The global MVNO market is expected to reach $98.0 billion by 2023, advancing at a CAGR of 9.7% during the forecast period. This is due to the rapid growth of the triple play services in emerging economies, segment-targeted pricing strategies and innovative distribution, and surge in penetration of mobile devices and requirement for low cost mobile services around the world. MVNO refer to mobile service providers who purchase the wireless network infrastructure services from mobile network operators for reselling it to the customers at reduced retail prices under their own brand name.
In terms of type, the mobile virtual network operator market is categorized into roaming, discount, cellular M2M, telecom, migrant, media & entertainment, retail, and business. Out of these, the discount category dominated the market during the historical period, and is projected to contribute the largest revenue share of the market during the forecast period as well. The roaming category is predicted to advance at the fastest pace during the forecast period, owing to the initiatives of MVNOs in various countries, such as comprehensive roaming tariff.
When category is taken into consideration, the mobile virtual network operator market is bifurcated into prepaid MVNO and postpaid MVNO. Between these two, the postpaid MVNO division held the larger share of the market during the historical period and is expected to dominate the market during the forecast period as well. The faster growth is projected to be registered by the prepaid MVNO division during the forecast period. This is due to the increasing penetration of these services in developing countries in Latin America, Asia-Pacific (APAC), and Africa.
Geographically, Western Europe dominated the market during the historical period and the U.K. mobile virtual network operator market witnessed a considerable growth in the regional market. The APAC region is expected to account for the major share of the market in 2023. While in the initial phase MNOs opposed MVNOs, at the present time, MNOs in APAC are looking for new MVNO partners for developing efficient wholesale strategies in order to retain subscribers and gain momentum from existing network infrastructure.
The surging penetration of mobile phones and rising demand for low cost mobile services around the world are contributing significantly to the growth of the mobile virtual network operator market. The average cost of mobile phones has reduced substantially due to technological advancements in mobile phone manufacturing industry, which, in turn, have led to an increased penetration of mobile phones. The demand for enhanced video, voice, and mobile internet services have risen, which is leading to the growth of the domain, as MVNOs provide these services at lower costs than MNOs.
A key trend being witnessed in the mobile virtual network operator market is the increased focus on value added services rather than on price differentiation. While traditional MVNO players focused on price differentiation, the new players entering the market are more inclined toward providing value added services. Smartphone vendors, banks, media companies, supermarkets, and others have entered the domain with new MVNO business models. These new players are giving stiff competition to the traditional players in the market. Due to this, the traditional players have also started focusing on offering value added services.
Hence, the market is being driven by the increasing penetration of smartphones and rising demand for low cost mobile services.