Orange said its new MVNO strategy could see it add a further two million customers a year to its network.
The network signed a deal with mobile virtual network aggregator MVNA Transatel last week and said it could introduce 20 new MVNOs a year with a time to market as low as six weeks. Orange said it would cater to individual MVNO customer bases of around 100,000 to 200,000.
Orange UK vice president of new business wholesale and strategy Marc Overton said: “The claims we have made are no idle boast. The six week time to market is based on Transatel’s systems. And the 20 partner claim is very realistic, as there is a lot of interest from a range of sectors.
“If we launched 20 MVNOs a year with 100,000 customers each, the sum of it all represents a very big MVNO opportunity.”
Overton said the proposition was aimed not only aimed at SME dealer resellers to tie into an overall communications package, but for businesses, community groups, clubs, and ethnic demographics.
“In the SME sector, it’s not just about selling Orange, but linking their product to their fixed line business and getting companies to take more ownership of their mobile proposition and generate more profit. It is ideal for local businesses with a strong presence. It gives resellers more choice and in some cases it makes more sense for a reseller to offer their own branded proposition powered by the Orange network than Orange’s own proposition,” said Overton.
“But it’s not just for SMEs, it could be for football clubs, charities and other associations. We have been inundated with requests from ethnic communities, such as Brazilian, Malaysian, Filipino, which are outside the usual Asian ethnic market that MVNOs have been pitching to so far.”
He added that smaller markets had so far been under-served by the networks, who up until now were concerned only with larger MVNO opportunities.
“Networks have traditionally focused on large telcos with MVNO operations that require a lot of implementation, taking up to six months and a lot of capital investment,” said Overton.
“What we are seeing more is that people are using their mobiles in more different ways than ever, which means businesses can be more innovative in how they interact with their customers. There is a real demand for businesses with around 100,000 or 200,000 customers to have their own mobile service. And if you think about what kind of communities are out there and how passionate the people are that belong to them, there is a lot of opportunity.
“There are very lucrative opportunities in markets that have been underserved because the networks have previously been looking at mass market opportunities through their MVNO partnerships.”
Overton said that the first partnership announcements would be made in the next few months.