Showing posts with label MVNO APN Settings. Show all posts
Showing posts with label MVNO APN Settings. Show all posts

Friday, 22 April 2016

MVNO World Congress 2015 Pre Conference Workshop Part 2 - MVNO Data


Following up on the post 2016 MVNO World Congress  on the 2015 pre conference workshop, we have part 2, following Part 1 Mobile Marketing
Data is hard for MVNOs to sell effectively, as there are many hurdles, but good loyalty and revenue rewards those that do.
The biggest hurdle for any new MVNO is overcoming the same issue of the previous section on marketing: its the schizophrenic frankenstein approach. 
Your data package will vary if you are pre-pay, postpay or with an MVNO on MNO
The reality is that data bundles vary substantially if you are with an MNO, MVNO, prepaid or postpaid, and as such an MVNO data should vary. In reality, most pre-pay and MVNO customer s I have access to data for, use a lot less data than their postpaid counterparts, and there is a reason for this: if you are being charged for more data than you use, you will tend to learn to "abuse" data, whereas is you pay for what you use you tend to be more frugal.
Don't do it!

The is also a strange dichotomy whereby while mobile data requirements are going up on the one hand, wifi offload, wifi coverage, wifi speed and availability is also going up and giving way to "snacking" whereby frugal, light and moderate use of pay for what you use data at a premium price, can still be cheaper than "supersize" bundles that are throttled at some point anyway.

The second big issue for MVNOs is data configuration. We have been doing OTA APN data configuration specifically for MVNOs longer than anybody at Virtuser and know the pitfalls, especially when i comes to user experience, as we started out enabling apps for Nokia with their PR and Marketing agencies in 2006, and it was critical that the user experience was right.
Get the user experience for data for MVNOs wrong and it will be a disaster no matter what the bundle, package or need!
You need to get data working in as few clicks possible, and with a uniform as possible experience across all devices to a) keep customers, and b) minimise failures, but most of all c) minimise customer support; which is both a cost and a terrible customer experience in one.
Too many steps to configure data means too many points for failure, terrible customer experience and an unhappy customer
Above is the experience of the same ex MVNO with one service, and below with another... guess which one is ours and which is more effective :)
Simple data configuration is key to an MVNO
Apart from a bit of a plug of a service we spent 5 years developing to get right, the key is to remember than MNOs have this done automatically and so you, and an MVNO, are already starting with a disadvantage in terms of pain of adoption: keep it simple and get it right...

On top of this I would add the element of looking at wifi to complement your business, as the MNOs have done as well. In the long run it will keep your MNO happy, as:
  1.  you do not want to have the discussion with your MNO at the monthly operational meeting where X% of the MNO's network data hoggers are on your MVNO: just trust me on this one!
  2. keep the network, service and price for people prepared to pay for what they use and you are able to allow them to get what they pay for, which keeps the pressure on cost down.
  3. nothing is more "cannibalising" to an MNO than points 1. and 2. above!
  4. data can have the highest utilisation of any bundles if you get the product / price / positioning wrong
I have not covered all the points of the workshop, but a quick resume of other points are
  1. Have an app for data usage, as well as other usage, which shows actual usage and value and gains trust
  2. Never, ever, offer a throttled service: if you need an asterisk and footnotes, don't sell it
  3. Make the rest of the customer experience easy. An MNO has unlimited bundles that need limiting. There are however a lot of customers out there that are happy to pay for the data they use, as long as it is not throttled, and MVNOs can often end up with some very lucrative high end users.
A final addition is the one of eSIMs, which was presented in the 2016 MVNO World Conference the day I chaired this year. eSIMs are in many devices now, such as iPads and soon rumoured iPhones, and a host of devices coming out soon. You will also need to be able to SIM OTA, which you can do with advanced MVNEs such as the one I built  but not many do; which means yet another service to integrate, pay for, another relationship to managed, etc. etc.

Friday, 26 September 2014

Driving effective data revenue and reducing cost to serve MVNO

Well it has been a while since my last post, but I have been in the thick of working with major FSTE, NASDAQ, AIM and other quoted MVNOs and would be MVNOs and its difficult to blog when you are dealing with sensitive work, especially when a person on a team from another consultancy who shall remain nameless spreads rumours that you may have published the MVNO marketing strategy on your blog but failed to notice the post was from 2 years previous to even working with them :). Well done that man!

