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MVNO on LTE Networks

July 2013

Analytical Report (full version)

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Analytical Report (full version)

MVNO on LTE Networks
MVNO on LTE Networks
July 2013

MVNO on LTE Networks

July 2013

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J’son and Partners Consulting presents main results of the research «MVNO on LTE networks». The main goal of the report – the analysis of the world and Russian virtual operators markets that provides services based on the LTE networks and evaluation of this model development and expansion to the 4G market in general. Markets that had been researched: USA, Japan, South Korea, Australia, Poland and Russia.

 

Per-requisites for creation MVNO on LTE networks

The deployment of LTE networks for operators is connected with high costs for equipment, upgrading of transport networks, obtaining the frequency range and the conversion (in a number of countries, including Russia). Attracting partners (the virtual operators) allow companies, in particular, share infrastructure and reduce costs, to launch the product and expand its presence geographically.

 

In most cases and in this in particular, one of the main function of the controller - is to maintain a high level of competition and the creation of opportunities for new comers to access the market. In most transition economies actual LTE market competition is not high enough for a number of reasons, for example, due to the lack of range, the concentration of key assets in the possession of a few group of operators, etc. Thus, the development of the MVNO model may be one of the drivers of increased competition and market recovery.

 

In some countries, regulators list the requirements for the provision of 4G in licenses for LTE to third-party companies, which is one of the most important drivers for the development of the MVNO based on LTE networks.

 

MNVO could be used to attract targeted basic user groups of subscribers that are focusing on new technologies, including LTE. Virtual operators tend to be more flexible and resourceful compared with MNO, and can use advantage of the models: "Multi - MNO" and ABC (The Always Best Connected), in which the connection is made to more than one MNO.

 

MVNO on LTE networks worldwide

In the leading LTE countries several MVNO operate, providing variety of tariffs (postpaid and prepaid) for different users groups, also smartphones, WI-FI routers and other users’ appliances.

 

The operators with an average or small subscriber base are mostly interested in development of MVNO based on their own networks.

 

The first MVNO on LTE networks were mobile operators, that didn’t get the range in the frequency range, or by any other reasons that are blocking their access for LTE.

 

There are dozens of MVNO projects based on LTE networks launched in the world. The leading countries by number of projects: Australia, Japan and USA:

 

 

MNVO on LTE networks in Russia

Yota Networks (infrastructure division of LLC “Skartel”, trade mark Yota) launched the first commercial LTE network in Novosibirsk in the beginning of 2012. In Feb.2012 “Megafon” and “Skartel” signed the agreement for common use of infrastructure in order to develop LTE networks. Practically, mobile operator is working as “virtual operator” on the network of Yota Networks that at the same time using the currently available “ Megafon” infrastructure (platform for basic stations, fiber-optic networks etc.)

 

At the end of 2012 “Yota” and “Megafon” (that provide 4G services based on Yota Networks network) served around 700k and 150k subscribers accordingly.

 

The key constraining factors for LTE development include:

 

       Limited range of cell phones (smartphones, PC-Pad) with LTE support, high prices;
       Feature of monopoly (very low rate of competition) and as a result high tariffs on LTE;
       Inability to use smartphones that support LTE in the “Russian” frequency ranges;
       Problems associated with the frequency spectrum for LTE (in terms of frequency deficiency -
           the lack of a mechanism of technical neutrality, the need for conversion, the distribution of
           frequencies in competitions, not auctions, etc.)

 

Technological neutrality, distribution via the auctions the ready-for-use ranges (instead of very pricey conversion schemes, etc) – are the last barrier for many countries. The first “virtual prototype” operator in Russia was “Corbina Telecom”. The company provided cellular services on the DAMPS standard based on the “Vimpelcom” network, in 2007 subscribers have been transferred to GMS standard.

 

Euroset – the first company that called itself a virtual operator. In 2005 “Euroset” and “Narodny Telephone” have made the pilot zones of MVNO in several Russian regions.

 

In 2012 the subscriber base of MVNO increased for 20% and was around 1.4 mln subscribers. More than 9 mln. of numbers were provided to the virtual operators and around 40 mln. has been reserved.

