Network Operators at the mercy of MVNO’s?

MVNO’s (Mobile network virtual operator) are entities who do not own the backbone infrastructure of the network, but instead provide the network service by leasing bandwidth’s from bigger operators. MVNO’s are entities who typically provide the service with less charge than the bigger network operators.I have always wondered as to why the network operators provide bandwidth for these so called Mobile Virtual Network Operators who eat up into the revenues and the customer base of the network operator. Recently I have read an article regarding this and here is why Network Operators seek co-operation from MVNO’s:

1)  ARPU (average revenue per user) is a critical element in judging the current financial strength of a network operator and to predict the future growth in terms of profits. In order to maintain a higher ARPU, the network operators are under pressure to maintain the high cost of the monthly plans.  Here is where the MVNO’s help the network operator. MVNO’s lease the bandwidth from the network operator. The customers of MVNO’s does not become a customer of the network operator and hence this helps the bigger network operator to maintain a healthy ARPU and hence make to maintain the momentum of its share price.

2) Since the MVNO’s lease the bandwidth from the network operator, this help to boost the bottom line of the network operator.  Apart from this , the network operators can save some more money on the overhead involved in the customer care operations for MVNO’s since MVNO’s manage their customers.

3) The network operators operating on a nation wide cannot cater to every segment of the society and hence cannot fine-tune the tariff plans for every segment of people. Here is where MVNO’s help the customer by devising plans best suited for the needs of the people. As and when the customer base increases, the MVNO’s would be willing to lease more bandwidth from the network operators and hence this will increase the revenues cum profits for the network operators from this segment of the business.

So, in short, the network operators and their MVNO’s work together for mutual benefits in terms of better revenues/profits as well as better care for the customers who cannot be served by the bigger network operators.

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War in the Cloud !

The past one month has seen major news updates from the cloud storage companies – Microsoft, Dropbox, Google. Microsoft has revamped its Skydrive to compete with Dropbox and the likes. In the meantime, Dropbox has been giving major updates to its Cloud storage service. I do like the simplicity of the Dropbox service and have been using it for few months now. Its pretty cool to share photos and pretty much happy with the extra MB’s that i get when any of my invited friends install Dropbox.

Google recently announced Google Drive ( a “long awaited one” though !) for storing contents online and can be accessed from anytime, anywhere and from any device. With the boom in Android community at un-imaginable numbers everyday, Google has a very good chance to be a  front runner in the Cloud Storage race. People who have been using Android version 2.2 and above would have noticed an automatic task running in the background which would automatically upload the photos taken using the mobile phone to its Google+ photos. I would say that was a first step by Google in mobilizing its android platform to pull users into the cloud. For all those who are praising about Apple could, go and check your Google Play Dashboard which pretty much has the data of your Android device in terms of the installed apps etc.

Google drive has an obvious advantages of the branding when compared to the other services esp Dropbox. Dropbox which has been the darling of the cloud storage is facing heat since the launch of Google drive.  It’s going to be a tough challenge for Skydrive unless they make the magic with strong integration to Windows desktop and mobile platform. Hopefully Microsoft gets the much required charm since its Windows 7.5 launch in Lumia.

I obviously do not want to comment on iCloud as these guys are pretty much narrow minded only to Apple and do not want like anyone else to build storage solution using IOS.

From a pricing standpoint, Skydrive seems to be better for lesser storage space. Dropbox looses with both Skydrive and Google Drive in the pricing standpoint.

Photo courtesy: www.labnol.org

For all those who look into the legal aspects of Cloud storage, Dropbox and Microsoft would be your choice as Dropbox treats “your file as yours” whereas Google Drive treats “your files as its own”.   While we are  in the mid of hypes with the cloud storage, has anyone cared about the storage of  company confidential information in any of these cloud storage? Well, people using this cloud storage medium knowingly or unknowingly store the confidential information in the cloud which is against your employers policies.

In short, Google Drive has a fair chance of winning the race in the personal computing space, Skydrive has a potential to grow in the enterprise space (If Microsoft pushes it with strong integration to Windows Desktop and mobile platform). It’s high time for Dropbox to think about pricing strategy if it has a long term vision for the company, else it would most likely get acquired by some of the other bigger entrants in the space. Hence there is no clear single winner in the space. It all depends on the medium of usage and its very purpose.