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Looking at the calendar, it’s hard to believe that 2021 has entered into the fourth quarter. Summer has ended, baseball is moving into the playoff stage, pro hockey and basketball seasons start soon and we are already into the fourth week of professional football. It’s also time for our busiest time of the year for wireless. Black Friday is only 57 days away! Are you ready?
Carriers and MVNOs alike have already started rolling out incredible offers. Websites like BestMVNO, Compare Wireless Carriers, www.prepaidcompare.net and others are listing incredible offers from AT&T, T-Mobile, Verizon and not only the large MVNOs like Boost, Cricket and Metro by T-Mobile, but dozens of money saving deals from the likes of Ultra, Mint, Red Pocket, Consumer Cellular, the Tracfone brands, Lycamobile, H2O, Boom, and many, many more. It can be confusing at times, but each MVNO offer hopefully has a DIFFERENTIATOR (there is that word again!) that appeals to a certain segment of the market.
What Do I Need to DO?
Getting prepared for the busiest time of the year should have already started. The old saying goes, “don’t fix the hole in the roof when it starts to rain, do it beforehand.”
LinkedIn and Facebook posts are full of pictures and videos showing trainings, outdoor events, new merchandising, etc., all with the goal of getting ready for the 4th quarter.
I know that I use a lot of sports references but I was told over and over during my athletic career, “the game is always won in the fourth quarter.” Are you planning for all contingencies like bad weather, a possible pandemic 2.0, or finding enough employees to staff your stores? Have you ordered enough handsets during the so-called chip shortage? Are the stores merchandised to help cut through the clutter and give the customer not only what they want but what they need? And, does your team have the stamina to perform through December 31st?
How High is HIGH in Our Business?
I recently did a consultation for an investment bank that was getting ready to make recommendations to their clients on one of the big carriers. When we got around to the MVNO business, I made the comment that “the MVNO business has never been stronger and many more people are looking to join the space.” He was incredulous and asked, “WHY,” with just a hint of sarcasm.
I explained, like I’ve previously written here, that the growth potential afforded both current and new MVNOs is plentiful. 5G is opening up new, non-traditional markets like tele-medicine, transportation, gaming, etc. Prepaid dealers can now offer the latest handsets along with device financing and insurance. Smart entrepreneurs are seeing the opportunities in non-traditional markets like membership groups and associations. I’m surprised, quite honestly, that someone didn’t copy Consumer Cellular earlier with a targeted marketing plan to attract the senior population (not that 55+ is so senior!) through associations like AARP. As I’ve stated before, all three of the top carriers now offer a 55+ plan for those who don’t need big data buckets. Others are bringing opportunities to us for association and membership groups that make total sense for an MVNO or MVNE relationship; targeting large groups of potential subscribers that already are getting the benefits of “belonging” to a certain entity that already provides savings and benefits to their members.
There is no doubt that the barrier to entry for a potential MVNO/MVNE has gotten a lot easier. With the aggregators and proliferation of companies offering an “MVNO in a Box” or “Powered By,” I explained to the investment banker that the time needed in launching an MVNO can happen in as little as 6-8 weeks and the investment, if the MVNO wants to handle some of the back room procedures themselves, is very reasonable. And not all MVNOs need to act traditional. There are many that offer only machine to machine (M2M) or vehicle tracking without a talk, text or data feature. And the coming IoT wave will surely give a lot of you new markets to capitalize on.
A Brave New World
We read of companies having their own private LTE networks. Private LTE (Private LTE - Build your own 4G & 5G Networks (private-lte.net) last year published on their website a “how-to” on building your own private network. I am NOT advocating that just anyone should do this but within the article, they illustrated the industries and markets that you should be educating yourselves on as they represent tremendous opportunities for YOUR growth. Private LTE estimates that these industries will help to make up over $31 Billion in revenue just next year, 2022.
Okay, What’s the Takeaway?
As you prepare now for the coming Holiday Rush, you should also be preparing for the seismic changes coming to our industry. Need help? Atrium Unlimited Consulting has over 31 years in the wireless business and has helped dealers, retailers, master dealers, wholesalers and MVNOs not only reach but exceed their potential. We are currently helping to launch three new MVNOs that I’m sure you’ll hear about before the year is over. We would love to assist you as well.
I took some time to look back on all the articles that I have written for BestMVNO (so far 13 of them) and my takeaway is that (almost) everything you need to start and be successful, or grow in this space, is included in the writings. But, nothing beats a conversation or face to face meeting. Let us know where you might need help as you get ready for not only a huge 4th quarter, but for all of the change and opportunities that lay ahead.
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