The announcement this week that the EU is proposing to enable consumers to sign up to a separate roaming contract that is independent of their regular mobile tariff plan heralds the dawn of a new era of transnational MVNOs. When abroad, customers would automatically switch onto their roaming provider’s service while keeping the same phone number and without having to change their SIM.
Neelie Kroes, European Commission Vice President for the Digital Agenda, said: “This proposal tackles the root cause of the problem – the lack of competition on roaming markets – by giving customers more choice and by giving alternative operators easier access to the roaming market. It would also immediately bring down prices for data roaming, where operators currently enjoy outrageous profit margins.”
Now, instead of being focused on capturing niche market segments within national jurisdictions, MVNOs can target any subscribers that roam between EU countries. This presents opportunities for MVNOs that focus on voice call roaming plans only or those consumer electronics providers that wish to offer integrated data bundles with their games devices or e-book readers for downloads.
Those MVNEs that can offer multi-country presence from their data centre hubs will quickly be able to support these MVNOs and we at Jinny are already working with MVNEs that have this capability. By having the interconnects and agreements in place with the MNOs in multiple EU locations, theses MVNEs will allow the MVNO to quickly launch its transnational service.
This structural change will accelerate MVNO growth across the EU, especially in those states that are still looking forward to the choice and diversity that a strong MVNO sector can bring.
Author: Cathal O’Toole, Jinny Senior Product Manager