The global MVNO market presents an opportunity for explosive growth in a fast-paced, low margin environment. However, concentrating only on acquiring new customers has proven to be risky according to Informa. In the report “The multifaceted world of MVNOs”, Informa remarks that MVNOs must focus on understanding their customer base in order to get the most out of it and retain it. Thus, being flexible and providing personalized services to ever-demanding users is essential. Moving fast and adapting to the changing needs of your target market is the only way to stay relevant.

This blogpost will highlight:

  • The opportunity for MVNOs.
  • Practical focus points on how to enable MVNO revenue growth.

The opportunity

According to Ovum, the global MVNO market will grow from 114 million subscribers in 2013 to 313 million in 2019. With such explosive growth, the market represents a great opportunity for all players involved. Europe and the US will continue to represent the largest customer bases globally with the Asia Pacific region emerging as the third most important area, according to informa.   

Despite the overall solid growth opportunities, many MVNOs fail: informa estimates that 25% of virtual operators go out of business before their second year in business. That is why, based on insights from informa, McKinsey and Ovum, we’ve gathered several success strategies that are considered to be crucial for MVNOs’ success.

Enabling sustainable growth

MVNOs’ overall success is not just based on strong growth, but customer retention and monetization too, Informa remarks. In the low margin, fast-changing MVNO environment, customer focus and engagement are essential.

Know your customers

MVNOs’ business is established on segmentation. Virtual operators aim to address the needs of highly targeted customer groups better or more cost efficiently than the incumbent MNOs.

MVNOs have to intimately know their target segment and react quickly to changes in order to stay relevant, according to McKinsey. Understanding the needs of your customers will not only help you to prevent churn, but will also support upsales, cross-sales and higher ARPU.

Focus on customer experience

As competing on price alone becomes increasingly difficult, customer experience is regarded as the main competitive differentiator for MVNOs. Providing a consistent experience throughout all touch points is not only important to delight your customers, but also to decrease churn. At the same time, MVNOs have to focus on costs and try to proactively solve customers’ issues before they reach customer service lines, Informa remarks. A great end-to-end solution for this challenge is the online self-service software. By implementing it, MVNOs can solve customers’ problems in the channel that customers look for help first – online. Having self-service software that helps customers quickly and efficiently creates outstanding competitive differentiation between virtual operators. By providing solutions to all common smartphone problems, the use of online self-service lowers customer effort while increasing Problem Resolution Rates and Net Promoter Scores. 

Leverage timing and customization

Helping your customers help themselves, via self-service, provides a profitable opportunity, according to Oracle. After your customer has resolved their support issue on your website, they can be directed to a personalized offer that matches their situation. For example, this could be upgrading their device or subscription, as well as purchasing a Value Added Service (VAS). As timing and context are essential, there is no better time to upsell than the moment you have solved a user’s problem effortlessly. Moreover, personalizing the offer your customer receives further increases the likelihood of an upsell or cross-sell.    

The effortless service experience enhances customer satisfaction and loyalty. At the same time, satisfied customers are much more likely to upgrade their existing subscription and purchase additional services from you, according to Forrester. This increases Customer Lifetime Value (CLV) and creates a deeper relationship with your brand, which makes your customers far less likely to churn.


The success of MVNOs is based on unique brand positioning and the ability to serve their customers better than anyone else on the market. In order to stay relevant, virtual operators need to focus on their target customers and provide them with a superior customer experience.

QelpCare is self-service software that integrates seamlessly with any customer touch point to optimize each customer journey. It provides superior customer experience by delivering an 85% first contact resolution rate regardless of the digital service channel. After a customer’s issue is resolved effortlessly, QelpCare can suggest an offer to the satisfied user that matches their situation; for example, upgrading their device or subscription, as well as the purchasing of Value Added Services (VAS).

With QelpCare you have complete control over the customer experience, which is one of the key success factors for differentiation and customer retention.


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