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Different types of mobile operators: MNO, MVNO, MVNA, MVNE

ByDave Stopher

Sep 20, 2021

We will tell you about the details of MNO, MVNO, MVNA and MVNE, what they are exactly and how they work. Also, we will tell you how to distinguish MVNA with MVNE.

What is MNO?

Mobile Network Operator is an everyday telecom operator which has its own equipment and infrastructure. MNO stands at the top of the “mountain” and provides others with the network connection. It is your direct daily provider and it depends on it if the network connection will be good or bad.

MNOs can get their license to operate the telephone services over a range of frequencies within the Radio Frequency spectrum. These frequencies spread your calls and texts through the airwaves.

Every country and region always has a licensing and regulatory body that can regulate and license their subscribers within a certain territory.Every MNO should buy frequencies to their regulator body. If MNO starts to create the mobile network, it has to buy or rent the Radio Frequency spectrum from the regulatory body of its country. The second step is to buy or rent the equipment from the providers. Equipment consists of masts, transmitters, wires and switches.

After buying or renting they agree with different providers and do different experiments. So that is why MNO has its own infrastructure, hardware and administrative capabilities (means marketing, branding, invoicing, operational support, business support) to operate MNO.

What is MVNO?

Mobile Virtual Network Operator is a company that cannot exist without MNO, because they don’t have their own network.

In contradistinction to MNO, MVNO cannot obtain its own license to operate over a range of frequencies. Furthermore, the MVNO cannot obtain the infrastructure to control its network. They will not have the hardware but they may have some administrative capabilities. Usually most of them retain or control Customer Relations, Marketing and Branding. It may differ in various MVNO’s. The bigger MVNO can send the bill to the subscribers on its own. Smaller MVNOs are under the MNO. Smaller MVNOs cannot provide their subscribers with payment information, it is done by MNOs.

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What is MVNA?

 Mobile Virtual Network Aggregator is a profitable way for the national operator. It purposefully sells to a MVNA, it doesn’t rely on small MVNO’s.

There is no need for MNO to have a large number of MVNO’s. That is why MNO sells their wholesale bundles to larger companies. The Mobile Virtual Network Aggregator connects to the operator as one MVNO, because it uses all the power from different small MVNO’s. MVNA’s cannot have straight subscribers. It can get subscribers from small MVNO. The network aggregator is up to send payment information to the mobile virtual operators.

What is MVNE?

Mobile Virtual Network Enabler is basically the same thing as Mobile Virtual Network Aggregator. It helps to build smaller MVNO’s. It proposes payment, network realization, operation support, administration and business support to MVNOs.

What is the difference between MVNA and MVNE?

MVNEs and MVNAs are basically the “same”:

  • the first thing to remember is that an MVNE and an MVNA do not connect a subscriber;
  • they ensure the infrastructure and other services to the MVNO;
  • MVNE and MVNA can control and own the operation and business support of MVNO’s. Not all MVNO’s can control it on their own;
  • as a rule, MVNA and MVNE have connections with different MVNO’s and also MNO’s;
  • usually, MVNA and MVNE buy the wholesale minutes from the MNO’s in order to sell them to MVNO’s. Thus MVNE and MVNA ensure cost cutting of MVNO.
  • MNO cannot produce small MVNO’s because it’s not economically beneficial for it.

Nowadays, maybe the MVNA is becoming distinguished from the MVNE. An MVNA may be better hosted than an MVNE to put together an MVNO based on smaller subscribers and create an MVNO based on a bigger subscriber