Segment-targeted pricing and innovative distribution strategies, the rapid rise in the demand for triple-play services and low-cost mobile services in developing countries, and surge in mobile device penetration are the key factors driving the global mobile virtual network operator (MVNO) market. As a result, the market is expected to generate $139,663.0 million revenue in 2031, and it is projected to witness a CAGR of 7.1% during the forecast period (2021–2031).
The COVID-19 pandemic negatively impacted the MVNO market. Though operators will be able to retain the bulk of their customers amid the pandemic due to network connectivity remaining essential to most individuals and businesses, store closures have resulted in decreased subscriber additions and device sales.
The market is categorized into full MVNO, service MVNO, and reseller MVNO, on the basis of business model. During the forecast period, the full MVNO category is expected to witness the fastest growth in the market. In the coming years, non-telecom participants, such as retailers, financial institutions, and postal service providers, are expected to enter the MVNO market via the full MVNO business model. This model will become quickly popular as such MVNOs provide their own SIM cards, upsell their own services as value-added services, take complete customer ownership, and create better business relationships.
Further, the market is divided into consumer and enterprise, on the basis of subscriber. Of the two, the consumer category generated the higher market revenue in 2020, and it is expected to dominate the market in the near future as well. The increasing number of mobile network subscribers and growing penetration of mobile devices are positively driving the growth of the MVNO market. The growing penetration of mobile devices propels the utilization of data-intensive applications, such as internet browsing and video streaming. Hence, investments are being made to improve the network coverage and gain more mobile broadband (MBB) subscribers.
Geographically, Europe is expected to lead the MVNO market in the coming years. The presence of a large number of MVNOs and high average net revenue per user (ARPU) are the most-important elements driving the European region's market growth. Because of the success of MVNOs in Europe, there has been a rise in the competition among telecom operators, thus resulting in lower telecom service prices in the region. Furthermore, MVNOs' rising provision of integrated services, such as voice over internet protocol (VoIP), is adding to the market's expansion.
In recent years, players in the MVNO market have launched a number of services to stay ahead of their competitors. For instance
In March 2021, AT&T Inc. announced that all of its customers will have access to its 5G services for no additional cost. The company is adding AT&T 5G and 5G+ access to all its customer accounts.
In March 2020, Verizon Communications Inc. announced the launch of Yahoo Mobile, a new virtual network. Through this, the carrier offers unlimited talk, text, and data, as well as mobile hotspot features, to its customers. The company added that the mobile hotspot can only be used on one device at a time, while the speeds will be capped at 5 Mbps.
Some of the major players operating in the global MVNO market are AT&T Inc., Verizon Communications Inc., T-Mobile US Inc., Lycamobile Group, CITIC Telecom International Holdings Limited, Red Pocket Inc., Truphone Limited, Airvoice Wireless LLC, Consumer Cellular Inc., BT Group plc, Voiceworks BV, Asahi Net Inc., and DataXoom Inc.