How an MNOs wholesale strategy can be the key to differentiation
I often speak to MNOs and other telco providers about making the customer cake, or target market, bigger. Rather than competing about the same customers as every other top tier telco. One way to do so is to target the underserved SMB segment, another way is to differentiate the wholesale strategy by offering a “digital telco in a box” solution to niched MVNOs with strong business models. Hang on, and I will tell you how.
There are ways to leverage wholesale even further
Recently I’ve noticed a bit of a trend shift where top tier telcos are revising their wholesale strategies because of financial hardship right now. The truth is that wholesale is a profitable business, and many telcos are now looking how to leverage this department even further. One of the challenges for wholesale in general is that MVNOs need to be of a certain size to both afford the cost for the network connection, and to be able to wait for the time it takes to integrate to the MNO. Many small MVNOs do not have either the money or the time to embark on such an implementation project.
From spare capacity to core business
Wholesale departments were formed to sell spare network capacity that MNOs do not need themselves, which is a good way to ensure shorter return on investment of their substantial network infrastructure projects. However, these departments typically provide the actual network, while the MVNOs are left alone to find a suitable OSS/BSS system to run their actual operations on. This is problematic since many MVNO entrepreneurs are good at crafting niched business models and strong marketing plans, but less skilled at procuring the right technical platform for their venture.
Differentiate in the marketplace by serving smaller MVNOs
The way to address this issue is for telcos to offer a “digital telco in a box” solution, a one stop shop for all things MVNO including both the network connection, BSS/OSS, support and maintenance. Basically, becoming their own Mobile Virtual Network Enablers (MVNEs) rather than relying on some other company’s legacy technology. This way the MNOs can increase the addressable market by also serving smaller MVNOs. An MVNE that is pre-integrated and built on BSS/OSS systems based on automation can suddenly go to market within months rather than years.
This is great news for all the niched MVNOs out there on a mission to solve critical end customer needs, as well as for MNOs that can suddenly differentiate towards the competition by targeting MVNOs that they previously had to neglect.