Showing posts with label MVNE. Show all posts
Showing posts with label MVNE. Show all posts

Monday, 11 May 2015

NFV cloud MVNO conference 2015

Cloud NFV MVNO MVNE round table #MVNOIS 2015

As the first on some hopefully more views from the #MVNOIS conference 2015 in Nice, here is a quick note on the round table I was dragged onto by Informa due to having being building a fully cloud based NFV MVNE platform for the last few months. Google's project Fi has brought a lot of this to the forefront as global MVNOs and multi-national roaming require NFV and cloud MVNO.

NFV MVNOs and MVNEs making way for more disruptive, flexible, global / local mobile services
The round table was interestingly represented by HP (whose servers we incidentally used for our cloud NFV MVNE) Oracle (think Tekelec, ACME), Syniverse and Yaana, which gave us a very good panel of people in the industry in the security, law enforcement, hardware, software and cloud services space.

The most interesting outcomes were as follows:

NFV Cloud MVNO makes it easier and good for Global

One of the key take aways was the fact that NFV and Cloud makes it easier to roll-out and scale MVNOs and MVNEs nationally, and internationally. I can relate to having built international MVNOs and MVNEs - having to chose, MVNA / MVNE, full MVNO or Build Transfer Operate MVNO model from the beginning, possibly having to throw away one or more of the platforms and re-issue MVNO SIMs if you get it wrong is a big challenge. Similarly, so is global expansion: having to use one platform in one territory (e.g big/full) and another in another (e.g. small/MVNA) is just not good.  

NFV cloud essentially brings IT plus Telco together: good for LTE & WiFi

In the good old days you had to buy lost of boxes to run a mobile network, then lots of boxes to run a wi-fi network - if you wanted to make them work together, you needed more boxes, more integration... NFV Cloud lets and MVNO or MVNE run all / mots of its services on a virtual machine, as well as the wi-fi management. In pure LTE terms this means an radius and diameter on the same boxes, same network: think lower latency

NFV cloud MVNOs and the eSIM

Previously a lot of MVNOs got into trouble, if they were ill-advised, by not putting the right provisioning, activation, and SIM management processes in place from the start, which can be very costly as the MVNO grows: many believe a SIM costs less than a dollar, which it does in terms of the 'plastic', but the association of this SIM with a mobile core, OSS / BSS, CRM, BI, etc systems is at least ten fold if not more. An MVNO usually only orders a few hundred thousand SIMs max up front; eSIMs however, due to the large up-front volume, mean next generation MVNOs and MVNEs are having to look NFV and cloud based to be cost effective. Period.

NFV is more disruptive

NFV essentially separates out the hardware from the software, meaning that costs are contained, distributed, transparent and delivery / transition is simpler, quicker and as local / global as required

NFV is not pure cloud and still needs localisation

The biggest misconception that brings walls and heads together is the concept that you can run this anywhere: the truth is that a lot of it you can, and as we move to LTE and away from legacy signalling and media we will - but the truth of the matter is that certain services mean locality is essential: HLRs and HSSs often need to keep data protected in a certain area and GGSNs  / PG-Ws need localisation to avoid latency, then there are security, government intervention and other issues to consider. 

NFV is about standardised hardware

a common view / misconception about NFV is that its all virtual machine and cloud, but a key component is the ability to break out from the virtual environment on standardised hardware when necessary. A great example was from Oracle where they have had to break-out voice encoding into a standard non virtualised machine. We have found this with certain media drivers as well. The key here is that: you have all that is possible on a, for example HP server(s) but the voice encoding needs to go native: then you add another, in this case, HP box of similar specs, with more or less known specification, most likely the same drives, memory, SAN, etc. and have it running voice outside of NFV. 

Thursday, 24 January 2013

MVNO 2013 Rome Conference


The MVNO 2013 Rome

The MVNO conference is moving to Rome from Barcelona!

MVNO Awards

There is an exciting new MVNO Awards to recognise innovation in MVNO, I will be on the judging panel and really looking forward to this exiting new development

LTE MVNO

There will be some interesting discussions on LTE in the MVNO MVNE space during a breakfast briefing and a panel, etc I will be chairing, so look forward to that as well! 

