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Mobile Virtual Network Operator Market

Market Study on Mobile Virtual Network Operator (MVNO): Based on the Rising Demand for Flexible and Cost-Effective Mobile Services, and the Expanding Trend of MVNO Partnerships with Established Network Operators, PMR Forecasts a Spectrum of Opportunities for Industry Participants in Upcoming Years

A Detailed Analysis of the Mobile Virtual Network Operator Market Based on an Expanding Role of Telecommunications, and Increased Competition in Telecom Sector

Mobile Virtual Network Operator Market

The global mobile virtual network operator market is forecast to expand at a CAGR of 7.8% and thereby increase from a value of US$79.8 Bn in 2023 to US$135 Bn by the end of 2030.

Attributes

Key Insights

Mobile virtual network operator market Size (2023E)

US$79.8 Bn

Projected Market Value (2030F)

US$135.0 Bn

Global Market Growth Rate (CAGR 2023 to 2030)

7.8%

Historical Market Growth Rate (CAGR 2018 to 2022)

4.7%

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Market Introduction and Definition

A mobile virtual network operator (MVNO) is a telecommunications service provider who leases network services from established mobile network operators (MNOs) rather than owning the wireless network infrastructure. MVNOs purchase network access in large quantities to resell it to end-users. This business model enables them to penetrate the market without the significant financial outlay necessary for constructing and upkeeping physical network infrastructure. Multi-vendor nodes (MVNOs) frequently establish a competitive environment in the telecommunications industry using inventive pricing models, niche market exclusivity, or specialized services.

The dynamic growth of the global mobile virtual network operator market can be attributed to a multitude of factors. To begin with, a substantial impetus is the escalating need for dedicated mobile programs and services. MVNOs, owing to their adaptability and agility, are capable of promptly adjusting to changing consumer demands and providing customized solutions. Furthermore, the proliferation of IoT devices and the increasing prevalence of digitization are factors that contribute to the growth of MVNOs, as these operators frequently serve specific IoT needs.

In addition, collaborations, and strategic partnerships between MVNOs and MNOs are crucial, as they facilitate the improvement of service offerings, geographic reach, and overall market standing. These critical factors position the MVNO market for sustained expansion as technological progress continues.

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Market Growth Drivers

Increasing Need for Personalized Mobile Services

A critical factor propelling the ever-evolving global mobile virtual network operator (MVNO) industry is the increasing need for personalized mobile services. The current upswing is driven by consumers' desire for individualized, adaptable programs that correspond to their specific requirements and inclinations. The conventional mobile service model frequently enforces standardized packages, resulting in a considerable segment of the consumer population being neglected. MVNOs assume a pivotal role in bridging this void through the provision of customized solutions that accommodate a wide range of user needs.

The current consumer environment is marked by a growing desire for customized experiences, and this trend extends to the telecommunications industry as well. MVNOs offer customized mobile plans by capitalizing on their adaptability and inventive business models to enable customers to select features, data allowances, and pricing structures that are in exact accordance with their utilization patterns. This practice not only amplifies client contentment but also cultivates a feeling of agency, given that users are endowed with more authority over their mobile services. To meet the specific needs of a particular demographic, such as business professionals or tech-savvy individuals, MVNOs may offer plans that include data rollover, unlimited streaming, and international roaming, among other benefits.

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Market Restraints

Complex Web of Regulatory Obstacles Encounters in Different Geographical Areas

The global mobile virtual network operator market is substantially hindered by the complex web of regulatory obstacles that operators encounter in different geographical areas. The regulatory frameworks that govern telecommunications services exhibit significant variation, and MVNOs seeking to expand their presence in the global market encounter a formidable challenge in adhering to these diverse and frequently intricate regulations. Entry barriers for MVNOs into the market include stringent licensing requirements and restrictions on network access in numerous jurisdictions. 

