Pakistan Telecommunication Authority has failed to come up with any frame work for Mobile Virtual Network Operator (MVNO). According to Mobile Cellular Policy, PTA was due to prepare a detailed guideline and procedures for MVNO before January 28, 2006.
For those who are not familiar with MVNO, let me define this phenomena for you. A mobile virtual network operator (MVNO) is a cellular company (it can be a landline or WLL company too) that provides mobile/landline phone services but does not have its own network. They buy traffic (huge minutes) on wholesale rate from cellular companies and then resale them with their own brand name and prices to end users. MVNO companies are not sufficiently required to install their physical network. However, they normally have their billing system along with customer support and other departments.
Now getting back to its applicability in Pakistan, Mobile Cellular Policy that was approved by the government of Pakistan clearly says that cellular companies will be permitted to allow MVNO’s operators in the country.
Despite of couple of failure examples, MVNO is largely accepted and encouraged by regulatory authorities globally. Not only this, telecom companies like MVNO model too, as they help them grow their network.
- Presence of MVNOs will help telecom companies to focus on network expansion, hence leaving the marketing/branding job for MVNOs. This model saves operational expenses and enhances company’s performance as well.
- MVNO’s are considered as a means of encouraging competition that ultimately lead to more choices for services and lower prices.
- Revenues are shared amongst partners, thus helping the national economy
- Multiple MVNOs affiliated with a single mobile operator can individually target their niche market, for instance one MVNO can focus on Postpaid Customers and while the other can stress and cash the value added services. This process benefit mobile operator, MVNO and end users alike.
Through sources, and discussion on TGP, I know that Mobile Zone has been showing great interest for last couple of years to get an MVNO license in Pakistan. But the sluggish attitude by PTA and even some mobile companies are not favoring idea of MVNo, the sector is yet to see any MVNO operator in the country.