BSS: A game changer for the MVNO competition

Sterlite Technologies
10 May 2017

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Vaibhav Mehta, senior vice president of business development at Sterlite Technologies, explains why BSS is key for MVNOs to address challenges and set themselves apart from competitors

What is the need of MVNOs now?
Vaibhav Mehta: I do understand the apprehension that in spite of a fiercely competitive telecom landscape, mobile virtual network operators (MVNOs) are budding up. Let’s understand the phenomenon. An MVNO is essentially reselling voice and data services of a larger operator. Several reasons why MNOs allow such MVNE/O to leverage their network are: 1. Target and reach a specific segment, geography 2. Achieve economies of scale by better network utilization 3. Increase revenue and market share 4. Offer service differentiation 5. Circumvent Government policies that hinder growth.

Let’s look at it with a real life example of CAT Telecom in Thailand, where we have supplied our Mobile Virtual Network Enabler (MVNE) multi-tenant platform to Suvitech, which utilizes excess network capacity of CAT Telecom. As on date there are four MVNOs (Data CDMA, 168 Communications, The Whitespace and Samart i-mobile Public Company Ltd) who have on-boarded the MVNE platform to offer voice and data services in Thailand.

What is the current state of the MVNO Market?
According to GSMA Intelligence, as of 2015, the world’s MNOs hosted 1038 MVNOs and 277 MNO sub-brands. According to latest estimates, the global MVNO market is expected to be worth $73 billion and the number of subscribers to exceed 300 million, growing at a CAGR of 10% by 2020. Out of the 1300 MVNOs across the globe, Asia Pacific (137) is second to Europe (599) in terms of global MVNO footprint followed by North America (113). In contrast the Sub-Saharan Africa has the lowest MVNO operators with just 13 MVNOs in the region.

How many MVNO’s can on-board on an MVNE Platform?
Practically there is no limit on the number of MVNOs that can on-board the multi-tenant platform. However, it is limited to the excess network capacity available with the MNO.

What are the key challenges that MVNO face?
With the fast changing market dynamics, where operators are joining in the price wars and service innovations, price is no longer a differentiator and the most crucial challenge for any MVNO is to create its niche based on customer experience and customization to stay relevant and gain market share.

How does Sterlite Tech help MVNOs to differentiate against the competition?
Today, we can do almost everything over the internet, be it ordering a burger, buying a mobile, chatting with friends, sharing videos, watching movies etc. Looking at this need for CSPs to offer a superior customer experience 24/7, 365 days a year, we have recently announced our BBS with Digital Commerce and Customer Management Platform for MVNOs. It is tailored specifically for CSPs to digitize all business processes via every touch point, channel and device. The solution, an overlay on existing BSS, enables CSPs to manage the entire customer life cycle digitally, from on-boarding, plan personalization, number selection, document verification, online payment to digital care. The multi-tenant platform is designed to offer contextual, consistent, real time services in an omni-channel world that supports both B2C & B2B commerce functionality.

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