Network operators worldwide are actively developing opportunities for new wave wholesale services as a means of diversifying away from their retail businesses, driving additional revenue and maximizing network and operational assets.
US mobile and fixed-line operator Sprint has long offered wholesale solutions to other fixed-line operators, MVNOs and resellers in the US. Sprint is now actively looking to address the opportunity of the rapidly growing wholesale cloud-based services market, in addition to offering more traditional wholesale telecom services.
Sprint’s wholesale division has created a cloud-based SaaS solution, which is currently available to US-based operators and resellers, and which it expects to eventually extend to non-US operators and resellers. This solution gives operators the opportunity to quickly offer SaaS solutions to SME customers. In the rapidly expanding cloud services market, a first-mover advantage can increase market share for an operator.
Sprint had net operating revenue of $33.7 billion in FY2011, with approximately 5% coming from its wholesale division. The service provider had 56 million subscribers in the 2011 financial year. It positions itself as an operator offering a high-value, simple solution to consumers, SMEs, large enterprises and public sector entities. The company also positions itself as a challenger mobile operator.
Sprint has worked with a partner to create a service delivery platform (SDP) for its SaaS offerings. This SDP will provide the platform upon which the company offers its SaaS solutions to both retail and wholesale customers. Sprint is working with leading ISVs such as Kaspersky Lab, McAfee, Microsoft, MXSweep, PinnacleCart, Symantec and Trustwave to host a series of cloud-based services for SMEs. The operator will also offer some own-branded cloud-based offerings for applications such as mobile device management.