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In the run up to MVNO World Congress, anyone who’s planning to attend will be thinking about how they can best take advantage of the opportunity to meet some seriously interesting and influential people.  With speed networking events offering the chance to connect with partners, customers and peers, it’s going to be a great place to get business done.  So what’s going to be top of the agenda?  Here’s my bet on what everyone’s going to be talking about:

Airwaves Access

With 5G access about to go up for auction, who owns (or will own) what on the mobile phone spectrum is a source of constant speculation.  Expect heated debates on whether EE really is hoarding space (as asserted by Mark Evans at O2) and exactly what caps Ofcom is going to put in place.

An Unfair Playing Field for MVNO Partners

Lack of access to networks continues to be a major frustration for many MVNO partners.  Those who were hoping to take advantage of the additional 800MHz EE is adding to its network may still have quite a wait on their hands.  The lack of parity when it comes to customers of mobile network providers and MVNO partners has led to a distorted playing field but one that MVNOs still have to participate in – despite Virgin’s misgivings on the BT/EE merger, they’ve signed up for a full 5-year MVNO agreement.

Roam Like Home Impacting Margins

With the EU putting an end to roaming charges from 15th June 2017, it’s a great time to be a consumer but this comes at a cost to the MVNO community.  Income generated by customers consuming voice and data whilst travelling will be cut significantly so expect lots of discussion about how this missing margin will be replaced.

4G and Data Proliferation

4G market penetration is already beyond the 50% mark, and 26% of mobile phone users don’t make traditional voice calls in any given week1.  This places MVNOs under enormous pressure to deliver guaranteed fast, reliable access to data but with providers not sharing their capacity, and customer data expectations unlikely to plateau anytime soon, this is going to become much harder to do.
1. Ericsson Mobility Report 2016

Is Wi-Fi the Magic Wand?

From offering a route around the restrictions of mobile phone network providers, to providing customers with certainty that they can access high-speed, high-quality data services wherever they are in the world; the Mobilise team believe the solution to many of the challenges currently impacting MVNOs is to harness the power of Wi-Fi.  It’s a topic that we explore in detail in our whitepaper “Levelling the Mobile Playing Field – Helping MVNOs Become Wi-Fi First” which you can download here.

So how about you?  I’d welcome the opportunity to hear what’s on your mind either at the conference or over the (mobile) phone.  Click here to get in touch.

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