Increasing Degree of Competition

A significant obstacle that the global mobile virtual network operator market must contend with is the increasing degree of competition in the industry. The competitive landscape is intensified due to the entry of new MVNOs and the ongoing expansion of established actors in the telecommunications industry, which is undergoing a rapid evolution. The increased level of competition presents substantial risks to the sustainability and financial success of MVNOs, requiring them to employ strategic differentiation and flexibility to navigate this arduous landscape. As a result of the proliferation of MVNOs competing for market share, price competition and the commoditization of services ensue.

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Opportunities

Transformative Introduction of 5G Technology

The global Mobile virtual network operator market is being driven by the transformative introduction of 5G technology, which is an opportunistic force. With the advancement of the telecommunications sector towards fifth-generation networks, MVNOs are positioned to capitalize on the enormous growth opportunities presented by this state-of-the-art technology. In addition to quicker data speeds, reduced latency, and expanded network capacity, 5G provides MVNOs with an abundance of opportunities to redefine their service offerings and penetrate new market segments.

Unprecedented in their velocity and responsiveness, 5G networks enable MVNOs to implement novel and data-intensive services. Applications utilizing the Internet of Things (IoT), enhanced mobile broadband, augmented reality (AR), and virtual reality (VR) are anticipated to become essential elements of the 5G ecosystem. MVNOs can capitalize on these developments by utilizing their adaptable business models to serve niche markets that require specialized connectivity solutions.

For instance, these sectors may be industries that depend on real-time data processing or consumers who expect uninterrupted multimedia experiences. In addition, 5G enables the formation of collaborative and strategic partnerships throughout the MVNO ecosystem.

Analyst’s Viewpoint

The mobile virtual network operator market on a global scale is anticipated to experience significant expansion due to a convergence of various factors that collectively influence the industry environment. The market expansion can be attributed to several significant factors, namely the growing need for personalized mobile services, the revolutionary effects of 5G technology, and strategic partnerships established within the MVNO ecosystem.

An important factor driving expansion is the increasing need for customized and adaptable mobile services. There is an increased demand among consumers for customized solutions that correspond to their individual preferences and usage patterns. This demand has placed MVNOs in the vanguard of catering to the changing demands of the worldwide consumer base due to their adaptability and novel pricing models. MVNOs are distinguished in the ultra-competitive telecommunications industry by their capacity to rapidly adapt to market trends and provide customized plans. MVNOs serve as critical intermediaries in the relationship between manufacturers and consumers, facilitating communication and information exchange between consumers and mobile network operators.

MVNOs' ability to secure advantageous agreements with MNOs is critical to their success, as it grants them access to expansive and dependable network infrastructure. MVNOs rely heavily on this relationship to provide consumers with high-quality services while traversing the complex regulatory environment that governs telecommunications services worldwide. Anticipating the future, the MVNO market exhibits considerable potential, driven by continuous technological progressions and a growing dependence on mobile connectivity.

With the increasing integration of the Internet of Things into daily life and the adoption of digital transformation across industries, MVNOs are strategically positioned to facilitate critical connections between businesses, individuals, and devices. In this rapidly evolving and fiercely competitive industry, MVNOs will presumably distinguish themselves through strategic alliances, novel service provisions, and an emphasis on specialized markets. With the ongoing evolution of the global telecommunications industry, MVNOs are positioned to become crucial participants, influencing how consumers obtain and interact with mobile services.

Supply-side Dynamics

Prominent entities within the competitive global Mobile virtual network operator market comprise telecommunications conglomerates: AT&T, Verizon, and T-Mobile (in the US); Telefonica; and BT Group (in the UK). These entities possess considerable sway because of their vast network infrastructure and varied portfolio of services. The adoption of MVNO services is prevalent in countries worldwide, with the US, Spain, and the UK surfacing as significant markets.

