Research Notes

The value of successful mobile suppliers for mobile operators

Strand Consult have thoroughly analysed the changes occurring in the mobile market. A central part of coming phase of change will be the mobile operators will change their offerings to virtual mobile providers to include “white labelling” products “White label” products are mobile products that other players can purchase, adapt and resell under their own name to end-users. A “white label” product is therefore often based on one or more platforms.

The access-product that MNOs today sell to MVNOs can be characterised as a “white label” product consisting of the “raw” access to the network, or in other words access to “bits and bytes” that the wholesale customer then adapts to their own use. This access-product will, on a market characterised by virtual mobile providers, still be an important product. Some mobile providers will want to develop and implement their own platforms, or they will choose to purchase them from third parties and therefore only purchase the raw access to the mobile network from the MNO. These are the mobile providers that we define as MVNOs. This gives the mobile providers a far greater possibility to adapt the products and thereby customise them to the customer segment they are targeting, but it also significantly increases costs. It will therefore mainly only be the larger mobile providers without their own network that will choose this strategy and only if they can find suitable products offered by the MNO, or want to establish themselves as an MVNO.

The MNOs use of offering “white label” products based on platforms to mobile providers that do not want to handle everything themselves, will be an asset to the MNOs. It requires however that the products are so general that mobile providers without their own network – that are using the MNO’s network – can adapt the products to their own needs. For a successful MNO it will not just be simple branding, where the graphic and logos are adapted to the mobile provider, but also how the product works and the functionality that should be able to be customised by the mobile provider. This will ensure that the mobile providers are not too similar and can differentiate themselves.

On a market characterised by segmented mobile providers, “white label” products will definitely be a competitive parameter for the MNOs. It is therefore probable that the MNOs‘ wholesale departments will expand their product portfolio to the mobile providers. So a market characterised by mobile providers without their own network will have an increased competition among MNOs to offer the correct products to the wholesale customers, which will then be one of the ways which the MNOs can differentiate themselves from each other.
These and many other problems are analysed and described in our new report ”How to get success in the second Generation MVNO Market”,. The report analyses and describes the changes players in the mobile industry are facing, and make suggestions on how face the challenges of the future. The aim of the report is to provide the players with a tool they can use for choosing the right mobile provider strategy.

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