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Here we provide our insight into minimising CAPEX 
Leveraging managed services to reduce OPEX
Building agile networks using flexible Core Network products

The Facts

The Mobile Virtual Network Operator (MVNO) market continues to grow apace with forecasters projecting a healthy 6.8% Compound Annual Growth Rate, (CAGR) taking the market size from today’s $64 billion to $89 billion in 2024.

Many verticals in this market are driving this growth:

The explosive growth of cellular IoT devices – GSMA predict the growth of cellular IoT devices to rise from 760 million to 3.1 billion in 2025 – that’s a meteoric CAGR of 217%

The continued rise of the BrandVNO with large brands in banking, retail and utilities looking to engender consumer stickiness with a branded mobile offering.

Niche MVNOs, are those that are offering boundaryless roaming, data-only offerings, dedicated security applications for enterprise employees and a raft of players providing the expertise needed to lift off IoT deployment.


A Mobile Virtual Network Operator or MVNO delivers its services by piggybacking off a Mobile Network Operator (MNO). The MVNO concentrates on its core offering in the market while the Mobile Network Operator provides the transport.

How tightly an MVNO is integrated with an MNO varies greatly. Some MVNOs focus almost entirely on branding while others run their own networks providing routing, OSS and BSS functions.

An MVNO can also utilise an MVNE – Mobile Virtual Network Enabler. The MVNE manages the connections to the MNOs and offers a range of platforms depending on the underlying offering (voice/data/IoT) from which the MVNO can manage their offering.

network pig

The Challenges

Today’s Mobile Networks are in constant flux, as 3G makes way for 4G and operators prepare for the gathering storm that is 5G. There are even discussions around extending the life of 2G networks for IoT. Each technology differs not only at the radio interface but also in the underlying set of core network components utilising different signalling standards and protocols. The Operational and Business Support Services (OSS/BSS) layer provides the billing, mediation and provisioning functions.

These behemoths have to straddle all the network types and often interface different networks via sophisticated Interworking functions.

To deliver their services an MVNx must be able to successfully integrate into this constantly evolving morass of disparate networks, components and industry standards.

The key to success…

With over a decade experience of working with MVNO and MVNE customers, we share our insight and advice on how to minimise CAPEX, utilise managed services to reduce OPEX and to building agile networks using flexible Core Network products.


Brand MVNOs look to provide connectivity and enhanced services to retain existing customers and attract new ones in a highly competitive telecoms market. The key to success is to ensure MVNOs don’t expose too much CAPEX when setting up the network. To compete effectively is to maintain agility and appreciate that it’s far more efficient to navigate the busy network of city streets on a bike than in a tank.

Burdening your brand by opting for costly, bloated and inflexible network components from big hitters such as Huawei, Nokia and Ericsson result in MVNOs having to sacrifice the very features that will ultimately help to retain subscribers and appeal to new ones, such as great customer service and care.


The coverage of 5G and 4G is not likely to be uniform within the home network and this becomes increasingly inconsistent when roaming. Ensuring seamless UX forward and backward compatibility of the network infrastructure is of the highest importance. Selecting a flexible and adaptable network infrastructure enables MVNOs to support multiple host MNOs, interconnections and OSS/BSS providers and to improve margins.

Our experience delivering integrated signalling solutions has helped us to develop a core network product range for MVNx customers that are complemented by a tightly integrated application development environment. This combination allows us, and our MVNx customers to be incredibly agile.


The operational objective of an MVNO is to capture a niche segment of the market they can serve better than the MNO and in turn create a brand differentiator.

Running a core network is resource intensive and can be expensive on the OPEX, a useful workaround is to capitalise on vendor-managed services to run the network to keep the OPEX down.

Our managed services are designed to do the heavy lifting for brand MVNOs, allowing them to lease core network products monthly. The managed part of the offering ensures that our network specialists will install and commission products directly into an MVNx’s network and then seamlessly provide ongoing support.

Case Studies


Telecom26 is an MVNO specialising in mobile business and security-critical applications. To allow them to deliver their service we initially worked to define the appropriate network logic.

The deployed product was an integrated Gateway MSC where the logic was configured and manipulated allowing it to perform a range of enquiries and updates into network databases and applications (HLR/HSS/VLR/EIR/IN-SCP/P-CRCF/OCS etc) to dictate how the service was delivered.


With a variety of components deployed across mobile networks supporting legacy to next-generation standards, an MVNO/MVNE needs a flexible solution that can solve the “pinch points” of standards incompatibility. We worked with Renna Mobile an MVNO based in Oman to interface a next-generation Online Charging System  based on Diameter standards with their legacy SS7 network. We worked with them to identify the specific interworking functionality they required and delivered on our Diameter Interworking Function.


For the MVNO/MVNE that operates its own network, there is a need to operate a carrier-grade signalling core that provides the heavy lifting.

We worked with Simfony, an IoT MVNE to deliver a signalling core that delivered an integrated legacy SS7 and Diameter signalling solution, insuring both legacy and next-gen support. This was deployed in a virtual environment on our carrier-grade Signal Transfer Point and Diameter Signalling Controller products.