27 February 2020


Submitted by Louise

In 2017, the global mobile virtual network operator (MVNO) market was valued at $54.1billion. According to Market Watch, it’s expected to register a compound annual growth rate of 8.8% from 2018 to 2023. Even in South Africa’s consolidating economy this is fertile ground. Confident about retaining their position as South Africa’s market leaders, leading local MVNO enabler, MVN-X, is geared for growth in 2020 off the back of more than 50% year-on-year growth 2018/ 2019, and the company is showing no signs of slowing down within this flourishing Telco sector.  

What are MVNOs and MVNEs? 

An MVNO (Mobile Virtual Network Operator) is a wireless or virtual communications service provider that does not own the wireless network infrastructure over which it provides services to its customers. An MVNO enters into a business agreement with a mobile network operator to obtain bulk access to network services at wholesale rates, then sets competitive retail prices independently, whilst offering a bespoke and tailored value proposition to its customer base. Ultimately, the MVNO can be positioned to disrupt the market by growing their customer base and adding value to the traditional market through enhanced service offerings and meeting their customers’ needs with more affordable and relevant products. An MVNE or Mobile Virtual Network Enabler provides network infrastructure and related services, such as business systems and planning, administration and operations support processes to MVNOs. 

Who is MVN-X?  

Founded in 2012 and a subsidiary business of the Ignition Group, MVN-X is an end-to-end MVNE which provides turn-key services to MVNOs. 2019 was an exceptional year for the company which grew from 275 000 to 450 000 active subscribers. CEO Valde Ferradaz says: “The market is in a growth state and, with our new systems in place, we are expecting further growth to circa 800 000 subscribers in 2020 and anticipate reaching more than 1million active subscribers by end 2021.” MVN-X has partnered with global innovators, Cerillion, and is implementing a convergent Tier 1 charging system that will allow the customer to go to market quicker and differentiate themselves through product innovation and customised value propositions. Their turnkey service offers would-be MVNOs consultation on feasibility, financial modelling, business planning, product development, enablement and provisioning. They can also assist with the acquisition of new customers. The company already supports leading MVNOs including Standard Bank Mobile, Mr Price Mobile, Clientele Life, their own MVNO me&you mobile and more. Ferradaz adds the company plans to expand into Africa in the next two to three years.  

About who they’re targeting, Ferradaz explains that any business who’s looking to offer mobile services to their recurring customer base and in so doing enrich their value proposition and value for money should contact them. “Given our successful track record and new systems, we are confident that we’ll be bringing new clients on board as more and more businesses look to increase connectivity with their customers and retain their share of wallet in a consolidating economy,” concludes Ferradaz.  Going into the new decade, connectivity is king and increasingly, corporates will be jumping at the chance to engage with their customers in new ways. Given the growth in the MVNO market and their innovative service offering, it will be the year 20-plenty for MVN-X.