Meet MVNO Blog

I shall be there for the whole event, use the MVNO contactify link top right or one of the social network links to get in touch...
www.mvnosworldcongress.com

...and much more, see below:

MVNOs World Congress 2013
Date: 22-24 April 2013

Event description: The event is in its twelfth year and is the flagship event in the seven-event global #MVNOIS series.  Moving to new venue city Rome in 2013, the event will focus on the global opportunity for MVNOs with dedicated streams on CEM, M2M, LTE, WiFi, Quadplay, Retail, Brands and Roaming.

Event Highlights:
·         NEW! MVNO Start-up Summit – introducing the CEO’s of the newest MVNOs to the stage to answer audience questions on wholesale SLA’s funding, marketing, launch and gaining those vital subscribers!
·         NEW! MVNO Awards - celebrating the latest innovations and success in the MVNO industry
·         Dedicated Focus Day on Brand, Retail and Roaming – featuring Poste Mobile Italy, The Post Office UK, Tchibo, Trace and Virgin Mobile, Dobrytel and Roam Mobile.
·         Dedicated Stream on CEM and Partnerships – featuring Solavei, *bliep and Ting
·         NEW! Breakfast Briefing: 4G Wholesale by Alex Besen - In-Depth Look at 4G LTE Wholesale Business Models & Partnerships
·         NEW! The Congress moves to Italy this year.  Make the most of your opportunity to network and socialise in the beautiful city of Rome.
·         Global Focus – Global MVNO update covers Europe, Asia, the Middle East, Africa, Latin America, Central and Eastern Europe for the most comprehensive insight into international MVNO activity
·         NEW! Focus on Central and Eastern Europe – reviewing and analysing the latest MVNO launches in CEE
·         Extended Exhibition, on-site demos and networking opportunities. See the latest innovations and meet leading MVNEs, MVNAs and technology specialists.

Sunday, 20 January 2013

Future MVNOs and future MVNO models

Future MVNO

The future of MVNOs has been a long time coming, however there is still a long way to go, and the activity of 2012 shows that we are in for a very interesting 2013 MVNO wise, which will reflect well for the Telegeography predictions for 2013
There is still huge untapped opportunities in MVNO
However there are two things that strike me from this:

Mature MVNO market share

Market share in mature markets such as the UK, arguably the most mature as it was the first MVNO market and the two big originators of the MVNO; Virgin Mobile and Tesco Mobile, now have way above the W. European average at 13.7% of the market just to themselves, down from over 14% the previous year.
Source: Informa Mobile media 2011, EE market estimate Innovation Observatory Research
The above Diagram has been used by EE in their MVNO address for the past few years, and hints at huge potential in the MVNO market, but as an MNO presentation only touches the bigger picture. 

MVNO Brand Segmentation

If we dig deeper, as I do when doing the marketing plan and product development for new MVNOs, we see that each segment of the MVNO market to date, even markets that claim to be overcrowded  like the Ethnic, Supermarket and Brand MVNO space, are not actually overcrowded at all:
Segmenting even mature, overcrowded MVNO sectors shows there is still a lot of opportunity
For example, the overcrowded Ethnic MVNO market in the UK is not in fact overcrowded at all; the big players' competitive analysis shows that they have saturated certain markets (probably 20 of the 258 countries) and certain demographics, but far from the whole sector. The same rings for the Supermarket MVNO and even the Brand MVNO space, the above date has been randomised and renamed to protect the innocent, but am more than happy to give anybody the template with the date, use the MVNO contactify link to get in touch.