The MVNO model is extensively adopted in the US, as evidenced by prominent carriers such as Boost Mobile and Cricket Wireless, which provide customizable and competitive plans to attract a significant number of customers in search of alternative mobile services. The MVNO market is currently experiencing a significant shift in its landscape, which is predominantly shaped by the strategic manoeuvres of market leaders. Prominent telecommunications companies are capitalizing on their market dominance to establish strategic alliances and procurements, thereby strengthening their foundation, and broadening their portfolio of services. AT&T's procurement of Cricket Wireless and Verizon's launch of Visible, a digital-only MVNO, serve as prime examples of how market leaders are reshaping the industry.

These actions are intended to strengthen market dominance, improve network capabilities, and satisfy shifting consumer demands. These actors have a significant impact that goes beyond conventional services. They prioritize the integration of cutting-edge technologies such as 5G, IoT, and advanced data analytics, which further establishes them as pivotal figures in the ever-changing MVNO industry.

Market Segmentation

What is the Most Prominently Chosen Operational Model?

Continued Dominance of Service Providers with an Extensive Selection of Services

It is anticipated that the service provider sector will hold the most substantial portion of the MVNO industry. Service providers generally provide a more extensive selection of services in contrast to Full MVNOs and resellers, to accommodate the varied demands of consumers. Service providers possess extensive service portfolios that strategically position them to secure a substantial portion of the market. This positioning enables them to attract a wide range of consumers who are in search of diverse and bundled mobile services.

Full MVNOs are anticipated to experience the most rapid expansion among the segments. The full MVNO model affords operators a greater degree of autonomy and control over network infrastructure, thereby facilitating unrestricted innovation. The rapid development of full MVNOs can be attributed to their ability to integrate and adapt to technological advancements such as 5G. This enables them to effectively cater to the changing needs of consumers and industries that desire customized and sophisticated connectivity solutions.

Which Subscribers Lead the Way in Global Market?

Consumers Remain the Largest Subscribers Category

It is anticipated that the consumer sector will hold the most significant market share within the Mobile Virtual Network Operator (MVNO) industry. The substantial number of distinct and individualized mobile service-seeking consumers establish the consumer segment as a significant market share driver. Given the growing desire for personalized plans, improved connectivity, and supplementary services, mobile virtual network operators (MVNOs) that serve the extensive consumer market are positioned to secure a significant portion of the market.

It is projected that the enterprise segment will witness the most rapid growth, whereas the consumer segment is expected to maintain the largest market share. The enterprise segment is propelled forward by the increased demand for specialized connectivity solutions, such as unified communications, IoT integration, and enterprise-grade services that are specifically tailored. MVNOs that prioritize the provision of dependable and cutting-edge connectivity solutions to enterprises are strategically positioned to take advantage of the growing demands of businesses that require sophisticated mobile services for their operations.

Which Service Type is Expected to Bag the Top Spot?

Prepaid Services to be the Most Accommodating on the Back of Value Adaptability, and Financial Management

It is expected that the greatest market share in the mobile virtual network operator market will be held by the Prepaid segment. Prepaid services are attractive to a wide range of consumers who value adaptability, financial management, and limited obligations. Prepaid plans are particularly prevalent in regions with a substantial population of cost-conscious consumers who favor the pay-as-you-go model due to its convenient accessibility.

Although prepaid may hold a larger market share, it is anticipated that the postpaid sector will undergo the most rapid expansion. With an expanding array of features, increased data allowances, and a reputation for serving affluent clientele, prepaid plans are experiencing a surge in popularity among mobile users who place a greater emphasis on premium services and supplementary benefits. The postpaid segment of the MVNO market is expected to expand at a rapid rate due to the demand for data-intensive applications and the desire for a continuous, uninterrupted mobile experience.

Which is the Leading Category of the Market by Application?

