MVNO Glossary

MVNO and related technology glossary

Help Navigating the mobile virtual network tech-speak soup

A table of terms, acronyms and abbreviations used in this site and other sites in this series, which may be of use when reading this and related sites.

2G2nd Generation Mobile Networks: circuit switched voice and data
2.5GEvolution of 2G to give packet data in the shape of GPRS and later EDGE
3G3rd Generation Mobile Networks, syncronised voice and video
3.5GEvolution of 3G UMTS in the shape of HSDPA, finally giving the 3G speeds often promised

4th Generation Networks; another evolution of mobile and wireless to fixed internet speeds: Requires slightly different architecture (evolved HLR, MSC, GGSN into HSS, IMS and PG-W)
5G is 5th Generation mobile, reusing some of the 2G, 3G bands as well as some other spectrum like old TV and Radio wavelengths and those used for backhaul like the 3.5Ghz and 26Ghz old microwave links otherwise known as Fixed Wireless Access 3.5Ghz and 26Ghz bands to create faster data still.

802.11a,b,g,n & y
WLAN or Wi-FI standard with letters being evolutions thereof; currently pre-n
802.16d,e & yEssentially WiMAX and evolutions thereof
APNAccess Point Name; name or address in GPRS access: e.g "Orange WAP"
ADSLAsymmetric Digital Subscriber Line: broadband
ARPUAverage Revenue per User; Longer term KPI for mobile networks, the key metric on which and MVNO is judged after Subscriber Acquisition Cost (SAC)
BANBody Area Network: e.g a bluetooth heart-rate monitor and GPS connected to your phone
BSC/RNCBase Station or Radio Network Controller
BSSBilling Support Systems
CAGRCompound Annual Growth Rate
CAPEXCapital Expenditure
CDMACode Division Multiple Access
CDRCustomer Data Record: a data file with billing data for each voice or data transaction
CFGCharging Gateway Function
Cloud MVNO/E      
Competitive Local Exchange Carrier
MVNO/E infrastructure installed on cloud (bare metal cloud) based infrastructure

CRMCustomer Relationship Management
DECTDigital Enhanced Cordless Telecommunications (European cordless phone standard)
DMSPDiscount Mobile Service Provider
DSLDigital Subscriber Line
DVB-H (-T, -C, -S)Digital Video Broadband for Handhelds (-Terrestrial, -Cable, -Satellite)
EBPPElectronic Bill Presentation and Payment
EDGEEnhanced Data for GSM Evolution
Equipment Identity Register: database in mobile network of IMEIs
Embedded SIM that is directly on the board of the phone or other device, rather than a SIM slot and a SIM inserted or removed. Configured over the air via SM-SR(+) or SMDP(+)
ESPsEnhanced Service Providers
EU / ECEuropean Union and the European Commission, reference here as they have been critical in pushing down roaming fees across European borders, making way for the wider "roam like at home" type services we now have.
EVDOEvolution Data Only (CDMA)
OFDMOrthogonal Frequency Division Multiplexing
4FF, 3FF, 2FF
Fixed-Mobile Convergence
Sim card sizes: 4FF being nano-SIM (iphone5, etc) 3FF being micro-SIM (iPhone4) 2FF is original mini-SIM (iphone2,3, etc)
P-GW/ GGSNPacket Gateway GPRS Support Node, will need as a Full MVNO, ESP usually MNO hosts this and the SGSN obviously. In Full MVNO, MNO host still has SGSN. 
GPRSGeneral Packet Radio Service, genereal term for 2G and beyond packet switched rather than circuit switched data in MVNO contracts especially
GPSGlobal Positioning System
GSMGlobal System for Mobile Communications, the de facto mobile standard, rival CDMA did not really take-off and in countries with both services, wholesale prices for GSM are higher, CDMA cheaper
HSS / HLRHome Location Register, originally Ofcom decided an MVNO needs / should have one, however this was really unfounded and an HLR, although just a database, is a complex peice of equipment that an MNO is generally better running for the MVNO
HSCSDHigh-Speed Circuit-Switched Data
HSDPAHigh-Speed Downlink Packet Access
ICTInformation and Communication Technologies
iDENIntegrated Digital Enhanced Network (Motorola variant of TDMA wireless)
IMEIInternational Equipment Identity; serial number for mobile phones, registered in EIR on HLR
IMSIP Multimedia Subsystem, how 4G advanced services will eventually be managed (edit: are now managed!)
IMSIInternational Mobile Subscriber Identity; SIM card Network specific ID
IMInstant Messaging
IOT (Clearing)

