Not a lot of people know what MVNO even stands for, let alone what it’s all about. So let’s break it down a bit to get a clear understanding of what an MVNO actually is, and what it does.
What is MVNO?
MVNO is an acronym for Mobile Virtual Network Operator. Emphasis on the word “virtual”, as that gives you the first clue as to its nature. MVNOs don’t have their own network infrastructure, or things like wireless cellular phone towers. They operate by renting or leasing them from any of the major carriers. Hence, they operate “virtually” and are essentially any one of the BIG 4 wireless carriers in the US – just running under a different business name.
What do MVNOs do?
As previously explained, MVNOs don’t have their own infrastructure, yet they are able to offer network plans at a substantially lower price that what you’d normally pay for the same service from any of the Big 4. This is due to the fact that they don’t have any network towers and sites to maintain (they leave it to the major carrier to do). Almost all of the existing prepaid providers and cell phone plans are offered through or by an MVNO. And since this MVNO gets their service from a major carrier, you are getting the same service coverage as the network where the MVNO is leasing from.
What makes them different from the major carriers?
If they are getting their service and use of infrastructure from the major carriers, then just what makes them different? It’s certainly a valid question. As discussed earlier, MVNOs offer plans and bundles at significantly lower rates, so the pricing is one factor. Second is prioritization. While the main draw that consumers see in MVNOs is the price range and the possible savings that they can get out of it, there is also a drawback. Particularly in prioritization. True, customers might be getting the same service from the same towers that supply service to customers of the Big 4, but those who do get their mobile phone service from the Big 4 are prioritized, and get better overall better coverage during peak hours.
Why choose to use MVNO service?
MVNOs potentially help you save money. Its lower rates are generally the main appeal for people looking to save on cell phone bills and costs. Another reason would be if you already have a phone that is in perfect working condition and just really need the cell phone service or redundant internet connection for your business.
All things considered, there’s definitely a reason why people are switching over to MVNOs and prepaid services rather than signing up for a plan from any of the 4 major carriers in the US. MVNOs offer an alternative to what has been more traditionally offered in the cell phone service market.