Updated Future MVNOs

So what is left to do in the below? Well the answer is quite a lot: 
  • Music is still in the pre-wholesale strategic sign-up phase, as is content, but you can expect the whole audio, video and other content market (think Red Bull MVNO model) to mature and expand.
  • Data MVNO has expanded, with Dell and Lenovo doing a Laptop based deal, Kindle in ebooks, Tom Tom for GPS and the whole M2M space
  • Healthcare has been successful in the US, and has lots of promise globally, with even Telefonica restructuring in 2012 to include a whole m-health vertical, which probably means its still in "the MNO can do it" mode, however this will soon change as MNOs dip their toes into the water via MVNOs
  • Converged MVNOs are really coming, with Virgin Media adding 1 Million Tivo boxes to its 4 Million mobile customers and presumably even more broadband, expect a wider definition of convergence than we may expect is all I can say...
  • The Global MVNO is also coming, however as we can see from the top graph, it needs the disparity between the various markets to meet, or at least more markets to reach the 10% MVNO market share for it to kick off.

Original Future MVNOs Article 2008:

Future MVNOs

Future Mobile Virtual network business Models
There are many upcoming MVNOs in the pipeline, however they are very different; they seem to be more mature, building on a core business proposition and mobile as a channel, rather than playing directly in the mobile space with a brand. For me the hottest MVNO prospects are:
  • Music MVNOs, with wholesale data and even "all you can eat" data tariffs emerging but being slow to take-up, this model could work well. However, it will not be download as much as you like to a "free Nokia N91". It is more likely to take the form of an established music brand enabling either an On Device Portal to browse, find and purchase music, even download a certain amount of lower quality/realtone tracks immediately over 3G, but the general ideal will be to download and save them on a PC or shared network space and upload them to the device by memory card or even USB connection. As an advocate of wireless & mobile I have found it difficult to admit, but the fact is that MP3s over bluetooth, 3G and even Wi-Fi, just don't make for a great user experience, nor aid battery life - the spanner in many mobile cogs!
  • Data MVNOs, building on mobile broadband, either by reselling or repackaging existing services, such as O2 mobile broadband, which is already resold by many players in the business as a service provider or enhanced service provider by hardware resellers, M2M providers and other solution providers and system integrators; or more complex solutions, which may or may not creep over into other areas above and below, such as hardware MVNOs.
  • Healthcare: the opportunities are huge: I pay a handsome sum of money every month to an insurance company, less now I have filled in various profiles... the next step is for my insurer to give me a Nokia 5500, which could easily be paid for and more with my insurance, and which uploads my daily footsteps info to their database to reduce my premium when I exercise regularly. To see the output a healthcare MVNO would see from a Nokia 5500 click here. A lot easier than the pedometer my Health Insurance gives me now, and a proper MVNO revenue opportunity.
  • Content MVNO. The content MVNO can work, despite the demise of ESPN, but it will be based on data usage with maybe an On Device Portal or a custom OTA firmware, where the "Vodafone Live" button starts the customer experience, rather that custom handset, and the business model will be around the value of that content, rather than trying to compete on minutes with the network; it has to be a content blackberry in terms of user take-up.
  • Global MVNO. There has been little talk of this model, and so far we have just seen a few SIM based products, however, there is a huge market for the global traveller  from big city banker to individual consultant with passport, will travel, all the way down to interailing youth. There are many VAS that can be added to this model, from student info to VoIP or even just automated calling card applications.
  • Converged MVNO. People have Skype, Dect phones, mobile phones, work IP phones, work analogue phones, SOHO phones, IM, SMS, uncountable emails, some web, some on exchange, some on their laptop/desktop... there is space for converged MVNOs in every sector, its just a question of who will move first, and watch everyone follow. Or Has Apple already led, and it will take the followers to not be so preoccupied with exclusivity and 40% to realise that convergence, and a X% of their mobile, broadband and roaming is a better deal...
  • More coming soon...
Originally posted by Christian Borrman 18:50pm 11/11/08

mvno and the brand

MVNO and the Brand

We have heard a lot about the brand MVNO and MVNO and the brand, unfortunately most of it is confined to the conference room and reports.

Brand MVNO

The Brand MVNO is where it all started; Virgin Mobile UK spent a lot of money on promoting their brand, and they were right - look at how much money Vodafone started spending on its brand post Virgin success vs. before! The problem was, Virgin then went to conferences saying: "don't copy us unless you have £50M to spend on your brand" which the MVNO industry unfortunately generally read as "don't spend anything on your brand". The Brand MVNO Model is covered in this post.

