Friday, August 8, 2008

What is a MVNO?

A Mobile Virtual Network Operator (MVNO) is a mobile operator that does not own its own spectrum and usually does not have its own network infrastructure. Instead, MVNO's have business arrangements with traditional mobile operators to buy minutes of use (MOU) for sale to their own customers.

There are three primary MVNO's in the UK currently: Virgin Mobile (T-Mobile), Tesco Mobile (O2) and BT Mobile (Vodafone).

The MVNO market-leader T-Mobile's new MVNO partnership with Ikea went live today. You can expect to see many more such partnerships announced over the coming months. All UK network operators are pursuing new MVNO business in order to grow their service revenues.

The UK wholesale market is estimated to be worth £1 billion at present, and to grow to twice that by 2012.

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