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Mvnos - their strategies and role in the mobile communications value chain

  • ID: 30004
  • September 2001
  • Mobile Metrix AB
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Mvnos - their strategies and role in the mobile communications value chain (November 2001)

This extensive review of Mvnos and their strategies across Europe has been published in November 2001 and is currently available. Keeping up with the developments of Mvnos and their strategies in various countries can be challenging. This is why Mobile Metrix in conjunction with Bwcs has compiled an extensive analysis. Highlights of the report include:

- An analysis covering 50 companies in the Mvno space across 11 countries including a categorisation of all the companies. Including several case studies of Mvnos and Enhanced Service Providers illustrating unique features and strategies.
- A 3-stage model of Mvno development and a categorisation of different countries into the model.
- An Mvno evaluation model is presented to assist Mvnos to evaluate their competitive position and critical success factors.
- The business case for Mvnos.
- How operators should treat Mvnos illustrating different approaches and best practice also including how to identify good Mvno candidates.
- Mvno enablers - their role and current state of development.

It is set to be the definitive guide to Mvnos across Europe

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TABLE OF CONTENTS................................................................................. 5
<BR>TABLES ....................................................................................................... 9
<BR>FIGURES................................................................................................... 11
<BR>
<BR>1 EXECUTIVE SUMMARY..................................................................... 12
<BR>
<BR>2 DEFINITION OF TERMS AND MVNO CLASSIFICATIONS.................. 16
<BR>2.1 The mobile telephony distribution value chain......................................16
<BR>2.2 Definition and clarification of terms – not all MVNOs are MVNOs ....20
<BR>2.2.1 Classic mobile virtual network operator ....................................25
<BR>2.2.2 Enhanced service provider.........................................................25
<BR>2.2.3 Enhanced reseller .......................................................................25
<BR>2.2.4 Reseller ......................................................................................26
<BR>2.3 The case for MVNOs – do they add value?...........................................27
<BR>2.3.1 Competition................................................................................28
<BR>2.3.2 Improved choice.........................................................................28
<BR>2.3.3 Ability to address niche markets................................................28
<BR>2.3.4 Increased selection of services available ...................................28
<BR>2.4 MVNO business case – is there enough revenue to go round?..............29
<BR>2.4.1 The cost of airtime to the MVNO..............................................31
<BR>2.4.2 Economies of scale ....................................................................32
<BR>2.4.3 Lower subsidies and tariffs to reduce risk .................................33
<BR>2.4.4 Sell to existing customer base....................................................33
<BR>2.4.5 Own distribution already established.........................................33
<BR>2.4.6 Minimise investment in infrastructure .......................................33
<BR>2.4.7 Value of MVNO per subscriber versus operator .......................33
<BR>2.5 Important characteristics when reviewing MVNOs ..............................34
<BR>2.5.1 MSC and HLR ...........................................................................35
<BR>2.5.2 Issues own SIM cards or repackages operator’s SIM cards ......35
<BR>2.5.3 Has own network codes .............................................................36
<BR>2.5.4 Agreement with more than one operator in geographic region .36
<BR>2.5.5 Customers aware of underlying network operator.....................37
<BR>2.5.6 Issues own branded phones/packages........................................37
<BR>2.5.7 Offers own independent mobile subscriptions...........................38
<BR>2.5.8 Sets own tariffs and tariff plans .................................................38
<BR>2.5.9 Freedom to offer any mobile service .........................................39
<BR>2.5.10 Sends own bill to customers ..................................................39
<BR>2.6 Company classifications across Europe.................................................40
<BR>2.7 Why there are few classic MVNOs .......................................................42
<BR>2.8 MVNO and billing .................................................................................43
<BR>
<BR>3 CURRENT STATE OF THE MVNO MARKET......................................... 46
<BR>3.1 Market overview and stages of MVNO development ...........................46
<BR>3.1.1 Stage 1 – MVNO rejection ........................................................47
<BR>3.1.2 Stage 2 – limited acceptance of MVNOs...................................48
<BR>3.1.3 Stage 3 – mass acceptance of MVNOs ......................................48
<BR>3.1.4 Stage 4 – how will MVNOs develop in the future?...................49
<BR>3.2 Country summary of MVNO activity....................................................51
<BR>3.3 Key markets and network operators to watch........................................55
<BR>3.4 MVNO case studies exhibiting innovative characteristics ....................57
<BR>3.4.1 debitel in Germany.....................................................................57