MVNO Brand

The Brand is a critical part of every MVNO, from the pitch to the MNO to sales:
  1. The MNO is putting its faith in the MVNO ability to access a market - without a brand, how long will that last? Brand is one of your strongest MNO negotiation points!
  2. In fact all your MVNO partners will be sizing up the opportunity of your brand when they negotiate with you, as Brand = ability to sell, ability to distribute
  3. The brand will determine your your uptake and limit your churn. Remember, Remember that MVNOs live and die on acquiring customers cheaper (than the MNO can) and keeping customers longer, and the Brand is key to this.
  4. There is a role for the niche within a niche with brand: Brand helps you compete within even an extremely competitive space such as the Ethnic MVNO market

MVNO Brand as part of Marketing strategy

However, be aware of how you use your brand: see matrix below; many MVNO brands today are in the dangerous "follower" space, especially those that do not have a defined MVNO marketing strategy. Some may try to come in at the Leader level, however this has its problems, the key being that it is expensive to maintain: you can find yourself at a monthly / quarterly review renewing media that just is not effective at selling because it is protecting your brand, you may also be even considering subsidies or at least a large amount of arbitrage/utilisation risk on your bundles to get here...

Virgin mobile entered as the challenger, and did not move into the leader position until maybe 2-3 Million customers when it essentially became and MNO brand of its host, began subsidising handsets, etc, etc.

MVNO Brand Values

Becoming a challenger is not hard: if at first you have defined your product and segmented your market, the brand and its values should not be hard, but check, do those value ring through? An overwhelming feedback in the latest MVNO conference in Paris, from Red Bull, NRJ, Bleip and more leading brand strategy MVNOs commented on one thing: NO SMALL PRINT. If your brand is simplicity, honesty, etc, small print goes against this. Most MVNOs win over the MNO on simplicity, if you look at the MVNO segmentation post. Does your MVNO product reflect your MVNO brand, is what you are doing new, or just rehashing what the MNO does???

Work these simple points out, and not only will your negotiations with your MNO and other partners be simpler, but your MVNO will benefit is acquisition and retention - in this sense, every MVNO is a brand MVNO!

Original MVNO and the Brand support page:

BRAND IDENTITY IN MOBILE SERVICES

For a brand to have any value it must mean something to the customer and to do so it needs to be exclusive. This is not compatible with trying to own all areas, sectors and parts of the market with just one brand, as most mobile operators do today. Because of this, most mobile operators' brands are all over this matrix. Note that successful MVNOs, like Virgin Mobile, started as a challenger and are now becoming brand leaders, whilst minimising any association with the "follower" values.
©Copyright 2001-2005 Christian Borrman, All Rights Reserved. Reproduction Prohibited

mvno from a customer acquisition perspective

MVNO from a Customer Acquisition Perspective

One thing that is often overlooked by MVNOs is to look at the MVNO from the customer's perspective. This is important, as one of the quickest routes to failed MVNO bin is to create a mini-me mobile network, as you essentially create a product that has no differentiation  but somebody else's version has much more marketing, retail presence, support, existing customers, etc.

The customer perspective is an important reminder if the fact that as an MVNO, while you are a partner of one MNO, you are a competitor of the other MNOs, other MVNOs on your host network, and more importantly, your host MNO if you are not careful. Why is this important? Never lose site of the fact that tmobile he wholesale business is all about acquire customers, a

MNO to the Customer

The MNO's routes to market before the MVNO were typically either direct, via a retail store, which may or may not be its own now and via a service provider, see the red and red/blue sections below. Essentially, for the MNO, the MVNO (and MVNA) has allowed the MNO to reach a wider customer base (grey section) than the MNO ordinarily would have. The MVNA is critical, as it is the "last mile" attracting the most niche markets. The triangular shape of the MVNA indicates how the MVNA is where the most bleeding edge activity is happening  such as micro-MVNOs with just a Facebook page, where the brand almost belongs to its customers, and customers may go from brand to brand.

MVNO to the customer

The MVNO to the customer route is important as the MVNO has to realise that, while they may have an angle to their niche, they also have strong competition from a) the network operators, who have shiny marketing, and b) that a customer is by now a complex beast, and other MVNOs and indeed, smaller niches from MVNAs may be equally attractive.