So, this post is about two critical points of being a successful MVNO and how this can be easily achieved in today's major trend for growth, and to publish some slides on the point that I presented back at the MVNO Dynamics London event earlier this year, those of you who attended will already have this presentation and heard it live.
Presentation originally done at
We have been building MVNOs for longer than anybody out there and seen all the trends, from international voice to SMS and now data is taking another surge. With each new surge comes problems, as wholesale generally follows a second wave on raw material costs (in this case wholesale data rates) and has to deal with "me too" and "mass market" customer issues without usually having thousands of staff and retail stores to absorb (and hide the true cost) to serve this mass market.
Virtuser has been doing MVNOs longer than anybody; we have seen all the trends come and grow! (go) 
Just a brief history of how we got here. We do not just do MVNOs, we have also done a lot of mobile apps and mobile app stores for the likes of Nokia, Vodafone, Telefonica and more. We enable the world's first OTA distribution for specific handsets, the worlds first mass distributed apps and the worlds first Cloud based service sending our now competitors' OTA settings. We started doing our own settings when our clients were disappointed at the poor (30% to 40%) success rate of the standard OTA settings profile. We are still seeing this today where static OMA Alliance settings are sent.
We understand the full 360 of mobile data and MVNOs better than anybody; and this shows in the quality of our OTA
There are two critical points therefore in enabling data revenues - First you need to get the right settings easily on the handset, MVNO APNs do not generally come on a handset, as MVNOs do not buy nor subsidise handsets on mass, so you are stuck with OTA or "over the Air" configurations, but not all settings are created equal. In the old days they were all send by SMS, but handset fragmentation has meant that there are multiple ways depending on the device OS
Static OMA Alliance settings are only 40% to 50% effective, and create a huge cost to serve burden. the average MVNO customer care call for MVNOs in the UK is around £4!
Furthermore this is compounded by different versions of OS having different OTA experiences. Some of our competitors started using mobile apps to configure phones back in 2010 in the aftermath of the "app boom". however our work with mobile apps and mobile apps stores had taught us a few things the main one being that while mobile apps maybe mainstream, a very large proportion of smartphone users still get someone else to load and install apps for them, or do not download them at all.
The user experience of a previous client using standard OMA alliance static settings
Even if you do stick to standard SMS, you should never use a commercial SMS gateway, but if you do go for high quality over costs and do a huge amount of testing, as we can see here the character set was causing the OTA link to fail, after the customer had been forced onto a computer, to enter the phone number, incur and SMS, then for nothing... what will this customer do? call you call centre and cost you probably more than you earn in profit from them in 1 to 2 months!
Having worked extensively on MNO and MVNO data revenue driving initiatives we understand the importance of 3 clicks!
You should never have a data enabling service that means the experience varies significantly from device to device, nor any experience that takes more than 3 clicks if you want it to drive mass adoption. So this is what Virtuser has done with the OTA APN settings, and created the most advanced APN data settings available.
The same client user experience on Virtuser; the real cost is only found in the end result!
Its simple, keep it simple, but most off all keep the experience as uniform as possible across devices, as a) people change handsets or have multiple handsets on different OS and b) they usually ask someone for help, who may well have a different OS.
The results of good user Experience, uniform service, and bespoke settings for thousands of handset/OS combinations built on the fly (the most advanced OTA APN platform) is significantly increased data revenues and an affordable cost to serve.
If you serve dynamic settings, in an automated but controlled fashon, with a uniform and well thought out manner then the benefits are huge and data traffic is presently in the 100s of Mb per user per month in MVNOs across the developed world, so what are you waiting for???

We have been a trusted advisor and service provider of the most successful MVNOs, MVNEs, MVNAs and MNOs for over 13 years, and stepped in to do this presentation at the last moment when the planned speaker let Ramy and MVNO dynamics down at the last moment. Obviously Ramy knew who to call; if you want the best data settings, are thinking of becoming an MVNO or just want the presentation in full (I have cut our some operational slides) then you can see more on the Virtuser OTA APN Settings page or contact me to discuss either via this page (middle right of this page) or via the Virtuser Mobile OTA APN website.