What is a mo­bile vir­tual net­work op­er­a­tor?

Google plans to launch wire­less mo­bile net­work

Daily Trust - - IT WORLD - By Zakariyya Adaramola, with agency re­ports

A mo­bile vir­tual net­work op­er­a­tor (MVNO) is a com­pany that of­fers mo­bile ser­vice plans us­ing ex­ist­ing net­works.

MVNOs don’t own the in­fra­struc­ture the net­works are built on. In­stead, they buy ac­cess to parts of these net­works at whole­sale prices.

The com­pany can then use this ac­cess to run its own wire­less plans and re­sell the con­nec­tiv­ity back to cus­tomers - usu­ally at a re­duced rate.

There are no MVNOs in Nigeria presently be­cause there “is no enough ca­pac­ity in the sys­tem”.

Wale Good­luck, cor­po­rate ser­vices ex­ec­u­tive, MTN Nigeria, said the rea­son why we have not seen MVNOs in a coun­try like Nigeria is that there is not enough ca­pac­ity in the sys­tem.

“Per­haps when there is suf­fi­cient ca­pac­ity, we will be will­ing to sell whole­sale ca­pac­ity to any com­pany who wants to sell re­tail tele­coms ser­vices un­der an­other brand name”, he said.

In the U.S., Ly­camo­bile, for ex­am­ple, is an MVNO be­cause it runs on T-Mo­bile’s net­work.

In the UK, Tesco Mo­bile shares O2’s, and ul­ti­mately Tele­fon­ica’s, net­works.

An MVNO is typ­i­cally run as an in­de­pen­dent com­pany, with its own staff and cus­tomer ser­vice.

This would make Google a mo­bile vir­tual net­work op­er­a­tor (MVNO) sim­i­lar to Ly­camo­bile in the U.S. that runs on T-Mo­bile’s net­work, and Tesco Mo­bile in the UK which shares O2’s, and ul­ti­mately Tele­fon­ica’s, net­works.

MVNOs don’t own the in­fra­struc­ture the net­works are built on. In­stead, they buy ac­cess to parts of these net­works at whole­sale prices.

The com­pany can then use these net­work to run its own wire­less plans and re­sell the con­nec­tiv­ity back to cus­tomers - usu­ally at a re­duced rate.

Sources added that any Google­branded mo­bile net­work would ini­tially launch in cities that have Google Fiber.

Google launched its 1000mps Fiber broad­band ser­vice in 2011, start­ing with Kansas City. Not con­tent with cre­at­ing the world’s most pop­u­lar phone soft­ware, and of­fer­ing among the fastest broad­band speeds in the U.S. - Google now wants to be your mo­bile net­work op­er­a­tor.

Sources have re­vealed Google has plans for its own wire­less net­work that cus­tomers could use to make calls, send texts and browse the web on their mo­biles.

In­stead of build­ing masts, how­ever, Google is in talks to buy ac­cess to ex­ist­ing 3G and 4G net­works at whole­sale prices, and sell the con­nec­tiv­ity back to cus­tomers at a cheaper rate.

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