Moreover, it is important for the MNO and MVNO to be honest about which customers in a niche they are better at attracting and maintaining. You, the MVNO, may own a niche lock stock and smoking barrel, however by the time you get to a customer who wants a subsidised iPhone and unlimited texts, data and voice... its it not better to pass that customer on your your host MNO as a lead???? 

Customer to the MVNO

Why is the customer going to chose your product? If you just rebrand an MVNO, what value are you adding? Do not underestimate small value adds, sometimes the simplest things like customer care in your language is enough, and key: its a differentiator!

I reality, if we look at the grey customer section, it goes from niche on the far left, to mass market on the right.

Original MVNO from customer perspective page

MVNO DEFINED FROM A CUSTOMER PERSPECTIVE

To Fully understand the MVNO, and moreover Next Generation MVNOs, we have to look outside the legacy network led definitions of an MVNO, as an MVNO is customer driven, and therefore business driven business model. From a customer perspective both the MNO and the MVNO are their "Network Provider". That is Virgin Mobile is seen to its customer as their network provider, not the host MNO, just as an MNO is seen as a network provider. The benefit here for the MNO is sales without marketing spend, but more often than not sales the MNO was unlikely to reach on its own.
A service provider, or airtime provider would be like Martin Dawes in the UK for example, which was one of the originally mandated airtime providers in the UK; here, both the host 'MNO' and the 'Service Provider' are seen to provide the service to the customer. This was sometimes confusing, and of little value-add to the customer, with the only differentiation coming in the shape of price and maybe some differentiated billing. In general however, the customer seems to prefer a single brand. The same is the case for the "powered by" model - the customer does not care  which MNO powered their MVNO, they have already chosen their "network". Hence Virgin Mobile being voted the best network every year in a row since launch in the UK. Similarly, there would be little value in the MVNE and MVNO brand being apparent to the customer.
©Copyright 2001-2005 Christian Borrman, All Rights Reserved. Reproduction Prohibited

Monday, 21 May 2012

VAS, Facebook and the MVNO continued...

VAS MVNO, Facebook MVNO

As many of you will know, I feel quite passionately about VAS and the MVNO. This is not just an obsession, its just a realisation that any good business needs a tie-in, a value-add, a "something" that means it does not sell on price alone, and so when a newer, shinier competitor comes along, in order of preference the customer goes:
  1. ah, but, does shiny new things do, this? no, thought not - high value - major competitive advantage
  2. I would have to change the way I do all my...(insert VAS here) to work with the new service, medium value - useful advantage
  3. I would have to update all my details, low value - would just be a pain to move, like moving bank account or electricity provider
The problem is, most MVNOs, and even some MNOs are not even on point 3 level of VAS.

So why not? well there is a list of reasons why from a legacy perspective this was the case, however things are changing

The usual ways to leverage data was content, content, content. were an expensive portal, streaming video, etc, etc. These days are gone, and the proof is the above. Indeed the days were never there, the amount of conferences I have chaired, attended and spoken at where "content" was the supposed issue, and all I could say was, customers have content: its emails (blackberry proved this to be the case!) and the web in general, but on the mobile. 

Facebook is driving MVNO

The proof is hand is this article: showing that facebook access from mobile has now surpassed computer access. I am honestly not surprised. In fact, in app development focus groups even 3 years back, we saw that a good mobile app, like only apple had at the time (an app that did not look like a mobile web browser, allowed upload of images and push notifications, chat) managed to completely shift usage of Facebook from computer to mobile, while more basic ones and now the very good mobile web experience manage to take a good deal of it.

The reasons for this are multiple, 
  • many people do not have access to unrestricted internet access or facebook at work
  • most of those who do would rather not be seen using facebook at work
  • using Facebook on a PC raises probably more privacy issues as computers tend to be shared more and have more browsing history that people may not want plundering so facebook can make more advertising revenue
  • the key one however is convenience, Facebook, and indeed our digital lives, are now round the clock, constant streams of info, updates, feeds, chats and more: mobile just suits this better, whether its from a web browser or an app

VAS is driving MVNO data

In fact, everything that is driving MNO data, is driving MVNO data, unless as an MVNO you make data difficult, like by not having the world's most advanced OTA data APN settings :).

