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Over the past few years, digital transformation has swept across industries, becoming a non-negotiable business strategy to stay relevant and competitive in today’s highly-connected and digital-first era. At the heart of this technological revolution, Mobile Virtual Network Operators (MVNOs) have emerged as major contributors, leveraging digital transformation to optimize their services, drive customer engagement, and shape the future of communication.

What is an MVNO?

MVNO is a wireless communications services provider that does not own the wireless network infrastructure over which it provides services to its customers. Instead, MVNOs lease bandwidth from major network operators and then resell it to consumers under their brand name.

Digital transformation — a term that embodies the integration of digital technology into core areas of a business, changing how you operate and deliver value to customers — is now reshaping the landscape of MVNOs. Here in this article, we try to explore how MVNOs are using digital transformation strategies to redefine their services and offer sustained customer experience in today’s digitally evolving world.

Read also: 6 Key Factors Shaping the Telecom Industry in 2023 and Beyond

MVNOs and the Digital Shift

The global MVNO market that was once valued at USD 64.0 billion in 2020 and is expected to reach a staggering USD 104.7 billion by 2027, growing at a CAGR of 7.3%. This growth is fueled in part by the adoption of digital transformation strategies, which allow MVNOs to expand their service offerings, improve customer experience, and stay competitive in a fast-paced market.  

Digital transformation has given MVNOs, MNOs and CSPs the tools to better understand and engage with their customers. Prominent examples include telecom BSS solutions, network signaling, billing/revenue management, and many others. Through advanced analytics, artificial intelligence, and machine learning, MVNOs can gain insights into consumer behavior, preferences, and trends. These insights can be used to offer personalized services, craft effective marketing strategies, and develop products that meet specific customer needs.

Read also: The Winning Strategies for Successful Telecom Transformation – Avisys’ Advisory

Use Case: Lebara Mobile’s Digital Transformation

An excellent example of a successful digital transformation in the MVNO sector is Lebara Mobile. Known for its cost-effective international calling services, Lebara embarked on a digital transformation journey that has seen the company transition from a traditional telecom provider to a digital-first MVNO.

As part of its transformation, Lebara utilized a holistic digital transformation consulting strategy including big data analytics and AI technologies to better understand customer behavior and preferences. With these insights, the company was able to provide more personalized services, thereby improving the customer experience. Lebara also integrated its critical systems and processes through powerful and tested system integration services, allowing for seamless service delivery across various touchpoints, both online and offline.

Furthermore, Lebara utilized managed services including cloud, which allowed the company to scale its services easily. With these technologies, Lebara can provide consistent, high-quality service to its customers across the globe. By implementing these digital transformation strategies, Lebara managed to expand its customer base and maintain a competitive edge in the MVNO market.

The Role of IoT in MVNOs’ Digital Transformation

Another key area where digital transformation has significantly impacted MVNOs is in the Internet of Things (IoT). The IoT refers to the network of physical devices — everything from smartphones to refrigerators — that connect and exchange data over the internet. As IoT devices become increasingly prevalent, MVNOs have a unique opportunity to provide connectivity solutions for these devices.

For instance, Twilio, a cloud communications platform, ventured into the MVNO space with the launch of its IoT-centric MVNO offering, “Super SIM.” Using its platform’s capabilities, Twilio’s Super SIM offers global connectivity solutions for IoT devices. These solutions are designed to be flexible and scalable, allowing businesses to connect and manage their IoT devices efficiently, regardless of location. Through this approach, Twilio is taking full advantage of the digital transformation trends, illustrating how MVNOs can extend their services beyond traditional telecommunication offerings.

Challenges and Opportunities

However, as with any major shift, the move towards digital transformation is not without its challenges for MVNOs. These include data security concerns, the need for substantial investments in technology and infrastructure, and the requirement to upskill or hire new talent to manage and implement these new technologies. Additionally, integrating digital technology into existing systems and processes can be complex and time-consuming.

But despite these challenges, the opportunities presented by digital transformation are substantial. Digital transformation allows MVNOs to diversify their service offerings, cater to a broader customer base, and improve their operational efficiency. Furthermore, by leveraging digital technologies, MVNOs can differentiate themselves from their competitors and create a unique value proposition for their customers.

The Future of MVNOs in the Digital Age

Looking ahead, it’s clear that the digital transformation will continue to shape the future of MVNOs. The advent of 5G technology presents yet another opportunity for MVNOs to enhance their services. With its promise of faster data speeds, lower latency, and the ability to connect more devices simultaneously, 5G technology can help MVNOs deliver more sophisticated, high-quality services to their customers.

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Moreover, as more businesses undergo their digital transformation journeys, the demand for digital services – such as solution engineering, cloud computing, data analytics, testing COE and IoT solutions – will continue to grow. This presents a unique opportunity for MVNOs to position themselves as key enablers of digital transformation, providing the necessary connectivity solutions for businesses across various industries.

In conclusion, digital transformation is more than just a buzzword for MVNOs; it’s a strategic necessity. By embracing digital transformation, MVNOs can provide better services, sustained customer experiences, increase their market share and create new opportunities for growth. As the digital landscape continues to evolve, MVNOs that can adapt and innovate will be the ones that thrive.

In today’s increasingly connected world, MVNOs and digital transformation are a match made in tech heaven, each driving the other towards new heights. The success stories of Lebara and Twilio, among others, are clear examples of the transformative power of digital technology in the MVNO sector. They serve as roadmaps for other MVNOs navigating their digital transformation journeys, proving that with the right strategies and technologies, digital transformation is not just achievable – it’s a game-changer.

At Avisys, we offer comprehensive telecom BSS solutions that help MVNOs, MNOs, telcos, and CSPs modernize their operations while also helping them to provide sustained customer experience, faster time to market and generate improved market value. Our custom telecom BSS solutions are a vital part of our digital transformation consulting offering for telcos, designed to help in a seamless digital transformation journey.

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