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Are you looking to become MVNO in India?

 
MVNO is not a new term in India anymore.
 
There are 61 companies approved by DoT (Department of Telecommunications) for MVNO in India.
MVNO licensee is an entity that does not own the spectrum spectrum for Access Services (which may include 2G/3G/4G/CDMA) but can provide wireless (mobile) Access Services to customers by sharing the spectrum of the another Access Provider (MNO – Mobile network operator). 
Is there a need for MVNO in the Indian Telecom Market? 
 
As per TRAI (Telecoms Regulatory Authority of India), the MVNO services not only add value to the standard voice service as provided by MNOs but will also drive up the ARPU (Average revenue per user). The decrease in ARPU, which is a major concern for all the existing MNOs, may be able to find a way to increase their revenues through increased market presence, sale of value added services like ring tones, picture/video messaging, greetings, games, Internet access or other data services including niche value added services. The Reserve Bank of India has recently announced to analyse the possibility to allow mobile phones to act as credit cards. MVNOs may find themselves playing a niche and active role in roll-out of these and other superior value added services. Another major element is that most MNOs have a vast spectrum of which the free part can be utilised by giving to MVNOs.
 
In other words, MVNO may not only provide network connectivity but will also help in developing and integrating services from various service and consumer sectors. MVNOs may add value for the Mobile network operators to sell free network capacities/ bandwidth to newer markets that may have been untouched by them.
 
In addition to the above, it may also be noted that the telecom (mobile) revolution has to an extent taken place in urban areas and rural areas still remain untouched with exponential growth in this sector. Launch of MVNOs may enable many service sector organizations to take licenses and increase the mobile services reach in rural areas at a lesser OPEX and CAPEX. With so much the liberalization/ revolution taking place in many sectors especially railways, it may not be wrong to expect that some day even Indian Railways may take MVNO license to provide services within the trains and also along the wide rail network. 
 
For example - Virgin Mobile in the UK has been very successful as a MVNO increasing penetration rates year on year, and linked to its strong brand value both in financial and media markets. Also Tesco, the food-shopping giant has been successful in the MVNO sector, reselling SIMs and generating goodwill in its mobile phone brand. Key to the success of both players has been goodwill in existing brands together with innovative service plans and a highly competitive market in handsets. 
 
Based on the benefits of MVNO, there is a need to introduce MVNOs in India. It is expected that introduction of MVNOs would bring in more competition, variety of services (including value added services) and increased mobile penetration. 
There is a lot of lobbying that MVNOs should operate under a separate license and independent regulatory framework. 
To what extent should the MVNO be permitted to set up their own infrastructure? 
 
Ideally MVNOs should be permitted to own and share active as well as passive infrastructure without owning the spectrum/ bandwidth. The definition of MVNO is very clear as it may only share spectrum i.e. be able to buy spectrum from MNOs for provisioning of services. 
 
The grant of right to establish/ own/ share passive infrastructure may allow big corporations like Railways to utilize their own infrastructure, especially in rural and remote areas, for provisioning of mobile services. 
 
Telecoms Supermarket India is working with many MVNOs in India from inception to launch, marketing to strategy, Technology to Operations. Feel free to connect if you feel this is the correct opportunity for you.

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