The key is, with it being so simple to get this working, why are so many MVNOs still rendering themselves as a low value, sim-swapping bitpipe when all they need to do is get APN settings set-up, and some simple data tariffs. As we have seen, most users are using less than 100mb per month anyway as per my previous article on this blog, and as per my blog on Apps and App stores showing that even the most basic MVNO type handsets that many MVNOs perceive their user base is using, which means MVNOs can still be very competitive with the average data prices I am seeing while negotiating MVNO agreements (at least the prices I have seen in the last 3-5 years) and/or ones that could be easily and quickly agreed with an MVNO if approached with a plan around social networking, rather than the usual "I need cheaper prices" routine :)


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If you want to discuss how you can enable data revenues for your MVNO or MNO wholesale department then use the contactify link at the top right of this page and get in touch

Tuesday, 7 February 2012

MVNO VAS

VAS or Value Added Services were once the darling of planet MNO mobile operator, to some extend they still are, only now we seem to have forgotten all the original VAS and just focus on thenew ones like app stores. Then along came the MVNO, the new darling of Mobile, then it went from retail to wholesale and in the fracas we seem to have lost Value Added Services in the MVNO space.

There are a few reasons for this:


Click here to read on

Monday, 23 January 2012

Mobile Roaming Conference Chair's Digest 2011

Mobile Roaming 2011 Digest

The Mobile Roaming Conference was also a great event, and a very successful one too, with a packed schedule of presentations, and a great story built as the presentations moved through the day: starting with the issues, then following with some great case studies and then other strategies for maximising roaming revenue, and making roaming as efficient as possible, from centralising roaming to hubbing to wholesale as part of the roaming strategy... To boot the Hotel was great and the bar proved popular afterwards... so I hear, anyway :)

Roamaing Conference Overview

For those of you who just want the low down, in a few bullets:
  • It may be no surprise that volume is increasing as margins are decreasing...
  • Data is growing, VAS is growing, voice and SMS is shrinking, just like retail
  • Roaming and Wholesale are merging
  • We had a great presentation and case study on roaming segmentation which saw a 35% increase in usage, 21% increase in revenue and 13% increase in margin
  • EC Roaming regulations require huge amounts of caffeine to sit through... more below
  • The IPX is central to CDMA but not yet GSM VAS
  • Centralised group roaming departments are doing more group level agreements in a month that they previously did on a country level in a year!

Roaming Conference Presentations:

Here are the bullet point “highlights”:
  • As volumes increase but margins decrease things have to change: centralisation, segmentation, more attention to settlement, centralised negotiations by group volume and hubbing...
  • The bilateral "spaghetti" model is moving to a more centralised, hubbed "cannelloni" model (yes that second analogy was used).
  • Downsizing can just be migrating of smaller routes...
  • Data is growing and some interesting VAS were emerging, such a service specific, i.e. Facebook and Twitter daily bundles for example...
  • Data is still nowhere near as high as it should be as many just turn data roaming off as the smartphone takes grip, even so it is the growing trend: engaging the "sleeper roamer"! 
  • 40% of travellers do not roam at all...
  • Thank you messages work... why just AoC roaming welcome messages
  • There were a couple of differing views on the EC roaming regulation, especially round the single IMSI, single IMSI breakout or dual IMSI approach... to be honest it is quite clear to me who will go which way (MNOs, MVNOs and hubs), but there is plenty to debate here.
  • An interesting point of view was the fact that the breakout model will just drive global revenues to silicon valley, i.e. the Google mobile revenue fund and the Apple mobile revenue share fund
  • There is an inbound vs outbound and how bundles should or could make their way from retail into wholesale. We already see it (and very successful!) with some MNOs and MVNOs (we have enabled a few services via the Roaming Welcome message AoC so can see).
  • 15% of roaming traffic from one operator was identified as "honey moon" traffic... let's hope it was to elate on happiness and not seek council...
  • hubbing not only sees synergies in efficiency, but also revenue assurance!
  • MVNOs will drive hub adoption, especially with two month compliance for roaming access in EU roaming regulations
  • An analogy was likening the Roaming market to an aviation analogy: air miles, code sharing and alliances are the way forward... there is something in it, though I am not expecting a movie with George Clooney about mobile roaming points anytime soon...
  • Airline similarities continue obviously as roaming revenues track airline travel increase... and airline traffic is still growing
  • Wholesale is seen a key way to attract the 40% who do not roam at all as well as other "sleeper revenue", VAS is seen as way to get both wholesale and own roaming revenues up, the latter also cannot argue with the stats on segmentation (the former segments itself generally).

