How to choose an MVNE service provider

Tuesday, 21 April 2020

If you have decided to launch a mobile brand, then possibly the next most important decision following the negotiation of your wholesale agreement is your choice of MVNE service provider. This matters, because the choice will determine your ability to get to market, to adapt and evolve, to grow - and to manage and maintain your business. All of these are essential contributors to your success. In this article, we’ll explore a few things to look for when choosing an MVNE service provider.

Experience – does your MVNE service provider have a track record of enabling success?

Before considering how your MVNE service provider can contribute to your success, it’s worth checking to see how it has contributed to the success of others. How many brands they have launched is one metric – but it’s not the most reliable. How many of these brands have gone on to succeed with their offers? How long have they been in the market? What happened to them? How many customers have they won?

The success of an MVNO is not about launch. It’s about endurance, reliability and support. An MVNE service provider cannot succeed unless its partners do too, so what you need is a partner that really invests in the success of each and every MVNO that it helps get to market.

Scale – can the MVNE service provider deliver the scale that you need?

Of course, different MVNOs have different business models and aspirations but, generally, they want to grow to address the largest number of subscribers in their chosen market or segment. But, you have to get there gracefully. Even if your business plan has a specific number in mind, you’re either starting from zero – or else you have an existing subscriber base and your current MVNE service provider lacks the capacity to help you move to the next level.

So, from whichever direction you approach it, scale matters. You need an MVNE service provider partner that can help you at every step – whether you are a new market entrant or start-up, or whether you just need a new partner to service your customer base.

Reach – can your MVNE service provider help you address multiple markets?

Your business plan might involve multiple launches across different countries. Choosing a partner for each market is inefficient, increases costs and eliminates potential economies of scale. You need an MVNE service provider that can help you with the entirety of your vision, from first launch to the nth in your rollout.

That’s not easy. The ability to leverage the same investment on multiple occasions and across multiple countries gives your business an advantage and helps you to meet your business goals.

Lean – does your MVNE service provider help you to build a lean, focused organisation?

The success of your mobile brand probably depends on your marketing skills and insights. It also depends on your ability to deliver – but the technical realisation of your vision isn’t necessarily your key competence. Do you want to build a technical organisation to realise this, or do you want to invest in a solution that takes care of the technology and complex network interactions, while allowing you to focus on the business and proposition?

This is a crucial point. MVNOs shouldn’t seek to reinvent wheels. They succeed because they bring new things to the market, at the right prices. A deep knowledge of the mechanics of the mobile network and industry is another set of problems. You need to be able to focus on your business and invest in people to grow your business.

As a result, you need an MVNE service provider that understands the nitty-gritty of remote SIM provisioning, service activation and data access, for example, allowing you to build a lean organisation that can execute and extend your vision. Your MVNE service provider is the technical realisation of this and you must be able to trust their ability to deliver.

Agile – can you confidently adapt and evolve?

Even if your proposition is tested before you get to market, pitfalls and challenges – and new opportunities - lie ahead. The ability to anticipate, respond and even pivot business models, products and services in an agile manner is essential.

Given how competitive MVNO markets can be, and given how competitive mobile markets are in general, you need an MVNE service provider that gives you the tools to enable agile processes, operations and service delivery, so that you can adjust course, based on knowledge, insight and data. Agility really matters, because the world is constantly shifting.

Comprehensive – do you need to integrate multiple solutions and build a custom solution?

Or, can you leverage a truly comprehensive platform from your MVNE service provider that has everything you need – and everything that you may need in the future? You can build your own platform, but putting it all together is costly and represents a considerable ongoing investment.

In short, does your MVNE service provider give you everything you need to run your mobile operation, from business support systems and operational control, to service creation, configuration and adaptation, based on feedback from your customer base and across all channels? Can you capitalise on a proven investment that will provide the mobile platform you need, with integration to other business processes you may run?

Future-proof – the network’s about to change. Can your MVNE service provider support your journey?

It may be early days, but one thing is certain, 5G is coming to the MVNO world. Just as with 4G, this will be a pivotal moment for MVNOs. You need an MVNE service provider that has a clear vision and roadmap towards 5G and that can help you transition.

5G isn’t just about new access though, it offers much more. But, it’s not your job to explore the specifications and standards. You just need to know how it can benefit your business. As such, your MVNE service provider should be able to understand the opportunities that it offers and be able to help you make this transition, so that you can leverage new capabilities and features that can ensure your journey continues in a changed landscape.

Of course, there’s much more to consider. If you want to explore what an MVNE service provider can do to shape your business and to realise your goals while ensuring competitive advantage, why not talk to our team? Our success is dependent on the success of our MVNO and MNO partners, so we invest to ensure we – and you – can deliver.

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