Voice over WiFi (VoWiFi) has the potential to reshape the Mobile Virtual Network Operator (MVNO) market.
Since the late 1990s, MVNOs have been using existing infrastructure provided by a traditional mobile network operator (MNO) to deliver voice, data and SMS services. They have relied on their MNO partners for network coverage and been tied to their core access networks. VoWiFi has the potential change that.
For nearly two decades, MVNOs have been challenged to differentiate their businesses while maintaining margins. They’ve needed ways to demonstrate the value of their services to subscribers beyond cost and compete in new ways.
VoWiFi gives them an opportunity to grow the scope of their businesses and increase revenue. It offers them a way to separate their services from competing MNOs and MVNOs while giving subscribers a new reason to choose their services.
Here are some ways VoWiFi can benefit MVNOs in the short and long term:
- Customer Satisfaction – MVNO subscribers benefit from seamless calling, messaging and data usage using existing WiFi hotspots. They can simply use their existing services without opening over-the-top (OTT) applications. This drives savings on bills when roaming and enables them to leverage existing hotspots in low coverage areas like inside buildings, train stations or other places that have limited mobile coverage.
- Cost Efficiency – MVNO’s depend on their MNO partners’ radio access network (RAN) and that can be costly. With VoWiFi, they can reduce costs by bringing the minutes directly to their core network without the need to pay the MNO for its cellular tower service. Subscribers by-pass the RAN in favour of WiFi hotspots and the MVNO gains new cost efficiencies that drive revenue growth and profitability.
- Rapid Expansion – There are 433 million public WiFi hotspots globally, according to Cisco Systems. Using VoWiFi, MVNOs can leverage these hotspots to rapidly growing their reach around the world. They can offer voice, data and SMS services globally without depending solely on their MNO partners’ RAN infrastructure. VoWiFi transforms any Wi-Fi hotspot into an extension of their RAN. This reduces costs and allows even the smallest MVNOs to differentiate their offerings with new global coverage.
All three of these factors combine to support MVNOs as they look for ways to capture new revenue and reduce costs. Subscribers receive a unique and differentiated service while the MVNO benefits from new scale and efficient growth. MVNOs that move quickly and enter the VoWiFi space will gain an advantage over competitors while both MNOs and MVNOs that wait risk losing out to rivals.
If you’d like to learn more about how Cataleya is supporting VoWiFi deployments,