However, these figures conceal wide variations by region and in some cases actually mask declines during the second half of the forecast period, for example in the US and Western Europe. Although the market will continue to grow overall, Juniper Research believes that a shift in the role and focus of consumer MVNOs is under way:
- To succeed in the long-term, voice-only MVNOs will need a strong
brand and retail presence to achieve and maintain critical mass
- Mobile entertainment MVNOs will only succeed in niche segments, due to the predominance of on-portal services
- MVNOs will emerge from outside the telecoms industry that are able to identify new market segments or services that do not compete directly with mobile network operators’ offerings
- MVNOs will need to review the terms of their relationship with mobile data MVNOs, viewing them as allies in the value chain, rather than as competitors.
Report author, Sue Uglow, commented:
The current model for no-frills, voice-only MVNOs is under threat from predatory activities by host mobile network operators, although some of the larger players will survive. The model we thought we had for mobile data MVNOs is not working properly: consumers are not yet taking up services in volume because they refuse to pay for data they do not want or need. The matching of mobile data content and service delivery to users’ expectations will be key to understanding the roles and responsibilities of MVNOs and their partners. Most companies seeking to mobile-enable their content or information will not be able to achieve this on their own, and will need to develop and maintain partnerships with mobile network operators, MVNEs and other service providers.