<BR>3.4.2 MobilCom in Germany..............................................................58
<BR>3.4.3 Virgin Mobile in the UK – joint venture MVNO ......................59
<BR>3.5 Europolitan Vodafone case study in relation to MVNO development ..60
<BR>3.5.1 Europolitan Vodafone in Sweden ..............................................60
<BR>3.6 Lessons to be learnt from failed or postponed MVNO experiences ......63
<BR>3.6.1 Mobyson in Sweden...................................................................63
<BR>3.6.2 Sense in Norway ........................................................................64
<BR>3.6.3 Imagine in Ireland – history repeating itself ..............................66
<BR>3.7 Characteristics of successful MVNOs ...................................................66
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<BR>4 THE HUNTED BECOME THE HUNTERS ............................................... 72
<BR>4.1 Mobile network operators need to be proactive.....................................72
<BR>4.1.1 Profitability ................................................................................76
<BR>4.2 Candidates for MVNO partners in Europe ............................................78
<BR>4.3 The shift of market power......................................................................82
<BR>4.4 Evaluation of potential MVNO partners................................................83
<BR>4.4.1 Competition................................................................................84
<BR>4.4.2 MVNO staying power................................................................84
<BR>4.5 Brand mapping and choosing MVNO partners .....................................86
<BR>4.5.1 Soft brand elements....................................................................88
<BR>4.5.2 Segmenting the market ..............................................................91
<BR>4.6 Alternative MVNO strategy for operators .............................................93
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<BR>5 THE FUTURE OF MVNO DEVELOPMENT............................................ 97
<BR>5.1 Future market development ...................................................................97
<BR>5.1.1 Proliferation to consolidation within 2-3 years........................101
<BR>5.2 Competitive environment – the youth segment ...................................102
<BR>5.3 MVNO enablers ...................................................................................104
<BR>5.4 Alternative revenue strategies..............................................................107
<BR>5.4.1 Iquity – voice advertising model..............................................108
<BR>5.4.2 Future development – GITWiT ...............................................109
<BR>5.4.3 Mobile internet services and revenue competition ..................109
<BR>
<BR>6 REVIEW OF MAJOR EUROPEAN MVNOS ...................................... 112
<BR>6.1 Denmark...............................................................................................115
<BR>6.1.1 debitel.......................................................................................116
<BR>6.1.2 Sense ........................................................................................118
<BR>6.1.3 Song Networks.........................................................................120
<BR>6.1.4 Tele2 ........................................................................................123
<BR>6.2 Finland .................................................................................................126
<BR>6.2.1 Jippii.........................................................................................127
<BR>6.3 France...................................................................................................130
<BR>6.3.1 Avenir Telecom .......................................................................131
<BR>6.3.2 Carrefour ..................................................................................134
<BR>6.3.3 Darty ........................................................................................135
<BR>6.3.4 debitel.......................................................................................137
<BR>6.3.5 Futur Telecom..........................................................................139
<BR>6.3.6 Intercall ....................................................................................141
<BR>6.3.7 Tele2 ........................................................................................144
<BR>6.3.8 The Phone House .....................................................................145
<BR>6.3.9 Universal (Vivendi) .................................................................147
<BR>6.4 Germany...............................................................................................149
<BR>6.4.1 debitel.......................................................................................150
<BR>6.4.2 MobilCom................................................................................153
<BR>6.4.3 Talkline ....................................................................................156
<BR>6.4.4 Tele2 ........................................................................................159
<BR>6.5 Ireland ..................................................................................................160
<BR>6.5.1 Spirit Telecom..........................................................................161
<BR>6.6 Italy ......................................................................................................163
<BR>6.6.1 Tiscali.......................................................................................164
<BR>6.7 Netherlands ..........................................................................................166
<BR>6.7.1 debitel.......................................................................................167
