January 6, 2013
MVNOs have had mixed success around the globe. The MVNO market is still nascent in Africa, yet some new MVNOs have launched with a degree of success.
In 2012, Cartesian conducted research and analysis to understand the state, current and future trends, and likely evolution of the MVNO market.
Through this thought study, we address these key questions:
Globally many MVNOs have launched in the last few years to serve both mass and niche market segments.
The MVNO model is established and mature in a variety of markets worldwide.
Sources: Cartesian, Nereo, company websites and press releases
The MVNO market in Africa is still in its infancy - however several MVNOs have rolled out or announced launch over the last five years with some degree of success.
*Note: Senegal and Cameroon has MVNOs operating as sub-brand and resellers respectively, however a full MVNO license is still not on offer from the regulators.
Sources: PrepaidMVNO.com, TeleGeophrany, MVNODirectory.com, Company Releases, Cartesian
We see major challenges and opportunities for the launch of MVNOs in Africa.
Regulatory issues, low ARPUs and high interconnect rates are viewed as the main barriers to launch MVNO in Africa:
Source: African Telecoms News Survey, Blycroft 2012
Price volatility is also a big problem for MVNOs, which typically do not have the financial reserves to engage in price wars.
Source: GSMA, Cartesian
MNOs need to assess the potential risk (and wholesale reward) from MVNOs entering the market.
When considering investing, MVNO entrants in Africa should be realistic about the prospects of success and be aware of the key success factors.
Over the last three decades, Cartesian has worked on over 50 MVNO-related projects throughout the US, Europe, Middle East and Asia.
We provide advisory, project management and managed services for MNOs, MVNOs, MVNEs and MVNAs. Our MVNO-related experience includes: