Published: Mar, 2018

The global mobile virtual network operator (MVNO) market is led by a handful of companies rendering marked competition among them, states Transparency Market Research (TMR) in a new report. AT&T, Virgin Group Ltd., and Verizon communications are top shots holding leading share in the market. These large companies are considering mergers and acquisitions and strategic alliances to bolster their position across geographies. Initiatives to offer cutting-edge technologies at competitive prices also remains a key objective of these companies to retain their dominance. This includes serving untapped business areas in order to gain competitive edge. Furthermore, large players are providing bundled up services, notably in developed regions, in a bid to offer differentiator services and boost their revenue earnings.

Apart from this, immense growth opportunities is attracting small-sized vendors to enter the market through business alliances and partnerships. This is likely to magnify competition in the MVNO market, adds the report.

As per the TMR study, the global MVNO market is poised to expand at a CAGR of 7.2% in terms of revenue between 2017 and 2023. At this pace, the market will increase from US$49.51 bn in 2017 to US$75.25 bn by the end of 2023. The market was worth vis-à-vis revenue. By subscriber type, the consumer segment hold dominance in the overall market mainly because of incessantly increasing demand for low-cost data and voice services among an increasing customer base. Geography-wise, Europe holds prominent position in the MVNO market as the region accounts for the largest number of MVNOs worldwide. Government regulations that support mobile virtual network operator services is bolstering the growth of this market. Low-cost bundled up differentiator services offered by mobile network operators (MNOs) is also accentuating the growth of this regional market.

global mvno market

Government Support for Maximum Utilization of Mobile Broadband Bandwidth Boosts Growth

The staggering rise in mobile subscriber base in several parts of the world and practices of leasing excess bandwidth of 3G telecom operators is primarily driving the MVNO market. The excess bandwidth is leased to third-party service providers to serve the incessantly rising demand for low-cost data and voice services. Thus, initiatives to utilize existing assets of mobile network operators is boosting the demand for mobile virtual network operators. The rising demand from consumers for secure yet affordable voice and data services is further aiding the MVNO market.

Increasing government support for maximum utilization of existing bandwidth is attracting service providers for mobile virtual network operator services. MVNOs are using excess bandwidth of MNOs. This is helping the latter utilize the whole bandwidth allocated by the government and convert into revenue.

At present, MNOs are increasingly vying to acquire virtual customers through MVNOs and offer categorized service offerings for niche segments. MVNOs are attracting customers for MNOs thus reducing the customer acquisition cost with respect to marketing and promotional efforts. The advent of tailor-made services is a trend that has come to the fore. MVNOs offer tailor-made plans for specific age groups such as college students or senior citizens or for a specific ethnic groups. This has been possible with the advent of high-speed and reliable 4G networks for broadband services. Coupled with continual infrastructural upgrades especially in developed nations, the demand for MVNOs is on the rise.

Risk of Shrinking Business Revenues of MNOs to Challenge Growth

Threat posed by MVNOs to MNOs cannibalizing the business of the latter is a bottleneck to the growth of MVNO market. The possibility that MVNOs may turn into big players impacting the revenue earnings of MNOs may shrink service offerings by the latter. MNOs that are not open to changes may not be a welcome move for MVNOs. These factors will negatively impact the MVNO market.

The information presented here is based on the findings of a TMR report, titled “Mobile Virtual Network Operator (MVNO) Market (Operational Model – Reseller MVNO, Service Operator MVNO, and Full-MVNO; Type – Business, Discount, M2M, Media, Migrant, Retail, Roaming, and Telecom; Subscriber – Business and Consumer) – Global Industry Analysis, Size, Share, Growth, Trends, and Forecast 2017-2023.

Key Takeaways

  • Incessant increase in mobile subscriber base fuels growth
  • Government support for maximum utilization of bandwidth favors market

The global MVNO market is segmented as follows:

Operational Model

  • Reseller MVNO
  • Service Operator MVNO
  • Full-MVNO

Industry Vertical

  • Business
  • Discount
  • M2M
  • Media
  • Migrant
  • Retail
  • Roaming
  • Telecom


  • Consumer
  • Business


  • North America
  • Europe
  • Latin America
  • APAC
  • Middle East and Africa

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