Businesses to Register the Maximum Adoption of MVNOs, with Higher Need for Dynamic Communication

Predicted to hold the most substantial market share within the MVNO industry is the business sector. This segment addresses the dynamic communication requirements of businesses through its emphasis on delivering customized services and specialized connectivity. Due to the corporate sector's need for dependable and scalable mobile solutions, the Business segment is a significant participant in the MVNO market. It is expected that the cellular M2M (Machine-to-Machine) sector will observe the most rapid expansion among all MVNO segments.

The expansion of the Internet of Things (IoT) necessitates the continued vitality of the cellular M2M sector, which furnishes connectivity for sensors and devices in numerous industries. The exponential expansion of this sector is fueled by the increasing incorporation of M2M solutions in industries such as manufacturing, transportation, and healthcare, thereby establishing it as a pivotal catalyst in the ever-changing realm of MVNO services.

Top Regional Markets

Rapidly Sophisticating Telecom Infrastructure Secures Top Rank for North America

It is anticipated that North America will hold the largest market share of the market. Due to its sophisticated telecommunications infrastructure and widespread technological integration, the area is positioned as a profitable market for MVNOs. The presence of firmly established mobile network operators (MNOs), and a consumer base that is technologically proficient both contribute to the strong demand for cutting-edge mobile services.

Furthermore, the regulatory and competitive environments in North America create a favorable setting for the expansion of MVNOs, establishing the region as the market leader in terms of market share. The MVNO market in North America is advantageous due to its mature and diverse consumer base, which is interested in data-intensive and personalized mobile plans.

South Asia, and Oceania Receive Strong Tailwinds from Exploding Smartphone Sales, and Demand for Cost-effective Services

It is expected that South Asia, and Oceania will witness the most rapid expansion of the worldwide MVNO market. Multiple factors support this forecast, including a substantial and heterogeneous populace, a surge in the adoption of smartphones, and an expanding desire for cost-effective and customizable mobile services. South Asian nations, including India, are currently experiencing a notable upswing in digitalization. This trend can be attributed to the increased spending power of the middle class and governmental initiatives.

Oceania's technologically proficient populations and developed economies contribute further to the region's accelerated MVNO market expansion. Opportunities arise for MVNOs to serve certain segments due to the integration of emerging technologies and the demand for connectivity in remote regions. The dynamic regulatory environment in South Asia, and Oceania fosters an advantageous setting for the advent and expansion of MVNOs. With the region's growing adoption of 5G technology and consumers' escalating interest in novel mobile solutions, South Asia, and Oceania arise as a prosperous region for mobile VoIP nodes (MVNOs), offering a dynamic and swiftly developing market.

Competitive Intelligence and Business Strategy

Prominent entities within the mobile virtual network operator industry implement an assortment of strategic endeavors to maintain and augment their market dominance. A critical approach entails the implementation of vertical integration and the expansion of service portfolios. Prominent telecommunications companies such as AT&T, Verizon, and Telefonica possess substantial MNO infrastructure in addition to functioning as MVNOs. By engaging in vertical integration, they can exercise authority over network access, streamline operations, and provide an extensive array of services that extend beyond conventional mobile connectivity.

To attain optimal market share, industry leaders prioritize customer-centric strategies, cognizant of the ever-changing demands of the consumer demographic. Value-added services, adaptable plans, and novel pricing structures are implemented to attract and retain a wide variety of customers. As an illustration, AT&T has effectively increased its market share in the United States through the provision of integrated services encompassing mobile, internet, and entertainment, thereby offering customers a comprehensive solution in a single location.

In a nutshell, the dominant actors employ a diverse range of tactics to achieve maximum market share. These tactics include vertical integration, customer-centric strategies, strategic partnerships, acquisitions, and a dedication to technological innovation. By adopting this comprehensive strategy, they are capable of effectively navigating the highly competitive MVNO industry, strengthening their market standing, and meeting the ever-changing demands of consumers on a global scale.

Key Recent Developments

New Acquisition

Simapka was acquired by PeP in July 2022 to expand its financial and mobile services in Poland. This acquisition would contribute to the development of an ecosystem in which a variety of supplementary services offered by point-of-sale (POS) systems would enhance the payments. The primary aim is to guarantee that retail establishments across Europe benefit from the consistent digitization of payment processes by utilizing Simapka's mobile application solutions.

