Signal to Noise: MVNO Learnings

Three takeaways on MVNOs, in light of the COVID-19 disruption

Courtesy of the Covid-19 pandemic, a radical digital transformation is underway across all sectors globally and the MVNO (Mobile Virtual Network Operator) space is no exception. Throughout the pandemic, telecommunication services soared as society felt the need to be more connected than ever. Technology allowed us to stay in touch, conduct business meetings, attend school and global conferences virtually! This disruption puts pressure on MVNOs to get creative and raise the bar moving forward.

Digital is an increasing part of our life and has grown tremendously since the onset of COVID-19, accelerating a trend already in motion. We always ordered fast food from the comfort of our couch, now we get groceries delivered to our door, open bank accounts and even sign contracts from the privacy of our homes. It is effortlessly seamless! Would we ever give up this convenience and go back to the old ways?

I don’t think so.

Our recent report on the GCC MVNO sector, paves the way for a better understanding of the current MVNO landscape, how it has been impacted by COVID-19 and the new licenses being offered. The study also gives actionable recommendations on how telcos can amplify their services and benefit from emerging opportunities.


With this increase in connectivity, comes the need for reliable internet services, not only for the residential market because of distance learning and video conferences, but also in the wireless space as restrictions are eased and mobility resumes. As you can tell, consumer expectations are on the rise, drastically!

MVNOs segment the market through their value proposition and increase healthy competition, providing targeted services, along with tailored packages that traditional telcos are unable to match due to their massive scale. Regulators like to promote MVNOs as that introduces variety and competition to the market, ultimately bringing value to consumers and creating much needed jobs.

The Missed Call

With an increased demand for data, limited impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, and more reliance on a digital future; clearly the stage was set for telcos to innovate and set the bar high within the industry.

But, let’s be honest here, this opportunity can be easily missed by key market players if they don’t introduce emerging technologies and innovative services to optimize and enhance their customer experience. Global giants Facebook, Amazon, Apple, Netflix and Google (the FAANGs) created ubiquitous experiences for consumers, and were joined by emerging players like Zoom, Epic Games and others in quickly adapting to the new reality across all consumer demographics and tiers.

MVNO can now develop digital propositions that focus on simplifying user experience in line with current standards. It’s time to advance the sector and use emerging technologies to their maximum potential with cognitive chatbots running virtual call centers, innovative tariff plans for a hybrid work-from-home prosumer and even developing offerings for enterprises to operate safely, effectively and everywhere.

Let’s go back to the drawing board and redesign the blueprints.

Emergency Call

The lockdown inspired brands to get creative. Products are being pushed through new experiences such as Instagram Live fitness and cooking classes and VR-based experiences for work (Interiors designers and architects, kudos!).

With this sudden surge in digital adoption, can current networks withstand the sustained pressure?

5G comes to the rescue, enabling us to download movies in seconds, communicate with other cars on the road as autonomous driving becomes a necessity, control remote devices in hazardous environments, all while maintaining cost efficiency and economies of scale!

5G brings a much-needed relief to this increase in demand, and MVNOs take the pain of serving niche segments away from traditional telcos, allowing them to monetize their existing infrastructure while focusing on their 5G networks buildout.

Before We Hang Up

The future is here to stay, and we all have an important role to play.

Regulators should open up the markets to healthy competition, reduce barriers to entry and use the opportunity to promote MVNOs with the rest of the developed world.

For traditional telcos, it is definitely Business Unusual, hence the need to embrace change and harness partnership in a way to rescue their bottom lines and survive disruption.

Last but not least, MVNOs can be fearless in capitalizing on the opportunity to play a bigger role in this ever-changing landscape. Their entrepreneurial spirit, courage and agility will ensure they are successful in their journey!

Join our panel of industry experts on Sunday June 28 for the Wirelessly Yours live webinar and podcast on Accelerating the Future of Telecom. We’re going live with in-depth knowledge, fresh insights and strong opinions!

Wirelessly yours,

This post was written on a laptop while references were researched on an accompanying tablet. The soundtrack was piped through bluetooth headphones connected to a smartphone running a streaming music app. All devices were wirelessly connected to the home network.

Download the Report here: