Wireless customers want flexibility and convenience. And while carriers may have market share, MVNOs are mounting a challenge to meet these consumer demands—and more.
AT&T, T-Mobile, Verizon and Sprint: the big names in wireless consumers hear most. But while the ‘Big Four’ carriers may dominate the marketplace, mobile virtual network operators (MVNOs) are quietly staging a challenge—and gaining ground. How much? According to Strategy Analytics, one-in-10 wireless subscriptions are now with an MVNO.
So, how exactly are MVNOs attracting new customers when carriers own the conversation? It’s all about the convenience.
The lowdown on MVNOs
Unfamiliar with MVNOs? Here’s a primer. Large wireless carriers like AT&T and Verizon possess excess wireless capacity. Rather than let that capacity go to waste, they lease it to smaller wireless operators—mobile virtual network operators—to use toward their own brand. This arrangement benefits both parties; carriers don’t have to toss out their leftovers, and MVNOs get to function as independent companies with their own billing support, customer service techniques, sales team, and so on, all while piggybacking the carrier network. This also allows MVNOs to offer prepaid wireless subscriptions at a lower price.
The flexibility factor
As a wireless reseller, MVNOs enjoy more flexibility than their carrier competitors. This flexibility makes it easier for them to mark down prices, and it allows them to offer convenience and a more enhanced customer experience. These distinctions mean MVNOs can be really appealing to niche markets that may need something different from what the Big Four offer.
Keeping customers happy
Partnerships with big carriers mean MVNOS can also leverage the big guy’s back office logistics expertise, giving them more time to focus on the front office factors that influence buying decisions and customer loyalty. Plus, it gives them the time to offer more convenient options like no-contract partnerships, unlocked phones that allow customers to switch providers, and unique protection plans to safeguard devices.
For customers looking for a wireless provider that can tailor offerings to their unique needs, the pricing and service flexibility of an MVNO can be hard to beat. In what other ways is the wireless industry evolving? Check out our blog on how IoT is changing the wireless landscape.