There has been a huge spike in the popularity of MVNOs in recent years. Starting a new MVNO can be challenging, and making it successful even more so. MVNOs face many challenges including limited marketing budgets, efficient distribution, and stiff competition.
MNOs have traditionally had a marked advantage over MVNOs in their access to handsets, due in large part to the scale of their operations. MVNOs that are able to offer handsets to their customers are able to drive more sales and derive many of the advantages that MNOs gain by virtue of handset sales, including the following:
- Customer acquisition: MVNOs are more likely to acquire customers if they become a one-stop-shop for their customers’ wireless needs.
- Marketing: New device launches, especially of hero devices such as the iPhone or Samsung Galaxy S series, are great for generating buzz and brand awareness.
- Revenue: If done right, the handset business can be a significant source of revenue for carriers.
So why don’t more MVNOs follow the MNOs in offering handsets to their customers?
Because it is not easy.
The wireless services business and the handset business are fundamentally different. Startup and small MVNOs (and even most of the larger ones) face several challenges when it comes to offering handsets:
- Sourcing: OEMs have high MOQ requirements (>50,000 units), which many MVNOs cannot commit to.
- Capital: Maintaining inventory requires huge amounts of capital – money that could be spent on MVNO marketing.
- Warehouse, logistics, labor: New departments have to be created and new processes put in place to deal with warehousing, logistics, and labor issues.
- Ecommerce: Startup MVNOs have difficulty in getting merchant accounts that can handle the volume being generated by a handset web shop.
GSM Nation provides a solution that allows MVNOs to overcome these obstacles and offer the latest devices to their customers. Launched in March 2013 with our partner Solavei, GSM Nation’s MVNX Ecommerce Solutions program is geared towards solving our partners’ device needs. We create a custom web shop for each MVNO partner that preserves the look and feel of that MVNO’s website, while offering a wide range of new, unlocked devices at competitive rates. GSM Nation takes care of the sourcing, inventory, shipping, billing, and customer support. In short, we take care of everything, and we even give our partners a share of the revenue. As a result of our partnership, Solavei has increased their device offering from 3 to 15 phones, lowered prices by an average of 30%, decreased fulfillment time from 7 days to same-day, and introduced excellent 24/7 customer support.
Since launching Solavei, GSM Nation has partnered with Black Wireless and Uppwireless in the US, and One Seniors (iboss) in Australia. Currently, we are in the process of launching 5 more partners in the US, UK and Australia.
Testimonials from some of our partners:
The iboss and GSM Nation partnership goes well beyond basic hardware supply. The team has provided us with the tools to differentiate our offers, collaborate on marketing campaigns, and enhance our overall customer experience. The GSM Nation team has a ‘can do’ approach to partnership across all parts of the business, six stars! – Luke McNeill, Mobile Director, iboss
GSM Nation’s access to hardware has allowed us to rapidly expand our US offerings. We have been able to rely on the GSM Nation team for guidance in everything from selecting devices to running effective marketing campaigns. – Lars Rissmann, Director Business Development, Black Wireless
[GSM Nation] offers an excellent range of devices, and has amazing logistical and technical capabilities. GSM Nation is a great partner to work with.- Jochen Doppelhammer, CEO Uppwireless
GSM Nation will be present at the MVNO World Congress in Berlin from April 8th – 10th. If you would like to discuss how GSM Nation can help you with your device needs, please contact Salah Ahmed, our Director of Operations, at firstname.lastname@example.org.