JOURNAL OF COMPUTING, VOLUME 2, ISSUE 12, DECEMBER 2010, ISSN 2151-9617HTTPS://SITES.GOOGLE.COM/SITE/JOURNALOFCOMPUTING/ WWW.JOURNALOFCOMPUTING.ORG 46
MVNO is an organization that offers mobile subscriptionsin its own brand name, controlling the billing relationshipwith the customer, but who does not hold its own fre-quency license in the market. So MVNO, by nature, has toutilize such facilities of the existing mobile network oper-ator as base stations, switching system and radio frequen-cy, etc. MVNO can be distinguished into 4 types by thedegree of dependence on MNO’s facilities. The first type,type A, is the simplest pure reseller, as just reselling of theexisting MNO’s mobile service to customers with his ownbrand or MNO’s brand, which is totally dependent onMNO’s telecommunications facilities. The second type isthe simple MVNO that hold HLR (Home Location Regis-ter) to manage the customer’s information and his ownbrand but uses MNO’s network code and SIM (SubscriberIdentification Module) card. So the type B can provide thevalue-added service to his own customers although someparts of voice mobile service depend on the MNO. Thetype C is an MVNO that added switching facilities to thetype B. So the type C includes the every feature of B type.Lastly, D type in figure 1 is called full MVNO because thetype has almost mobile facilities including switching,transmission without radio frequency and some basetransmission stations. Thus, the type D is the most inde-pendent operator among 4 types, which
can provide mo-bile services including the several value-added services tohis own customers with independent marketing strategiessuch as pricing, brand, SIM card, etc. In the 4 type cases ofreal world, the wholesale compensation for using MNO’sfacilities has been usually calculated by cost base, or re-tail-price base.
: Plump/Full MVNO: MVNO own its brandname, numbering series, billing system, SIMs, some net-work infrastructure like IN, HLR and even MSC. TheMVNO does not own spectrum and therefore, uses radionetwork of MNO under business agreement for provisionof services to its customers. In this category, the MVNOseems like a full fledged mobile operator and public cannot differentiate in the MNO and MVNO. This categoryof MVNO operates under a license granted by the respec-tive regulator and is bound by the license conditions simi-lar to MNO.This category of MVNO is usually operating in fully ma-ture markets where there is sufficient competition and thegrowth is almost flat. The MNOs have sufficient sparecapacity to sell in bulk to MVNO and thus earn some rev-enue, whereas the MVNO adds value to it and re-sell it inthe market with its own brand name. In short this fullMVNO Model has following distinctive features:1.
It has its own mobile network code2.
Issue its own SIM cards3.
Operate its own mobile switching centre (MSC)4.
Operate its own home location register (HLR)5.
Operate its own billing platform6.
: Skinny/Service provider MVNO: SuchMVNOs rely almost totally on the mobile operator's facili-ties. Normally such MVNO just re-sells minutes43 ac-quired in bulk from the MNO and do not possess its ownbrand name. Calls to and from these MVNO subscriberswould be treated as if they were calls to the mobile net-work operator's own customers. Similarly, the MVNOdoes not have its own codes/ numbers instead the num-bers of MNOs are used. Further, the MVNO does nothave its own SIM rather uses the SIMs of MNO.
Figure 2.1: Illustration of a MVNO network
A mobile virtual network operator provides cellular ser-vices without owning spectrum access rights. From thecustomers' point of view, a MVNO looks like any othercellular operator, but a MVNO does not own or operatebase station infrastructure. The above figure illustratesthe MVNO idea. There are different scenarios for aMVNO approach and consequently different Architec-tures for the MVNO such as:
A full MVNO, with its own SIM card, networkselection code and switching capabilities as wellas service center but without spectrum.
IA-MVNO (Indirect Access MVNO) or Enhancedservice provider without SIM card, but with owncore network (circuit switched and/or packet)and service facilities, e.g. own IN or IP applica-tion servers.
Wireless ISP without own core network; basicallyan Internet portal providing wireless IP services.