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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Future of WEB (Real-Time) Communications !

The web browsers which was once acting as a gateway for your PC to access the World Wide Web has been evolving over a period of time. Today with the evolution of cloud based solutions and real time communication, the browsers have become a powerful platform with tons of intelligence being built into it everyday.

WebRTC is an open source project incorporated to build standardized browser API’s for real time communication. The project is supported by Google, Mozilla and Opera. ¬†The project is being standardized by the IETF and W3C. ¬†WebRTC is an extension of the HTML5 standard. Developers who are writing web application can use these API’s for quickly bringing in additional¬†capabilities¬†in their web applications. Since these API’s are standardized, I think it would help reduce cross-platform portability issues for the application.

How is this WebRTC platform going to help in achieving what I cannot do today?

WebRTC is a universal API platform where real time communication implementors can use them. Say for example, today if you want to use Google video chat from within GMail, you would need to first install the plug-in for the browser before starting to use the service. The installable plug-in implementation would be different for different browsers/OS. In simple terms, WebRTC is going to solve this as the browser API support would be inbuilt in the browser.

Does this mean that any browser that supports WebRTC can become a SIP endpoint?

Absolutely yes!

Google Chrome added WebRTC 1.0  support early January this year. In April, Mozilla firebox have also started providing the basic support to its browser. Microsoft has also started incorporated WebRTC components in Internet Explorer, although there were no official release of IE with inbuilt WebRTC yet.

Here is how the browser layers are being split up to differntiate browser specific implementation, ¬†WebRTC API layer(being used by the browser developers to develop API’s) and the Web layer (used by the Web developers developing app for the browser)

[Picture courtesy: WebRTC.org]

Communication app providers such as Vonage, Nimbus etc are already cheering up for the WebRTC support.

Care to look into the webRTC roadmap? Check out here !

Have more queries, checkout the WebRTC FAQ page

WebRTC 1.0 is now available in Chrome Canary. Hoping to get some hands-on over the weekend.

Questions / thoughts – Leave me a comment.