Allirajah Subaskaran: MVNO Trends in 2023

Allirajah Subaskaran

Allirajah Subaskaran is the owner of Lyca Group and the founder and CEO of Lyca Mobile. Under Allirajah Subashkaran’s leadership, Lyca Mobile is currently in the process of launching mobile virtual network operator (MVNO) networks globally.

From innovation and transformation to corporate social responsibility, this article will explore some of the most important priorities for MVNOs in 2023.


Fierce competition and price pressures are placing added pressure on MVNOs to innovate and differentiate both their value proposition and cost structure, particularly those targeting offers to specific segments of society – for example, youth, immigrants, the elderly or the military.

One area where MVNOs have focused their attention is WiFi. Take for example the US company Republic Wireless developing Bonded Calling, leveraging the power of cellular technology to improve the quality of WiFi calls. Meanwhile, Google Fi has pioneered the practice of using multiple host networks, incorporating intelligent switching and built-in security in its WiFi-first approach.

Digital Twins

Digital twins is an application of AI that is causing a big stir in the telecom industry, facilitating the creation of detailed digital models of real-life entities – be it a network, building or customer – and capable of being continuously updated based on new information and data.

For MVNOs, digital twins could be instrumental in the management of operations and network planning, as well as cost and performance optimisations, impact analysis and network monitoring.

Corporate Social Responsibility

Just as companies operating in other sectors are coming under pressure to operate ethically with an emphasis on social responsibility and environmental sustainability, MVNOs are seizing the opportunity to improve people’s lives – for example, by delivering the benefits of mobile services to lower income families and struggling entrepreneurs, start-ups and small businesses.

IoT-centric MVNOs can address climate change and other environmental issues by facilitating smarter transport, connected agriculture, smart cities and improved healthcare.

Network Disaggregation

A process that involves separating the various network components then remixing them to suit different uses, network disaggregation splits base station functions into units using a framework called ‘Open RAN’. Open RAN’s most important component is the RAN intelligence controller, which supports microservices, facilitating a shift to a decentralised and flexible architecture.

6G and WiFi 7

The next wave of connectivity is already well underway, promising more bandwidth, lower power consumption, enhanced security and greater reliability. Although 6G and WiFi 7 will not be implemented until 2024, they are widely regarded as the future of connectivity, with pressure on MVNOs to start vital network planning now for such enhanced capabilities.

Specific Value Propositions

Homing in on specific value propositions for a niche demographic enables an MVNO to expand its subscriber base without diluting the focus and brand image of the host, with the MVNO essentially serving as a sub-brand for the operator, helping it to deliver more mobile services to diverse populations.

With service offerings increasingly evolving from voice and text functions to focus on data-centric options such as enterprise cloud or gaming services, many MVNOs are creating differentiated value propositions linked to goods and services already offered by the parent company.


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