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29 November 2022 | 16:51 – Author: Blue Hadlow, Chief Information Officer at FREI – (original article here)

MVNO: a brand-centric communication platform

If you could deploy a mobile network like the “big boys,” could you reap the benefits the way they do? It may be possible, but the business model and philosophy must change completely.

Many brands see the value of offering products and services to an identifiable market (or audience) of subscribers and thereby realise potential revenues. This often forms the basis of a bespoke Mobile Virtual Network Operator (MVNO).

But herein lies the challenge.

Traditional telecoms services are mainly based on selling communication, “a basic right,” some say. Voice, data, and SMS are the building blocks of most “products” in the mobile landscape, with slight variations in price, bundling, and product options.

To truly understand where product innovation needs to go, we must rethink the value of communication in our lives, and the critical role it plays for brands. Brands need a reliable way to communicate with their consumers and their audience. They need an open channel for their audience, one that has chosen to be part of their brand.

We are keeping the communication channel open to the benefit of both parties. This mutually beneficial relationship forms the basis of a new type of engagement (a symbiosis) with the potential to realise a new kind of value.

Large operators have the financial muscle to outlast any short-lived offering promising more for less. Playing the market for the cheapest airtime, mobile operators drive the process of kicking small players to the curb. This makes entry to this industry risky, at best, and competing on price only, is a recipe for failure.

A simple solution that is surprisingly obvious and elegant.

Create a brand-centric communication platform to build relationships between brands and consumers and not sell more of the same.

This offering is based on a win-win strategy for all.

Design it so that all players (even different brands) can benefit synergistically and ensure that the consumer is the biggest winner. Invite many niche audiences to this platform and allow them to create value for all the players, but ultimately the consumer.

Co-opetition ensures cooperation between brands to the benefit of the consumer and the benefit of all participating brands. It also ensures that consumers are loyal to the ecosystem and dedicated to participating brands.

The ecosystem extends beyond cheap communication. Where communication is a given, the consumer’s needs are met, and brands benefit from offering their value proposition without understanding the intricacies of telecoms.

The ecosystem keeps the channel open and alive, the brands market their wares, and the consumer wins. The ecosystem gets a life of its own. Consumers no longer need to move from one brand to another but can “play” in an integrated digital economy of products and services.

There is no “big boy” network but billions of transactions between brand-connected consumers, driving processes, businesses, devices, and data – a new business model. The value of communication technology is to fuel this interconnectedness – a new philosophy. Propensity models evaluate a consumer’s willingness to purchase any product in the ecosystem.

What if it was no longer a choice between your favourite product and communication?

Could one get both consistently, every time?

Communication can be the utility that drives consumer satisfaction, connectedness, and inclination to purchase the product. The bundling of digital and traditional products and services to create a unique market offering promises longevity of these offerings. Sure they, the “big boys,” can sell airtime for cheap, but consumers do not get it for free when they support the eco-system.

FREI creates a world where consumers may never have to buy airtime again if they continue to purchase their favourite products. Connected consumers are far more likely to engage, especially if they do not need to concern themselves with connectivity.

In the fast-moving world of telecoms, innovation and the rate thereof ultimately determine who gets left behind. At FREI, we pride ourselves on providing innovation beyond the norm by solving real-world problems.