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Thursday, June 7, 2012

What is a Mobile Virtual Network Enabler (MVNE)


Whereas a MVNO is a Mobile Virtual Network Operator, an MVNE is a Mobile Virtual Network Enabler. A MVNE does not have a relationship with end-user customers. Instead, a MVNE provides infrastructure and services to enable MVNO’s to offer services and have a relationship with end-user customers.
What MVNE’s do

An MVNE offers infrastructure and related services ranging from network element provisioning, administration and operations to OSS/BSS support. MVNE’s often provide the “middle-ground” between MVNO’s that do not want to have any control over network elements and those that want complete control.

Some MVNO’s want to completely rely on the underlying wireless network infrastructure of the host mobile network operator whereas other MVNO’s want to own and/or control their own network elements. MVNE’s provide the middle-ground in the sense that they can provide options to MVNO’s for what they bring in-house versus what they rely on the host carrier. For example, a MVNE can provide HLR, SMSC, MMSC, as well as more advanced network elements such as GGSN, OSS/BSS, and other systems.

Benefits of the MVNE

The benefit that the MVNE can provide to the MVNO is deferral of capital expenditures and/or cost reductions while allowing the MVNO to focus on the customer relationships rather than operations. At the same time, the MVNO is afforded the opportunity to customize its offerings arguably further than an MVNO that is totally reliant on the host mobile network operator.

Everything considered equal, the host operator is satisfied to sell unused capacity, but is not interested helping the MVNO differentiate itself, which could cannibalize host carrier customers.

With a MVNE, a MVNO could literally use the host mobile network for only radio and switching infrastructure, outsourcing everything else to the MVNE.

Advanced MVNE Services

Some more advanced offerings by a MVNE provide wireless data services such as GPRS, EDGE, applications, content and commerce. In fact, as MVNO’s continue to evolve with the general wireless market, the advent of the pure wireless data MVNO will emerge with voice services becoming highly marginalized and largely unimportant compared to the higher margin, differentiated application, content, and commerce business.

As prepay is very important for the MVNO business model, so is stored-value important to the MVNE as an enabler of content and commerce.Stored-value systems enable the MVNO to offer a variety of digital goods and services from one account-based system, allowing the MNVO to dramatically increase both the number of service offerings as well as suppliers and channels for digital goods and services.

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