 

MVNO model is not very popular and properly developed in Russia. The basic operators do not have a positive legislative drive for providing resources to the virtual operators. Those who are currently working on the bases of MVNO model need the improvements in the legislation such as – to ease the term of connection to the currently working cellular operators.

 

The agreement terms that “Scartel” is providing to the operators are not acceptable to the majority of them. According to J’son & Partners Consulting this is the main barrier for LTE market development. Operators are forced to build LTE networks themselves and this process usually takes a lot of time.

 

Market development tendencies and prospectives

Worldwide

 

MNVO on LTE networks model will continuously develop and the number of virtual operators on 4G networks will increase.

 

There are several key trends that could be seen on MVNO based on LTE market:

 

       In the leading LTE countries several MVNO operate, providing variety of tariffs (postpaid and
           prepaid) for different users groups, also smartphones, WI-FI routers and other users’
           appliances.
       In the MVNO development based on the own LTE networks are usually interested the average
           operators (Sprint in USA, Optus in Australia etc.)
       As the first MVNO on LTE networks often serve mobile operators themselves, who could not get
           on the frequency range on the auction, or, for various reasons (lack of technical neutrality,
           range is occupied by military, etc.) cannot currently use the range for LTE (eg "MegaFon" in
           Russia, Algar Telecom in Brazil, etc.).
       The business model of the virtual discount-operator is changing in a more complicated model
           that includes flexible online tariffs (for example Zact, USA) and 4G networks with different
           standards: WiMAX and LTE (Asahinet, Japan).
       MVNE model that gives the opportunity to develop MVNO project is becoming very popular.
       The contract between one MVNO and several MNO simultaneously could be named the most
           prospective business model.

 

The main market development tendencies of MVNO on LTE networks are:

 

       There are still no major results from the “pushing” of commercial LTE networks market in Russia
           by Russian regulator.
       Key market players – owners of frequencies on LTE that particularly not interested in the MVNO
           market development, nevertheless in the positive surrounding are ready to be “virtual operator”
           in such regions, where there is no LTE.
       Average and small operators and non-telecom companies are ready to become the virtual
           operators, including MVNO on LTE, but the major operators do not provide the access to their
           networks (by different reasons, such as, lack of capacity, overfilled networks, lack of interesting
           and perspective business plans). The major operators practically building the protective tariffs
           for potential MVNO.


Russian MVNO on LTE networks market development perspectives will be mainly defined by the sectoral regulator. The main goal for major mobile operators is to develop its own LTE network and in most cases is not interested to lease their networks for other companies that could be competitors for them.

The detailed information is presented in the full Report version «MVNO on LTE networks» (120 pages)

 

