Friday, 10 February 2017

MVNO Event Series Interview Growth Areas, Challenges for MVNO in 2017

Q: Tell us about yourself and your position at Conecto?

I am Christian Borrman, CEO of Conecto, Conecto is an MVNE in the UK and US, originally also in Mexico. Conecto provide flexible and scalable solutions for MVNOs notice of all sizes.

Q: what is the current state of the MVNO Market?

The MVNO market has hit a bit of a plateau in there are lots of people trying to do things however the lot of people who have found the present solutions are either not scalable or that they're too limiting, or if they started in one sense (i.e MVNE vs. MVNA)  then they may have to throw that all away and start again (if they grow) or they have to risk and start very big and probably never gets that size they expected.

Conecto provide a solution that lets them start very small and grow as big as they want or need , and if at some point the MVNO wants to buy out of that solution the MVNO can (and still stay with the same APIs, CRM, and other systems). We have seen that a lot of players are actually looking at our Conecto model is a way to go forward with  and MVNO model they have been investigating for a while as well as existing MVNOs they have just not been able to scale, and  move forward where the MVNO was not moving forward before.  

Another big issue has been a lot of consultation with the network operators which has effectively just made it a lot more difficult to get a wholesale agreement that people (MVNOs) necessarily want. This consolidation is a period that has lasted now for about 2 years and I think we're coming out of that finally,  and so this should make things a lot easier (with no MVNO competition a competitive wholesale deal is very difficult) and so we should be seeing a lot of next generation MVNEs and MVNOs taking advantage of cloud MVNE flexibility, and taking advantage of the renewed appetite of wholesale operators for MVNOs (post consolidation or no consolidation) and as such we should see a renewed growth in MVNOs in the coming months and years.

Q: Where do you see new opportunities in the MVNO market?

Well I am probably not the best person to ask because we spent a lot of time in Mexico where in 2015/2016 that was where there was supposed to be the next big growth area (and we acted upon) which it wasn't for various reasons that we won't go into... What we have seen on a practical note that there is a lot of untapped opportunity in the US and in the UK and some extent in Europe and that is then moving in the next year or so, as I see it, to Africa and the Middle East being the next big growth areas that we certainly have on our radar and (is evident in terms of opportunities) on our CRM system, and for me are upcoming opportunities.

Q: In what region do you see the biggest growth for MVNO?

I still think there is a lot nascent growth in Europe and the US, there is just a lot of people who do not have solutions to their problems or the solutions they want to their problems from the existing players (...and many of these players have left the market) and we have seen situations such as Audi buying an (going to the extent of buying an) MVNE (a company just does not buy a provider / solution they are happy with in normal market conditions). We are see a lot of big players

Airlines and and car manufacturers either creating their own Solutions, buying their own Solutions or coming to companies like Conecto with Next Generation Solutions and there's a lot of untapped growth there which may or may not come to fruition in the next year or so.  In a slightly more mid to longer term I think Africa and the Middle East are growth areas, and the LATAM area can grow again but there are serious issues in terms of competition and regulation that need to be overcome.

Q: Why should MVNOs attend our events?

As I have said a few times I think it's the key area where people can come together, twice a year for the International Events and at least once a year for the Regional events. It's very difficult to meet people from all around the world, and sometimes it's difficult to even arrange meetings (with key partners, let alone) see everybody in one place. For such a niche market you need to have an excuse and a place to go, and this is the place where I get to meet everybody in the industry in one place and have back to back meetings without distractions of needing to solve this problem all that problem which of the end of the day, mobile as a complex business and there's always things delaying and putting meetings off so, if you have an excuse to congregate somewhere X times a year, then that is the (one time) when you can get a lot achieved.

Come and meet Conecto at the Acropolis Nice, 24-27 April 2017