Digitalk, a mobile virtual network enabler (MVNE), said Vodafone UK will use its cloud-based platform to help improve the service it provides to mobile virtual network operators (MVNOs) in future.
The MVNE said Vodafone is to adopt its "Mobile Cloud" service in an effort to help MVNOs speed up the launch of functions including CRM and billing to support prepaid and post-paid services. Light Reading noted that the network operator will also continue to use its existing platforms for some of its MVNO partners.
The cloud-based service is targeted at brands that want to launch new MVNOs as well as established MVNO brands that wish to migrate their services. Digitalk claims that it enables MVNOs to stand out from the crowd by providing differentiated and value added services--a strategy that is key to success in the mobile services market.
"Today's MVNO propositions are based on a unique set of features that are specific to a particular market and customer demand, and the ability to personalise services and products is vital for long-term success," said Digitalk chief strategy officer Mark Ashdown.
The ability to host and integrate MVNOs is an important wholesale strategy for mobile operators, which are also increasingly choosy about which brands and strategies they will support. Indeed, the mobile market is littered with the corpses of failed MVNOs that tried to win customers based on propositions such as low-cost services.
Now, as highlighted by Digitalk, MVNOs are tending to target niche markets or offer unique services in order to attract users.
One of the more recent MVNO launches in the UK is iD from Carphone Warehouse, which is placing its bets on "best value" 4G, flexible contracts and "shockproof" plans. The MVNO is hosted by Three UK, and is also competing head on with its network partner by offering inclusive roaming, 4G at no extra cost, and unlimited data.
More MVNOs are also coming to the market, notably FreedomPop with its promise of free calls, texts and data services from the summer.
Vodafone itself already hosts several MVNOs including those launched by Lebara and the Sainsbury's supermarket chain. It has also lost some key MVNO deals in recent months, with TalkTalk moving to the O2 UK network and BT joining forces with EE, and will no doubt be keen to stop that trend.
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