Market Impact: The strategic move made by PeP in July 2022 to acquire Simapka represents an effort to improve financial and mobile services in Poland, thereby contributing to the overall development of a comprehensive ecosystem. The objective is to establish a standardized digital payment process by incorporating supplementary services from point-of-sale (POS) systems, with a specific focus on Simapka's mobile application solutions. This advancement is positioned to exert a substantial influence on the international market through the promotion of a more streamlined and technologically sophisticated methodology toward retail payments. Moreover, it may shape the wider European environment by emphasizing digitized and efficient payment solutions.

(Source: Press releases by Pymnts)

New Partnership

Cricket Wireless LLC, and the Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SIAC) announced a partnership in May 2022. This triennial agreement grants Cricket the privilege of offering distinctive experiences to SIAC supporters at every Historically Black Colleges/Universities (HBCU) member institution.

Market Impact: The potential collaboration between Cricket Wireless LLC and the Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SIAC) in May 2022 is anticipated to generate distinctive opportunities for SIAC supporters to engage in activities exclusively at Historically Black Colleges/Universities (HBCUs), thereby exerting a localized influence on the global market. Although the immediate worldwide ramifications might be restricted, this advancement exemplifies an emerging pattern of strategic alliances between telecommunications organizations and academic establishments, which may have a transformative effect on comparable partnerships worldwide as they strive to serve specific demographics and communities. The emphasis on delivering unique experiences implies a more extensive trend within the industry toward marketing initiatives that are localized and centered on the community.

(Source: Cricket Wireless)

Mobile Virtual Network Operator Market Report Scope

Attribute

Details

Forecast Period

2023 to 2030

Historical Data Available for

2018 to 2022

Market Analysis

US$ Million for Value

Key Regions Covered

  • North America
  • Latin America
  • Europe
  • South Asia & Pacific
  • East Asia
  • The Middle East & Africa  

Key Countries Covered

  • United States
  • Canada
  • Germany
  • United Kingdom
  • France
  • Italy
  • Spain
  • Russia
  • China
  • Japan
  • South Korea
  • India
  • Thailand
  • Malaysia
  • Indonesia
  • Australia
  • New Zealand
  • GCC Countries
  • South Africa  

Key Market Segments Covered

  • Operational Model
  • Subscriber
  • Service
  • Application
  • Region

Key Companies Profiled

  • Virgin Media Business Ltd
  • DataXoom
  • Lebara
  • KDDI CORPORATION 
  • Asahi Net, Inc.
  • Tesco
  • Virgin Plus
  • Verizon 
  • Comcast Corporation
  • AT&T Inc
  • T-Mobile

Report Coverage

  • Market Forecast
  • Company Share Analysis
  • Competition Intelligence
  • DROT Analysis
  • Market Dynamics and Challenges
  • Strategic Growth Initiatives  

Customization & Pricing

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Mobile Virtual Network Operator Market Research Segmentation

By Operational Model:

  • Reseller
  • Service Provider
  • Full MVNO

By Subscriber:

  • Consumer
  • Enterprise

By Service:

  • Postpaid
  • Prepaid

By Application:

  • Discount
  • Cellular M2M
  • Business
  • Media & Entertainment
  • Migrant
  • Retail
  • Roaming
  • Telecom

By Region:

  • North America
  • Europe
  • East Asia
  • South Asia & Oceania
  • Latin America
  • Middle East & Africa

- Companies Covered in This Report -

  • Virgin Media Business Ltd
  • DataXoom
  • Lebara
  • KDDI CORPORATION 
  • Asahi Net, Inc.
  • Tesco
  • Virgin Plus
  • Verizon 
  • Comcast Corporation
  • AT&T Inc
  • T-Mobile

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