MVNOs need a hand from regulators

Nicole McCormick
01 Jul 2010

MVNOs all over the world have struggled to take market share from mobile incumbents.

A large part of the problem is that mobile network owners see MVNOs as a threat.

Operators will only let a MVNO lease its precious network if the service it intends to provide does not seriously hamper its own prospects.

With this in mind, the only way the vast majority of operators are going to open up their networks to MVNOs is if they are required by telecom regulators to do so.

Weak MVNO regulations won’t cut it. What’s needed for MVNOs to stand any chance of real success is for the regulator to regulate wholesale network access rates.

And that’s exactly what the Korea Communications Commission (KCC) is planning.

Come late September, MVNOs will be allowed to operate in South Korea.

SK Telecom, which has a legal obligation to open up its network to MVNOs, says wholesale voice minutes for MVNOs should be priced at a 30% discount to its retail tariffs, reports theKorea Times.

MVNO aspirants reportedly argue that wholesale voice minutes should be 50-60% cheaper than retail rates.

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