Research Notes

The mobile broadband market – new players, new opportunities

is there a market for the MVNOs?

The mobile market has fundamentally changed since it was dominated by just a few mobile operators with their own network. The number of mobile providers has exploded after MVNOs and other players were given the possibility of renting bandwidth on the mobile operators networks – thereby allowing them to be able to offer various types of mobile telephony to end user customers on equal terms as the mobile operators.
We believe that as the mobile broadband market explodes, we will experience a number of new players entering the market. We will experience data solution providers offering mobile data and telephony as an integrated part of the services they are selling to their customers. We can see that portable PCs will not only be shipped with built-in HSxPA, but also with applications that will converge with mobile offerings. One example could be a unified communications solution that is sold together with a portable PC and mobile broadband connection.
Compared to the mobile market there are now various different competing network technologies to choose between. WIMAX is being launched in a number of countries as a 3G competitor and in some countries CDMA-450 MHz has been launched. This means that providers without their own network can not only choose between various mobile operators with the same network technology, but also between operators with competing technologies. The question is however whether network providers will be forced by legislation and regulation to sell network access to wholesale customers. We believe that it is in the network providers’ best interests to allow wholesale customers access to networks and that competition on the market will create a wholesale market for mobile broadband.
We believe that wholesale customers will not trigger further price reductions in the longer term, but instead help develop the mobile broadband market. There will undoubtedly be some mobile broadband providers that will focus on a discount mobile strategy. On that type of market, network providers should work towards offering their wholesale customers access to platforms and services, allowing them to differentiate themselves on other parameters than just pricing.
We believe that the MVNOs that enter the mobile broadband market will target niche segments as we have seen on the mobile market. Examples of niche segments could be telemetry or special corporate applications. We believe that companies like HP, IBM, CSC, EDS etc will enter this market.
We have thoroughly examined and analysed these – and many other issues – in our new report “Successful Strategies in the Mobile Broadband Market“. The report is therefore an efficient tool for mobile broadband providers in their efforts to create and implement an optimal strategy.

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