The Difference between an MNO and MVNO

MNO and MVNO are both mobile operators who provide communication services to their clients. The biggest distinction between the two is that MNO can operate independently while MVNO will need MNO so it can fully function. Both MNO and MVNO being mobile networks, they are able to provide services such as voice calls, billing services, and customer care services (among other services) to end-users. An MNO can be able to provide these services to end-users on its own, but since an MVNO cannot be able to use its own frequency, MVNO results to buying radio spectrum from Mobile network operators. Below are the features of both of these communication services.

Features of an MNO vs those of MVNO

  1. MNO operates from its own radio spectrum and has a license from the government to operate through it. When it comes to the assets that the MNO requires in order to provide services to its end users the MNO owns them all.

When it comes to the MVNO assets; MVNO either owns some of these assets – it ends up getting a lease for some of the assets from the MNO. There is also the possibility of an MVNO owning none of the assets and it ends up leasing all of the assets from MNOs. When MVNO leases assets from an MNO it is either in bulk or at a wholesale price. The MVNO has the option of letting the MNO provide customer care and billing services for them or provide the services themselves.

  1. MNO buys its Network equipment from willing sellers and uses them to set up their own cellular or mobile network.

MVNO on the other hand purchases bulk packages at wholesale prices; these packages include data and minutes. MVNO basically acts as a reseller. After buying the packages they are branded and the services now offered belong to the MVNO. The communication services are then offered to users by MVNOs.

  1. MNO offers support and customer care services to subscribers. MNO can offer customer care services to MVNOs subscribers. However, MVNOs can also offer customer care support services of their own and offer their own subscribers the support that they need, this includes answering any questions that they are likely to have in regards to the services being offered by the MVNOs.
  2. Before making the equipment available MNOS first tests them to see if they are working and if they are in good condition. MVNOs being resellers do need to test if any equipment is working since they buy bulk packages to sell to their own end users. The types of equipment that they use for their own network coverage are already tried and tested.
  3. Since MNOs have to bear the cost of putting up their own towers and so they can ensure that their clients have access to network coverage they are likely to charge more compared to MVNOs.

MVNOs will give cheaper services to its end users since it does not have to bear with the cost of putting up any equipment. They lease the equipment of the MNOs at a certain cost and they are able to give their services to subscribers in the same way.

Advantages and disadvantages of both network providers

Advantages of MVNOs

  • Since the MVNOs do not have to bear the cost that comes along with putting up towers, they can be able to offer cheaper services compared to those offered by the MNOs.

Disadvantages of MVNOs

  • As a subscriber using MVNO you are likely to have a low reception if you are in a place that is crowded. This is because postpaid customers are likely to get priority from towers compared to clients using MVNOs or those using prepaid services.

Advantages of MNOs

  • Since they have their own towers on the ground they have wide coverage and can offer high-speed connection.

Disadvantages of MNOs

  • Due to the cost associated with the putting up of towers their services are likely to be more expensive.

There are people who see MNOs and MVNOs as competitors; however, they are not – they both need to work together. Both network providers with their differences, advantages, and disadvantages can only work together successfully if they maintain a strong partnership with one another.

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