Content
Introduction
Resume
1. The development of cellular network technologies in the world
       1.1. Level of cellular network development worldwide
              1.1.1. General indicators of development of cellular network technologies in the world
              1.1.2. Key indicators of development of cellular network by regions
              1.1.3. Key indicators of development of cellular network by standards
       1.2. The development of LTE networks globally
       1.3. Key indicators of construction projects of LTE networks operators
              1.3.1. USA
              1.3.2. Japan
              1.3.3. South Korea
              1.3.4. Australia
              1.3.5. Poland
2. Development of MVNO model in the world
       2.1. History of development of MVNO model in the world
              2.1.1. Service evolution on the networks of different generations
              2.1.2. Market development: dynamic of market players and subscribers’ base
                     2.1.2.1. USA
                     2.1.2.2. Japan
                     2.1.2.3. South Korea
                     2.1.2.4. Australia
                     2.1.2.5. Poland
       2.2. Types of market players MVNO
       2.3. Legislative regulation MVNO
              2.3.1. Role of regulator in the market development MVNO
              2.3.2. Examples of regulation in different countries
              2.3.3. Classification of the basic approaches of regulation
3. Background for MVNO development on LTE networks
       3.1. The high cost of network deployment and a large payback for LTE networks
       3.2. Underutilization of LTE networks on the first stage
       3.3. Deficiency of frequencies for a wide range of players, low competition
       3.4. Other pre-requisites
4. MVNO on LTE networks in the world
       4.1. MVNO on LTE networks: key players and operators by regions
              4.1.1. USA
                     4.1.1.1. Ting
                     4.1.1.2. Virgin Mobile USA
                     4.1.1.3. Boost Mobile
                     4.1.1.4. FreedomPop
                     4.1.1.5. Zact
              4.1.2. Japan
                     4.1.2.1. Asahinet
                     4.1.2.2. Rakuten
                     4.1.2.3. IIJimio
                     4.1.2.4. JCI
              4.1.3. South Korea
                     4.1.3.1. CJ HelloVision
                     4.1.3.2. Annex Telecom
                     4.1.3.3. SK Telink
              4.1.4. Australia
                     4.1.4.1. Virgin Mobile
                     4.1.4.2. iiNet
                     4.1.4.3. Exetel
              4.1.5. Poland
                     4.1.5.1. Polkomtel Plus
                     4.1.5.2. Cyfrowy Polsat
       4.2. Business model of MVNO on LTE networks
              4.2.1. MVNO Market evolution
                     4.2.1.1. MVNO growth and diversification
                     4.2.1.2. MVNO market share and 3G data volume
                     4.2.1.3. Income levels from transfer of data and voice
              4.2.1. One virtual operator on the networks of several operators (Multi-MNO)
              4.2.2. Always Best Connected (ABC)
              4.2.3. The use of ABC model for users’ data packages
              4.2.4. Policy management
              4.2.5. Possibilities of MVNO to follow the routing policies
              4.2.6. Managing the fees of MVNO
       4.3. Barriers and drivers
              4.3.1. Wholesale business drivers on LTE networks for MNO
              4.3.2. Drivers for switching to use LTE networks for virtual operators
              4.3.3. Initiatives to move towards VoLTE
              4.3.4. Barriers for MVNO market development in management sphere
       4.4. Trends and market prospects
5. MVNO on LTE networks in Russia
       5.1. Development of LTE networks in Russia
              5.1.1. Key indicator of market development of cellular network by standards
              5.1.2. Construction projects of LTE networks
       5.2. MVNO in Russia
              5.2.1. MVNO market development in Russia
              5.2.2. Legislation of MVNO in Russia
       5.3. Key players and projects on MVNO market on LTE networks in Russia
              5.3.1. Terms of interaction between «Skartel» и «Megafon»
              5.3.2. Agreements of cooperation between «Skartel» and other mobile operators
              5.3.3. MTS
              5.3.4. Rostelecom
              5.3.5. Vimpelcom
              5.3.6. Osnova Telecom
       5.4. Trends and market prospects
6. Summary and conclusion
7. Attachments
       7.1. MVNO Operators’ profiles on LTE networks
              7.1.1. Life Mobile (UK)
              7.1.2. ASAHI Net (Japan)
              7.1.3. Ting (USA)
              7.1.4. IIJmio
              7.1.5. CJ Hello Mobile (South Korea)
              7.1.6. Extel (Australia)
              7.1.7. FreedomPop (USA)
              7.1.8. Rakuten Super WiF (Japan)
              7.1.9. Polkomtel Plus
              7.1.10. Fido (Canada)
       7.2. MVNO japan tariffs, providing services on LTE networks by NTT DoCoMo operator

 

