by Mo Firouzabadian
Typically seen as the scrappy younger contender to the more traditional larger players in the telecommunications sector, Mobile Virtual Network Operators, or MVNOs as they are commonly known, have long challenged the current market setup. However, having only made incremental gains over the years, many MVNOs now look set to see their fortunes change significantly. This year more than any other, appears to be heralding a significant step change for MVNOs as they find themselves the potential saviours of a burgeoning telecoms sector. One which so far has been unable to move swiftly enough to serve the changing customer needs impacted by Covid and the cost-of-living crisis, says Mo Firouzabadian, CEO, Lifecycle Software.
With the ongoing rise in food and energy prices hitting a 40 year high and inflation edging towards double figures in the UK, many consumers are understandably choosing to tighten their belts, hoping to spend less on much-needed public services. However, with Covid accelerating the work-from-home culture and hybrid set-ups becoming a permanent part of many companies’ day-to-day operations, lots of consumers have found themselves more reliant on their mobile services than ever. Consequently, the public’s use of data services has rocketed.
Perhaps unsurprisingly, a recent survey from Cable.co.uk put the UK in 59th place for mobile data costs, with 1GB of data coming in at an average cost of $0.79. Although this makes data more expensive than European neighbours Italy ($0.12) and France ($0.23), it’s still significantly cheaper to buy data in the UK than in all the Northern American countries. Faced with consumers expecting more from their digital experience for less, MVNOs more than any other group in the telecoms sector seem uniquely placed to adapt to these new demands, especially if they can streamline operations to bring data costs down across the telecom order to cash process.
With MVNOs able to pivot their service offerings at speed, they are perfectly poised to address the emergence of a new set of customer mobile behaviours and demands, where consumers are now expecting more diverse, differentiated, and value-added services. Customers are continually engaging online in new ways, with streaming services, gaming, video conferencing and more becoming part of everyday activity. What puts MVNOs at the forefront of the sector is their ‘digital first’ mindset alongside their customised approach, which when combined also serves to deliver a highly effective financial proposition.
MVNOs have long been able to leverage the latest technological breakthroughs, enabling them to offer some of the best value deals in the market to their customer base. Alongside this, they have chosen to cater to sectors of the market seemingly abandoned by the larger players, such as SMEs, and younger and older market segments that have more specific needs from their network operators.
This has resulted in MVNOs laying the necessary foundations needed to corner parts of the market while slowly destabilising the stranglehold the larger more traditional telco players have had to date. Now with the added pressure for more mobile and data services at affordable prices, trust is growing amongst consumers and any remaining potential customers are sitting up and taking note of the fact that the MVNO offering might be a very real and better value proposition.
Read the full article on Vanilla Plus, The Global Voice of Telecoms IT.