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...

Thursday, 12 January 2012

MVNO in a Box

MVNO in a box

Readmade MVNO, by ACME

The MVNO in a box has changed, so what has changed? Well, the starting point, not the end point: there are MVNAs now that start at €1,000, ok you still need to market the product, pack the SIMs, distribute them and more, but it's still a low starting point and this is important: you are not necessarily going to carry on and expand with this solution, but the starting point is low enough for more to come through, refine the service and the product, learn a bit more about mobile, etc before then going back to the MVNE or MNO table with a refined plan and some actual numbers. This is important for four key factors:
  1. Fewer MVNOs failing to ever get to market or going bust getting there
  2. Better services: there are people who know services and there are people who know mobile, that canyon is very seldom bridged, zip wired, and sometimes not even crossed!
  3. possibility of funding: the amount of potential MVNOs I and the MNOs speak to that are looking for funding is huge: huge because there are many, and huge because they very, very seldom get funded as you have half of the funders fed crap from people who pretend to know MVNOs saying they cost £5-10 million, and those that do understand just will not take the MVNE/MNO risk or stomach the unkowns through due diligence: a small going concern is differnt
  4. they will stop people competing on price: so many MVNOs start with a value proposition, and a conviction that the MVNO will take 6-12 months less time that it actually does... 6-12 months later they tend to descope services to launch quicker and the first to go are the Value Added Services... and so they compete on price. One thing is clear - a €1,000 MVNA is not going to permit you the lazy luxury (lazy as competing on price is just the most expensive marketing and product development you can do) to sell on price - you are going to have to sell on service. There are also fewer SIMs, so you are not going to waste them: this means making sure you charge for a SIM, only sell it to someone who wants it and sell it at a profit... All failed MVNOs that did not fail because they were silly ideas or other high risks fail by a) cutting VAS, b) giving away SIMs, c) selling on price.

MVNE vs MVNA

The end point is still the same: use your MVNO in a box if it allows you to prove a live concept with the same budget you were previously going to use to explore or prove a concept with (research, reports, etc). Then take a refined trial service and apply the below logic from my post of last year to an MVNE / MNO proposition, which if good, will not come "in a box" but will need some hard work, but it will be hard work you will find the MNO or MVNE very willing to help you with!

Original MVNO in a box article 2011

I have just been through the MVNO Industry Summit Linkedin group and been on a rant! Why? The first was someone asking if anyone if anybody had an MVNO in a box solution. OK: the MVNO has come a long way, the first one took several years, and to be honest, my shortest engagement on an MVNO has been 6 month, and that is when I have joined at least double that time into the process, and I have managed to accelerate the process by at least 4-5 months. MVNOs, along with app stores, are the single most complex products you can launch in mobile, and the technical parts working are just the start. Forget "in a box" and think, what is my box that I will tick in the market. At present, if you look at the mobile consumer as a whole, probably only 5% to 10% of mobile consumers could actually buy a product "in a box" The most part buy a mix of device matched with an almost bespoke tariff, term, contract and other extras, bolt-ons and more, let's not even begin with accessories, ring-tones and the like. Therefore, if you want an "MVNO in a box" think more about if your product that is simple and relevant enough that i would enable a significant market of consumers to buy your product "out of the box". you will then be of enough interest to the market and an MNO that your "mvno solution in a box" worries will practically go away!

originally posted by Christian Borrman 18:50pm 04/03/11