<BR>6.7.2 One.Tel.....................................................................................170
<BR>6.7.3 Talkline ....................................................................................172
<BR>6.8 Norway.................................................................................................174
<BR>6.8.1 Jippii.........................................................................................175
<BR>6.8.2 Mobyson ..................................................................................177
<BR>6.8.3 Sense Communications............................................................178
<BR>6.8.4 Site Communications...............................................................181
<BR>6.9 Spain ....................................................................................................183
<BR>6.9.1 Affinalia ...................................................................................184
<BR>6.9.2 Aló Comunicacion ...................................................................185
<BR>6.9.3 Aviron Router ..........................................................................186
<BR>6.9.4 BT Ignite ..................................................................................187
<BR>6.9.5 Globatel....................................................................................188
<BR>6.9.6 Primustel ..................................................................................189
<BR>6.9.7 Timón.......................................................................................191
<BR>6.9.8 Vallehermoso Telecom ............................................................192
<BR>6.10 Sweden.................................................................................................193
<BR>6.10.1 djuice....................................................................................194
<BR>6.10.2 LunarMobil ..........................................................................197
<BR>6.10.3 Mobyson ..............................................................................200
<BR>6.10.4 Sense ....................................................................................202
<BR>6.10.5 Song Networks.....................................................................204
<BR>6.11 United Kingdom...................................................................................207
<BR>6.11.1 Carphone Warehouse ...........................................................208
<BR>6.11.2 Centrica Telecommunications .............................................212
<BR>6.11.3 Energis UK...........................................................................215
<BR>6.11.4 FT Mobile ............................................................................218
<BR>6.11.5 ntl .........................................................................................221
<BR>6.11.6 One.Tel.................................................................................224
<BR>6.11.7 Sainsbury One......................................................................226
<BR>6.11.8 Tiscali...................................................................................229
<BR>6.11.9 Value Telecom.....................................................................231
<BR>6.11.10 Virgin Mobile.......................................................................233
<BR>
<BR>7 NETWORK OPERATORS AND THEIR RELATION TO MVNOS .......... 236
<BR>7.1.1 Bouygues Telecom...................................................................237
<BR>7.1.2 BT Cellnet................................................................................238
<BR>7.1.3 Comviq (Tele2)........................................................................239
<BR>7.1.4 D2 Vodafone............................................................................240
<BR>7.1.5 Eircell.......................................................................................241
<BR>7.1.6 Europolitan Vodafone..............................................................242
<BR>7.1.7 KPN..........................................................................................243
<BR>7.1.8 One2One ..................................................................................244
<BR>7.1.9 Orange (France) .......................................................................245
<BR>7.1.10 Orange (UK) ........................................................................246
<BR>7.1.11 SFR ......................................................................................247
<BR>7.1.12 Singapore Telecom ..............................................................248
<BR>7.1.13 Sonera ..................................................................................249
<BR>7.1.14 Sonofon................................................................................250
<BR>7.1.15 Sprint....................................................................................251
<BR>7.1.16 Swisscom .............................................................................252
<BR>7.1.17 Telecom Italia Mobile..........................................................253
<BR>7.1.18 TeleDanmark/TDC ..............................................................254
<BR>7.1.19 Telefónica ............................................................................255
<BR>7.1.20 Telenor .................................................................................256
<BR>7.1.21 Telia Mobile.........................................................................257
<BR>7.1.22 T-Mobil................................................................................258
<BR>7.1.23 Vodafone..............................................................................259
<BR>7.1.24 Wind.....................................................................................260
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