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MVNO Nation is Taking Over the World!

MVNO Nation

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It seems that we in the United States are not the only ones with challenges and opportunities with regard to MVNOs.  I was recently introduced to a wonderful new organization, MNVO Nation, in London and attended (virtually) two of their latest events that brought together leaders from the United Kingdom, Europe, and the Middle East to discuss a lot of the same issues that we are trying to tackle here in North America.

MVNO Nation was founded by Ewa Campbell and Ela Lewczuk whose mission it is to, “bring together global MVNOs and partners devised around needs for one single purpose; to grow your (MVNO) business and expand your network.”

“Our focus is on actionable content and meaningful networking all delivered in an entirely new and impactful event format, tailor-made to the virtual environment.”  (www.mvnonation.com)

MVNO Nation recently connected with the top MVNOs to talk about launching new services using fast-growing technologies like 5G, cloud, and eSim. You can watch the discussions and presentations on-demand here.

Companies such as Red Bull MOBILE, Keepgo, IQ Mobile, Mavenir, Digital Republic, theunconnected.org, Webbing, Acqua Telecom, Next360, Dialog Axiata PLC, Tel-Consult, and Sky Peak Technologies explain:

  • How 5G, cloud, and eSim are changing the customer offering
  • How to take advantage of eSim to provide new value-added services
  • What type of cloud to choose
  • How cloudification can further enhance MVNOs' digitalization
  • What the benefits of migrating services to the cloud are

So, Who Is MNVO Nation?

I had the opportunity to spend time this week with Ewa Campbell who in addition to co-founding MVNO Nation, leads their marketing efforts.  We spoke about the general health and growth opportunities of MVNOs across the globe which not surprisingly mirror a lot of things that we are solving for, here, in the United States.

Ewa went on to describe the key challenges that they are currently addressing within the community and that their team identified their core focus when it comes to creating event agendas, content pieces, and networking topics:

Marketing: How to understand your customers better and build a future-proof value proposition. How to decrease customer acquisition costs and streamline distribution in the post-Covid era of e-commerce.

Service differentiation: Where is the true growth? Is vertical or horizontal expansion the right route for MVNOs? If a horizontal one - which new services are truly in demand and increase customer stickiness?

Digitalization: Finding the right balance while digitalizing your service offering to cater to the needs of tech-savvy customers who require full flexibility and easy access to all services, while maintaining the customer base that still requires traditional customer support.

That sounds like a lot but if you look closely, I and others have addressed these “challenges,” or should I say, “opportunities” many times in our articles and blogs.  I’ve written extensively about creating your message.  I received at least five calls a month from people who want to get into the MVNO business.  After a few minutes of discussion about their wireless knowledge and mobile experience, I always ask, “why would I drop my current service and come to you?  What are you offering that is better than what I have now?  What need of mine are you actually going to solve?

This comes down to their marketing message.  Look, for example, what Mint Mobile has done.  Not only do they have a well-known, likable and respectable spokesperson (who in addition bought part of the company), their marketing focused on what was wrong with Big Telco.  Their website (The First Online-Only Phone Service Provider | Mint Mobile) boasts a long list of things that they do right that sets them apart from other MVNOs: online-only, reduced rates for pre-buying 3, 6, or 12 months of service, no overages, pick your amount of data and my favorite….. no Bullsh*t!  There is even a headline on their website that yells out, “We Don’t Hate You!”  Okay, I’m sold!  This is the type of company that I will give my business to, along with the estimated 1 million Mint subscribers that have made the switch as well.

With regards to MVNO Nation’s second focus, we have covered differentiation many times in this space (Differentiator: Verb. Recognize or ascertain what makes someone or something different)and it is absolutely critical that your MVNO offer something that will entice your potential customers to come your way.  We’ve spoken about the groundbreaking efforts by Consumer Cellular to attract the older, low-data use subscribers and how many MVNOs found their niche in ethnic or philanthropic audiences.  What are your differentiation and distribution plans?  Four out of the five people who do reach out to me haven’t given these two important pieces of the MVNO puzzle any thought, and that my friends, is a recipe for failure.

Finally, Ewa spoke of:

Digitalization: Finding the right balance while digitalizing your service offering to cater to the needs of tech-savvy customers who require full flexibility and easy access to all services, while maintaining the customer base that still requires traditional customer support

According to Gartner, “Digitalization is the use of digital technologies to change a business model and provide new revenue and value-producing opportunities; it is the process of moving to a digital business.  Digitalization is the process of making workflows and processes easier and more efficient.” Digitalization - Search (bing.com)

Think about that for a minute.  You built your business on loyal customers that relied on you to provide a telecommunications service that kept them connected 24 x 7 to meet their business and personal needs.  I think what Ewa is saying here is how do you keep this base, which is most likely paying your bills and providing you with a profit; happy, loyal, sticky, or whatever you want to call it and not increase your churn rate?  And at the same time, move towards satisfying the needs of the newer customers that may have different needs from your current base.  Is an example of an improvement in a digital customer service experience driven by Artificial Intelligence when all we want to do is talk to a live person?  Or is it as simple as getting a discount on my bill for auto-payment and paperless billing, something that would have been unheard of in the days prior to Unlimited Everything?

Digitalization is a word that you will hear ad nauseum in the coming years as all types of businesses, even ours, will strive to streamline their processes, increase profit margins, and better (we hope) serve their customers.  

Is The United States Ready For MVNO Nation?

I applaud what MVNO Nation is doing and I encourage everyone in our ecosystem to give them a look.  Their white papers, insights, and ongoing educational events are worth the time to see how they are solving for the same issues that we are on this side of the pond (that’s the Atlantic Ocean for our younger readers!).  Ewa and Ela also told me that an event in the US is being planned for 2023 and we should all look forward to that.

In closing, today 2022 is officially half over.  Wow, it seems like yesterday we were all putting our 2022 plans together.  Are you on track to meet and exceed your goals?  Let us know where Atrium Unlimited Consulting can help www.atriumunlimited.com.  

As we enter the Holiday Weekend, here’s wishing everyone a Happy and Safe 4th of July.  Remember July 4th is a commemoration of July 4th, 1776, the day on which the original 13 colonies of the United States declared independence from British Rule with the adoption of the Declaration of Independence.  It's nice to know that 246 years later, the folks in England have forgiven us and we have new partners like MVNO Nation!

Good Selling!

Jon



Jon Horovitz
Jon Horovitz has been in the wireless industry as a senior executive for 31+ years. He headed up sales and operations in leadership roles for McCaw Communications, AT&T Wireless, Nextel, Boost Mobile, and Sprint. He has owned an MVNO as well as assisted in the start-up of three others. His consulting company, Atrium Unlimited, LLC advises carriers, MVNOs, investment bankers, and venture capitalists interested in joining the wireless space. Jon would love to hear from you about any consultative needs you may have. Please visit https://AtriumUnlimited.com



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