Showing posts with label Mobile Virtual Network Operator. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Mobile Virtual Network Operator. Show all posts

Thursday, 11 July 2013

MVNO Conference 2013 Rome LTE MVNO opportunity

I though I would share my slide and thoughts on LTE and the MVNO, having written many of the requirements, negotiated a major full MVNO with LTE and now building the full LTE MVNO, here in the UK for yet another FTSE 100 company entering mobile.
The Opportiunities for LTE in MVNO and LTE wholesale are huge
I feel in a strong position to talk about the opportunity because I have negotiated a lot of MVNO agreements over the last 10 years across mostly Europe, which has seen the advent of 2G MVNO and 3G MVNO and its contractual, organisational and other issues. Also because at Virtuser we run a lot of value added services for MVNOs, like top-up over SMS and OTA data settings for MVNOs so we see what handsets are being used, what data propositions are being used and other first hand experience of not just walking the talk, but walking the walk, to use the consulting analogy (consultants are often accused of only being able to talk the talk, or at most talk the walk :))
In assessing the LTE MVNO opportunity, we need to look at the facts, not 3G+
Its important that we look at the facts when assessing the LTE opportunity and not make the 3G mistakes, not only on the commercial proposition side, but also from a network and business side. That is: its clear that 4G handsets are slower in uptake than 3G, and that so far this service, as such, commands a premium over 3G. We also know that data currently represents high double digits percentages of network running costs (87% in the case of a major MNO in the UK) but no where near these levels of revenues. We also know that while mobile data costs in the region of 5X the cost to provision, it does not command a yield price 5X that of fixed broadband data due to strong competition on the MNO retail market... Wholesale therefore is a significant opportunity for MNOs and MVNOs to charge the higher yields and returns to MNOs and MVNOs alike in this space. This will require the MNOs, and their notorious contracts to adapt and enable all new MVNOs with "4G ready" status.
Please can we not see MVNOs still launching with 3G SIM cards 7 years from now like with 3G
 I was still negotiating 2G SIM card deals for MVNOs in 2007, 7 years after 3G! All new MVNOs should be 4G ready MVNO or LTE ready MVNOs, however you wish to call this. This means 4G MVNO SIMs, but also 4G LTE MVNO on the MNO roadmap, in the commercial contracts and support services.
4G has had a lot of marketing spend and will be big, but a 4G MVNO campaign does not need  huge spend
A lot of marketing money has been spent on 4G and it will be big, but that does not mean 4G MVNO marketing needs to be big. Sure, EE has spent tens of millions, if not hundreds, on Kevin Bacon on prime TV ATL campaign... but they also launched #OM4G around the social networks and hit exactly the same audience for the cost of a couple of your marketing execs and some creative freedom free of corporate risk constraints (unlikely in an MNO :)) Data MVNOs like Bliep* launched and grew almost entirely on Twitter. Cheap marketing and a niche = low SAC, the mainstay of wholesale. add the fact that MVNOs are generally attracting a higher yield for their data and we have an ideal scenario for 4G to pull us out of the 3G hell we have, where heavy competition and unlimited packages mean 5% of the users are using 95% of the data and nobody can get a fast connection when they need it, reliably at least.
Clever Twitter and social marketing by MVNOs that is too risky for MNOs can hit at core 4G data market with low SAC
So the dawn of clever MVNO marketing is already here, and shifting the focus of MVNO marketing spend from being like MNO spend (mainly ATL with some dabbling elsewhere) to very experimental, experiential and social marketing... exactly what internet savvy 4G target market consumes. So no need for an overcomplicated six degrees of separation to attract a market and generation who are more 4G aspirational than 4G ready.
So you got past 4G and LTE contractual, MNO roadmap and other issues: is your MVNO platforms operationally ready?
Many MVNOs today have 3G, however nobody uses it as they are obsessed with competing with MNO bundles. The fact is that 50% of UK smartfone users use less than 100mb of data, and the rest use around 200mb. That means that by paying as much as 5p to 10p per megabyte on an MVNO, these users will be better off than getting an unlimited MNO tariff. What is more, the host MNO is better off, as retail yields are around ten times less than this. The MVNO is better off, as these data revenues are what shifts MVNOs form what I call a "£10 minus ARPU MVNO" to a "£10 plus ARPU MVNO".

By enabling the most advanced OTA MVNO data settings on the market we have seen huge growth in data usage in even markets which the MVNO would never assume they could generate usage.
The key issues around negotiating LTE MVNO and getting an MVNO 4G ready

The back-end is still critical, even the slickest MVNO architecture from tier 1 providers does not come with the back-end to enable MVNO friendly OTA and APN data settings, some of them incur up to 50% of customer care calls, which at an average of around £4.50 cost to an MVNO of a customer care call today, can easily wipe out the increased ARPU from data, and even all the profit from a user. Finally, the proposition needs to work. From running the SMS tariff top-ups form MVNOs we have great insight to the propositions MVNO customers actually buy, and they are very different from what most MNO propositions are, and a world away from the tizzy that MVNO management and proposition consultants can whip themselves into.
Every informative case study should end with a shameless plug for our services Virtuser MVNO consultancy :)

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.

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...