brand to supporting assets?

In short, there are many factors to consider. Your ability to approach and tackle these challenges depends, to a very large extent, on your MVNE vendor. The MVNE vendor is your link to the underlying mobile infrastructure and network owned and operated by the MNO.  Choosing the wrong MVNE vendor at the outset could limit your ability to grow.

Most MNOs prefer to work at arm’s length from their MVNO partners, so the role of the MVNE partner is to provide valuable mediation between your business and the customers, whom you will ultimate reach through the mobile and data networks to which they are connected.

There are, of course, multiple models for MVNOs – from light to full. These really determines the level of control that you have over your mobile customers. There are different levels of complexity associated with each. Some MVNOs may settle on one option at the outset, but others may plan to extend their capabilities as they grow. An MVNE vendor that can support you through such evolution is essential.

Integrating your proposition with the right MVNE vendor

While starting as an MVNO can often be facilitated through a simple billing relationship, that’s not necessarily a sustainable model. Today’s mobile brands are typically highly focused and often leverage other assets to create a compelling offer. This may mean that deeper integration with other business systems and services – outside the mobile domain – is necessary, to create a consistent, joined-up brand and approach.

But such integrations need to be consolidated through a single control interface, so that operational effectiveness can be achieved. The MVNE vendor has a key role here, because you need to run a single, consolidated operation. As such, the ability to integrate different systems, processes and platforms, and to align them with your mobile service portfolio is mandatory.

The MVNE vendor should provide the flexibility to enable such integration to take place. So, even if you begin with a simple offer, as you add richness, it should be possible with a single partnership.

Similarly, many providers seek to ensure customer engagement across a range of channels. As a new entrant to the mobile business, ensuring that all of your engagement efforts are aligned will support your plans to maximise returns from your mobile investments. This requires both further integration and also tight coordination, to ensure that all activities can follow an agreed plan.

After all, one of the reasons for mobilising may be to reach your audience in different ways and to enhance existing propositions, so ensuring that you can communicate effectively and consistently is a key supporting tactic. The MVNE vendor must enable you to bring communications channels together in a centralised manner, so that you can track and monitor its effectiveness.

Expert business partnership and support from your MVNE vendor

For many, the entry to mobile is an entirely new departure. There are many pitfalls. You need support, not only with technical capabilities, but also in terms of understanding the mobile business. An MVNE vendor isn’t just a provider of the right platform, with the right levels of flexibility, it’s also a partner that provides the experience to understand challenges, to anticipate new ones and to ensure that all can be solved to ensure success.

Mobile markets can be challenging – but can bring outstanding rewards, both directly and indirectly. They can support the evolution of your brand and the ways in which you reach and engage with your audience. But, they never keep still. No matter what your proposition may be at the outset, you can be sure that it will require constant attention - and the agility to adapt.

It’s important to understand that evolution and innovation are essential to ensure that your brand remains relevant and meets your business goals. Wherever you start, your business will likely change – particularly as the competitive landscape shifts. Choosing the right MVNE vendor isn’t just about getting to market and launching; it’s about a partnership for all of your mobile efforts and activities.

In fact, it can even be the most enduring partnership – because the value you obtain from your MNO may change necessitating, in some cases, a transfer from your original host MNO. The ability to adapt, evolve and make agile decisions is central to all business propositions – but the one indispensable element is your MVNE vendor, which must be able to support any change that is required.

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