List of pictures

Pic. 1. Dynamic of cellular networks connection by worldwide regions, 2012
Pic. 2. The cellular networks penetration rate in regions of the world, 2012
Pic. 3. Dynamics of connection to cellular networks by technologies in the world, 2009-2018
Pic. 4. The amount of commercial networks and subscribers of LTE networks worldwide, 2012-2017
Pic. 5. The amount of MVNO by worldwide regions, 2012
Pic. 6. The amount of MVNO in USA by operators, 2013
Pic. 7. MVNO subscribers’ share in the total mobile subscriber base in USA, 2004-2010
Pic. 8. The amount of MVNO in Japan by operators, 2013
Pic. 9. Brand shop Disney Mobile in Tokio
Pic. 10. Changes in the subscribers’ base of mobile operators and MVNO in South Korea from Jan. 2012 to Feb. 2013, thousands
Pic. 11. The changes in the amount of subscribers of MNO and MVNO, Jan. 2012 – Feb. 2013, thousands
Pic. 12. Subscribers’ base dynamic of MVNO in South Korea
Pic. 13 Comparison of Korean cellular operators of ARPU and MVNO
Pic. 14. MVNO Subscribers’ share in the overall amount of subscribers of cellular networks in Australia
Pic. 15. The amount of MVNO in Poland by operators , 2013
Pic. 16. Online calculation of the virtual operator, Zact (США)
Pic. 17. MVNO subscribers’ dynamic in the EU countries , 2004-2009
Pic. 18. Share connection dynamic via 3G and VoIP shares, 2004-2009
Pic. 19. Revenue changes from data transfer
Pic. 20. Revenue changes from voice and data
Pic. 21. Mobile connection share, average income from the data and voice transfer
Pic. 22. Types of MVNO depending on the level of infrastructure’s ownership
Pic. 23. Business model Multi MVNO
Pic. 24. Example of policy management of access to MVNO network
Pic. 25. Diversification of the currently working basic stations of the cellular networks divided by the basic technologies and Federal Russian Districts, pcs.
Pic. 26. Ration in % of the used technologies of mobile radio communications
Pic. 27. Market shares of operators in Russia by the number of subscribers, 2012 г.
Pic. 28. Map: commercial LTE networks in Russia
Pic. 29. Market shares of MVNO in Russia by the number of subscribers, 1H2011 г.
Pic. 30. Typical launching scheme of MVNO in Russia

 

List of tables

Table 1. Leading operators of LTE in the world by the number of subscribers
Table 2. LTE operators in USA
Table 3. LTE operators in Japan
Table 4. LTE operators in South Korea
Table 5. LTE operators in Australia
Table 6. LTE operators in Poland
Table 7. First MVNO on 2G, 3G и 4G networks
Table 8. MNO and MVNO in South Korea
Table 9. Subscribers’ base and share dynamics of MVNO in South Korea
Table 10. Share dynamic of MNO и MVNO in South Korea, 2011-2013
Table 11. MVNO, MVNA и MVNE: Service creation chain
Table 12. Classification of MVNO by infrastructure features
Table 13. Classification of countries on approaches to the regulation of MVNO
Table 14 Basic MVNO on 4G networks in the world
Table 15. Types of MVNO
Table 16. Pros and cons of models: Full MVNO, Multi-MNO и ABC
Table 17. Number of current RES base stations (BS) major mobile operators
Table 18. Commercial LTE networks in Russia
Table 19. Major MVNO/pre-MVNO projects in Russia
Table 20. MVNO market in several EU countries and in Russia
Table 21. Postpaid tariffs with monthly fee less than ¥1 000 per month
Table 22. Tariffs with monthly fee ¥1 001 - ¥2 000 per month
Table 23. Tariffs with monthly fee ¥2 001 - ¥2 500 per month
Table 24. Postpaid tariffs with monthly fee more ¥2 501 - ¥3 000 per month
Table 25. Prepaid tariffs with monthly fee more ¥3 001 - ¥3 500 per month
Table 26. Postpaid tariffs with monthly fee more ¥3 501 - ¥4 000 per month
Table 27. Postpaid tariffs with monthly fee more ¥4 000 per month

 

 

 

This Information Note is Prepared by J’son & Partners Consulting, We strive to provide factual and prognostic data that fully reflect the situation and are available to us before issuing the material. J’son & Partners Consulting reserves the right to revise the data after publication of new official information by the market players.

 

 

J’son and Partners Consulting presents main results of the research «MVNO on LTE networks». The main goal of the report – the analysis of the world and Russian virtual operators markets that provides services based on the LTE networks and evaluation of this model development and expansion to the 4G market in general. Markets that had been researched: USA, Japan, South Korea, Australia, Poland and Russia.