IoT (M2M)
Inter-operator Tariff, what operators agree to settle to each other for roaming, generally dependent on volume, they can be billateral or unilateral if you have no traffic to return. 
Internet of Things, often confused for just thing on the internet :) New name for M2M basically connecting devices that need to send and receive mobile data.
IPInternet Protocol
IPDCIP Datacasting
ISDNIntegrated Services Digital Network
ISPInternet Service Provider
KPIKey Performance Indicator
Local Area Network
Long Term Evolution (post 3G Definition that was supposed to replace the continuous 4G, 5G, 6G... but the latter sells handsets better so xG it is ...)
M2MMachine to Machine; Telemerty, monitoring vehicles, containers, vending machines, electricity meters, etc. via the mobile network
MMSMultimedia Messaging, and SMS with an image/video attached
MNOMobile Network Operator
MSCMobile Switching Center, the main "switch" in a mobile network
MSPMobile Service Provider
MVNAMobile Virtual Network Aggregator, resells its own MVNO agreement
MVNEMobile Virtual Network Enabler, resells its MNO-MVNO agreement
MVNOMobile Virtual Network Operator, has an agreement to sell its MVNO agreement 
NFCNear Field Communication; short range radio ID, mostly used for payment services in MVNOs
NRANational Regulatory Authority
OEMOriginal Equipment Manufacturer
ODPOn Device Portal; mobile application for managing access to information and services
ODMsOriginal Device Manufacturers
OMAOpen Mobile Alliance
OPEXOperating Expenditure
OSSOperational Support System
PDAPersonal Digital Assistant
PIMPersonal Information Management (calendar, contacts, notes, reminders, etc)
P2PPeer to Peer; transmission from client to client (rather than client server client, client to server)
PoSPoint of Sale; equipment used to charge a customer at a physical point of sale
PPMPrice per Minute
PSTNPublic Switched Telephone Network
PTTPush to Talk; usually assumes Nextel pioneered model, using another radio frequency
PTToC, PoC, P2CPush to Talk over Cellular: PTT using celular as opposed to other radio network
PVRPersonal Video Recorder (device that schedules and records video, usually TV)
QoSQuality of Service; essential for delivery voice over internet and/or realtime applications
RFIDRadio Frequency ID (Identification)
ROIReturn on Investment
SACSubscriber Acquisition Costs, the cost of getting a user on your network - if you do not know this, and why you can do cheaper than your MNO for your chosen market, your meeting is likely to be rather short! basically equal cost of sale: Physical SIM, SIM pack, commissions, distribution costs, etc.
SGSNServing GPRS Support Node, the main mobile data "box" in the MNO network
SIMSubscriber Identity Module, used to authenticate users in GSM networks; presently mini-SIM (2FF/iPhone 3), micro-SIM (3FF/Iphone4), nano-SIM (4FF /iPhone5)
SISystems Integrator: who will plug together your full MVNO
SIPSession Initiation Protocol
Service Level Agreement
Subscription Manager Data Preparation: A method of sending eSIM configurations used for eSIMs in devices mostly managed by humans (phones, tablets, etc)
SMESmall to Medium Enterprise
SMPSignificant Market Power
Short Messaging Service; text messaging
Subscription Manager - Secure Routing: a Method of adding a SIM profile to an eSIM, used mostly for IoT / M2M devices without human interaction needed.
SOHOSmall Office, Home Office; customer segmentation grouping, smaller than SME
SPService Providers, people who sold mobile connections in the pre MVNO days
TSPTelematics Service Provider
UMAUnlicensed Mobile Access
UMTSUniversal Mobile Telecommunications System
UWBUltra Wide Band; short range data standard to be incorporated into Bluetooth
VoIPVoice over Internet Protocol
VPNVirtual Private Network
WAPWireless Application Protocol
WCDMAWideband Code Division Multiple Access
WibreeLow powershort range data standard to be incorporated into Bluetooth
WiMAXWorldwide Interoperability for Microwave Access; often assciated with WMAN
WLAN, Wi-FiWireless Local Area Network; also Wi-Fi (Wireless Fidelity)
WMANWireless Metropolitan Area Network
WWANWireless Wide Area Network
YEYear End

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