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The global mobile virtual network operator market size was $62.2 billion in 2019, and it is expected to record a CAGR of 6.5% during the forecast period (2020–2030). Segment-targeted pricing and innovative distribution strategies, rapid demand of triple-play services in developing countries, and surge in mobile device penetration and demand for low-cost mobile services are the key factors driving the MVNO industry.
In 2019, the discount category accounted for the largest size in the mobile virtual network operator market, on the basis of service type. With increasing competition in the MVNO market across all regions, the cost of telecom services has decreased, which is augmenting the demand for low-cost services. Thus, the companies are providing inexpensive services, to acquire more customers. MVNOs operating in the discount category offer their services, though only basic telecom services, such as voice and SMS, for the customers.
In 2019, the postpaid division accounted for larger share in the MVNO market, on the basis of business model. With postpaid plans, consumers do not need to pay anything upfront; they get a monthly bill, as per the usage of the services. Moreover, unlike many prepaid cell phone plans, postpaid cell phone plans often have special bonuses and services for customers.
During the forecast period, the full MVNO category is expected to witness the fastest growth in the mobile virtual network operator market. In the coming years, non-telecom participants, such as retailers, financial institutions, and postal service providers, are expected to enter the MVNO market with the full MVNO business model. Moreover, the full MVNO model will become quickly popular, as it provides features such as own SIM cards, upselling of own services as value-added services, complete customer ownership and better business relationship.
The consumer category held the largest share in the MVNO market in 2019, on the basis of subscriber, and it is expected to dominate the market in the near future as well. The increasing mobile network subscribers and growing penetration of mobile devices are positively driving the growth of the MVNO market. The growing penetration of mobile devices enables the growth in the utilization of data-intensive applications, such as internet browsing and video streaming. Investments are being made to improve the network coverage and cause growth in mobile broadband (MBB) subscribers.
During the historical period (2014–2019), Europe accounted for the largest size in the mobile virtual network operator market, globally. It is one of the most advanced regions in terms of technology adoption and infrastructure development. The presence of a huge number of MVNOs and significant average net revenue per user (ARPU) are the most important factors for the robust market growth in the European region. Furthermore, the increasing adoption of integrated services, such as voice over internet protocol (VoIP), through MVNOs is also contributing toward enhanced expansion of the market.
During the forecast period, the industry is projected to attain the fastest growth in the APAC region, likely due to the collaborations between players and mobile phone manufacturers. Further, developing countries such as China and India are working consistently on the betterment of their IT and telecom industries, for providing enhanced and efficient services to the populace. Further, the increasing number of mobile subscribers, growing smartphone penetration, and increasing usage of mobile data are some of the key factors supporting the growth of the MVNO market in the region.
The COVID-19 pandemic negatively impacted the MVNO market in Q1 2020. Though operators will be able to retain the bulk of their customers amid the pandemic, due to network connectivity remaining essential to most consumers and businesses, store closures will result in decreased subscriber additions and device sales. It is expected that subscriber additions and churn rates in the Q1 and Q2 of financial year 2020 would be minimized by store closures, as consumers are refraining from splurging on non-essential goods and services, to survive in this situation.
While traditional full MVNO players accounted for the majority of the MVNO industry revenue in 2019, new players are entering the MVNO market with a focus on value-added services. Banks, smartphone vendors, supermarkets, media companies, and other entities have entered the market with new MVNO business models. These new MVNO players are giving stiff competition to the existing players, in terms of cost differentiation. As a result, the traditional players in the market have started focusing on value-added services, such as managed services, IP PBX (private branch exchange), and business solutions, instead of price differentiation.
The focus of MVNOs on segment-based pricing strategies and innovative distribution is driving the market growth. MVNOs cater to various customer needs, through the optimum utilization of the existing telecom infrastructure of mobile network operators (MNOs). The success of MVNOs depends largely on unique brand positioning and value proposition to attract target customers, such as specific ethnic groups, migrant workers, and tourists. MVNOs identify the possible targets, to expand the business, and attract them with sharp pricing strategies. Thus, the increasing focus of MVNOs on segment-based pricing strategies is resulting in the growth of the MVNO market, globally.
Triple-play services are bundled packs offered by various service providers, consisting of broadband internet access, television, and latency-sensitive telephone services. The concept of triple-play services has been quite successful in North America. In the U.S., telecom operators are increasingly offering triple-play services to consumers, as they can provide better value and retain more customers. It is likely that in a few years, triple-pay services will be delivered throughout the world via the internet. Major software companies are developing applications for offering such services in developing countries as well. Mobile phones are progressively becoming a multi-feature gadget, their functionality expanding beyond voice calls. Thus, the demand for bundle packs is increasing, which is positively shaping the MVNO market outlook across all regions.
|Base Year (2019) Market Size||$62.2 billion|
|Forecast Period (2020-2030) CAGR||6.5%|
|Report Coverage||Market Trends, Revenue Estimation and Forecast, Segmentation Analysis, Regional and Country Breakdown, Company Analysis, Companies’ Strategical Developments, Product Benchmarking, Company Profiling|
|Market Size by Segments||Service Type, Category, Business Model, Subscriber, Region|
|Market Size of Geographies||U.S., Canada, Germany, France, Italy, U.K., Spain, Japan, China, India, Australia, South Korea, Brazil, Mexico, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, U.A.E., South Africa|
|Secondary Sources and References (Partial List)||African Telecommunications Union, Canadian Radio-Television and Telecommunications Commission, Canadian Wireless Telecommunications, Cellular Telecommunications Industry Association (CTIA), Commonwealth Telecommunications Organization, Communications and Information network Association of Japan, Cooperation Council for the Arab States of the Gulf, Department of Telecommunications, India, Federal Communications Commission, Foundation for Rural Service, German Broadband Association Note: Above-listed references and organizations are partial; the detailed and complete list is available in the final report.|
With increasing economies of scale and technological advancements in the mobile phone manufacturing industry, the average cost of a phone has come down significantly. This has resulted in an increase in the mobile phone penetration across the globe, which means an increase in mobile network subscribers. MVNOs target a niche segment and offer low-cost bundled and value-added services that include enhanced voice, video, mobile internet, mobile payment application, and mobile TV, and this brings down the churn out rate of subscribers to competitors. Such offerings are enhancing the growth of the mobile virtual network operator market.
The global MVNO market is fragmented in nature, with the presence of a large number of market players. However, the market is primarily characterized by few companies, namely Verizon Communications Inc., AT&T Inc., T-Mobile US Inc., and Lycamobile Group.
In recent years, players in the MVNO market have launched a number of services, to stay ahead of their competitors. For instance,
The mobile virtual network operator market report offers comprehensive market segmentation analysis along with market estimation for the period 2014–2030.
Based on Service Type
Based on Category
Based on Business Model
Based on Subscriber