One Man MVNO

Ismo Antikainen
February 29, 2024
4 mins


The concept of a single individual launching and operating a Mobile Virtual Network Operator (MVNO) might initially strike one as fanciful, if not outright ridiculous. The common assumption swings towards the impossibility of such an endeavour - after all, envision a scenario where one person is juggling the myriad tasks of sales, marketing, distribution, operations, customer care, and liaising with suppliers. Surely, this would be a Herculean task, demanding a non-stop commitment that stretches beyond the conventional workweek, right?

But what if the improbable could be rendered not just possible, but relatively straightforward? Let's embark on a thought experiment, leveraging a hypothetical yet innovative platform, "NXT:FWD," to dissect the feasibility of a one-person MVNO across two main phases: setup and operation.

A very busy professional trying to manage an MVNO in the 20s. Credit to Dall-E

The MVNO Landscape: A Realm of Possibilities

Understanding the spectrum of MVNO models is crucial. From the bare-bones reseller MVNO, which offers minimal customisation and business potential, to the full MVNO, which allows for a fully differentiated service suite minus the actual radio network , the options vary widely. The common misperception might be that only a reseller MVNO could feasibly be managed by a solo entrepreneur. However, with NXT:FWD, we argue that even a more involved model, such as a thin or enhanced MVNO, could be within the grasp of a single, resourceful individual.

Imagine a solution for an MVNO that would encompass a complete app, comprehensive data/voice/text services, and the freedom to craft unique offers and services. All this, combined with a digital only sales channel with modern built-in marketing, would necessitate minimal additional input from the MVNO, save for leveraging MNO SIMs and undertaking some marketing efforts for user acquisition and brand building.

From a consumer perspective, this model promises simplicity and modernity, where data centric services are delivered digitally. Voice and SMS services could still be offered, but the primary allure would be a seamless, app-based experience devoid of unnecessary complications, enabling consumers to focus on their choice of media, services and apps.

Setting Up Your MVNO: Less Daunting Than You Think

The onboarding process to NXT:FWD is designed to be swift and efficient, typically spanning 2-3 months. This process is compatible with leading BSS/OSS platforms and is vendor-agnostic. The solo operator's main tasks would involve securing an agreement with an MNO, managing the budget, and engaging in a straightforward integration project. It is not a tap dance, but a walk in the park.

Launching an MVNO - a walk in the park. As depicted by Dall-E

Running the Show: A Day in the Life of a Solo MVNO Operator

Once operational, the day-to-day management of the MVNO becomes surprisingly manageable, due to service offer as a fully managed SaaS including a fully operator branded app.

Service creation and promotion are streamlined through an intuitive sales and marketing portal, further aided by an AI Copilot for maximum efficiency and effectiveness. Routine tasks can be completed over morning coffee, with the bulk of the operator's day left free for strategic activities.

Customer engagement, monetisation, and churn prevention are largely automated, with the operator need to focus on user acquisition only. This task can be simplified for brands with an existing user base through digital marketing strategies.

Customer support is also automated, ensuring that these functions require minimal intervention. The platform's high SLA and digital customer care tools allow for efficient management of over a million users with just a few minutes to an hour of attention daily.

Sales and distribution, being fully digital requires no effort. SIM distribution leverages existing MNO SIMs or eSIMs, which further reduce the one man show’s strain.

In essence, most of the activities of a full MVNO are covered with our solution, with automated operations, and use of external SaaS services. Thus operable by a (Han) Solo MVNO.

A breeze operating an MVNO single-handedly. Image: Dall-E

Best fit for the Solo MVNO Adventure

While the blueprint for a one-person MVNO might spark visions of solo pioneers trailblazing the telecom industry, it's worth noting that the terrain might be more navigable for established entities or brands. Particularly, those with an existing consumer base with targeted audience or existing telecommunications companies contemplating the launch of a distinctive flanker brand can exploit the opportunity quickly and stand to gain substantially. Leveraging an existing user base and inherent industry acumen can serve as a formidable springboard for this venture.

In addition to the above mentioned operational benefits, our approach is a source of distinct differentiation, which consumers love. This has already been proven by our successful execution in a market.

Moreover, our observations suggest that a laser-focused approach tends to resonate most effectively within the MVNO landscape. Envision, for instance, the niche yet potent strategy of a data-only operator. Such a targeted proposition not only carves out a unique space amidst the competition but also maximises the cost-benefit equation. This streamlined focus enhances the allure and feasibility of managing an MVNO single-handedly, ensuring that even within a vast and competitive arena, a well-defined and simplified offering can shine brightly, capturing both interest and market share with remarkable efficiency.

Conclusion: The Solo MVNO Vision Realised

The notion of a one-person MVNO, far from being a flight of fancy, emerges as a tangible reality with the right technological support. By leveraging innovative platforms like NXT:FWD, the solo operator can efficiently manage an MVNO, dedicating just a portion of their day to operational tasks and the rest to strategic oversight and growth initiatives. This reimagines the MVNO business model as not only accessible but potentially lucrative for the enterprising individual.

Fancy running your own MVNO or launch of a new flanker brand? We're here to make that happen. Reach out and let's turn the opportunity into your next venture.

Turn a flanker brand, or MVNO, into a successful party. Image by Dall-E.

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