The growth of Mobile Virtual Network Operators (MVNO) is a global phenomena. In the next few years the sector is expected to grow by 9% YoY, and will constitute around 10% of the total mobile market, estimated at 500M users globally by 2023. This growth is driven by higher number of devices per consumer, as well as younger internet savvy users entering the market. The “low-cost-high-data” plans hence become the engine to MVNO growth success.

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This good news story however seems impeded by an arguably non-sustainable commoditised business model. Investment to expand mobile infrastructure by the Mobile Virtual Network Enablers (MVNE) continues to grow, passing on the costs to the MVNO, while the downward trend on consumer pricing accelerates. How does the MVNO profit margin look like in 3 years time ? Is it strategic for MVNO to offer similar services as the traditional mobile operators who are often themselves the MVNE ? …

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