Tuesday, 17 January 2012

MVNO Networking Paris Congress Chair Digest 2011

MVNO Networking Congress 2011 (November) Digest

The MVNO networking congress was a great event, and a very successful one too, just the week before Jayme contacted me to let me know I would be chairing 13 presentation instead of 8, so the schedule was “tight” to say the least!

The MVNO Conference Overview

For those of you who just want the low down, you can see some of the Twitter comments on your left, and my closing bullets were:
  • We have seen and continuing to see significant growth in MVNO, so far we have only touched the surface, even in the overcrowded ethnic and low costs space
  • MVNO churn is the lowest in pretty much every market
  • VAS are key: Data, payments, Social Networking, all generating more value, loyalty and even contributing to any MRG
  • Channels are expanding: social, online, new retail
  • MVNO growth is now starting in value, as well as size due to previous points

MVNO networking Conference 2012 Presentations:

The intro was pretty quick, I am not big on long intros of the conference of the speakers: speakers bios are so random in their content (we should have top trumps card in the audience if you want to check out bios that are structured instead of random details and regional quirks…) and I think the audience is there to see presentations, so don’t make them wait for presentations… on that note below is my summary, in order to not name names or other anti-social behaviour I do not list by presenter and company but by relevant info. As an Englishman I will no doubt have to engage in some hooliganism afterwards to make up for such sensible and neighbourly behaviour J.

MVNO Networking Conference “highlights”:

  • 6 million MVNO customers in France, 50% increase in 2010-2011
  • Churn is generally lower in MVNOs (3 sources, 2 continents)
  • Annual MVNO churn in France is sub 20% (annual!)
  • MVNO customers 14% of UK Market
  • “Wholesale is better than no-sale” Old KPN quote was reborn in a pres, good to see!
  • One non-full MVNO going full MVNO to have more control over VAS and data provisioning infrastructure as data becomes a key part of their differentiation and marketing strategy
  • Another non-full MVNO going full to be able to potentially leverage multiple hosts (not advised, so many MNVOs forget that their host is like their big brother in the playground – even if you do not like him and he may not even care much for you, but if you are on good terms, he can save you getting a wedgie or a swirlie) i.e. you will generally get more from an engaged single MNO than you would ever get by trying to trade MNOs off against each other. This is the case even at initial negotiation stage.
  • On this note we had an MNO likening the MVNO to a clown fish and the operator to the sea anemone, with one protecting the other from the rest of the creatures (sharks) in the sea… This MNO is actively seeking clownfish!
  • The MNO used to use the MVNE as a filter, now more flexible and used as a solution
  • La Poste has 2.2 Million customers in Italy, looking to move to full MVNO due to scale, it is a “buy” vs. “make” strategy.
  • La Poste MVNO have the lowest churn in Italy.
  • 50% of La Poste customers have made a mobile payments transaction via the card linked with the mobile account.
  • Colruyt supermarket MVNO launched in Belgium, a la Tesco Mobile model: the key is a line from the music industry “once a hit, always a hit” if a model has been successful in one country, it is likely to do the same in another, again and again.
  • MVNOs managed to make a “per min” and “per message” business back in a “bundle” market space, they are doing the same in data, charging a premium in “per meg” data. In Denmark the main MVNO is doing this at a premium of 2.5x market rate.
  • Online is the key channel to avoid “shelf overload”. The customer now has so much choice in the typical retail establishments. Telmore has reached 800,000 subscribers in Denmark (over 12% of Danish market in just one MVNO) mostly via online.
  • If not online, other innovative channels are required, especially in places like the Austrian market, where €10 gets you 1000 mins and 1000 SMS, an MVNO has to do more than just traditional channels.
  • Social Networking is becoming a key differentiator
  • Some interesting comments on the EC Roaming regulation (its all relative, they were interesting as roaming regulation comments, but not interesting enough for a blog!) but if someone is interested enough I can dig them out...