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B2B MVNO business models

Insights from global experts on enabling connectivity for enterprises and SMEs

B2B MVNO business models are gaining significant attention, attracting existing MVNOs looking to reach new customer groups and enticing new entrants to explore these opportunities. Four globally recognized experts share insights on enabling connectivity for new types of enterprises, SMEs, and retailers.

  1. Why does the B2B market present such an opportunity for MVNOs?

“I think these are the years when smaller enterprises and SMEs are either becoming or, in some markets, have already matured to engage in digital sales. This presents an untapped and potentially lucrative market for MVNOs. Both large MNOs and we are contemplating how to approach this sector because, while the consumer market may be saturated, there's significant potential for SMEs. It's an opportunity for MVNOs to launch in B2B initially. Consumer brands are also exploring entry into the SME sector to diversify revenue streams.” Martina Klingvall, Founder & Group CEO, Telness 

“There's a clear trend of increasing mobility in the workforce. I think MVNOs can capitalize on this shift by transitioning businesses that still rely on fixed telephony systems to more flexible mobile services. Converting 100s of fixed-line users to mobile can create considerable revenue. Business clients also tend to have longer-term contracts with lower churn rates than individual users, resulting in more stable and predictable revenue streams which makes the B2B market a substantial business opportunity for MVNOs” Björn Palm, VP Service Provider, Telavox

B2B space presents opportunities not only in the mature markets but also the growing ones:

"Nigeria has been a vast market in terms of numbers, and the big MNOs are well-entrenched in the market already. Therefore, our primary focus will be on the realm of B2B MVNOs. Previously, we engaged in B2B transactions, working with banks and student groups. We identified a need to provide staff with Close User Group bundles, allowing free calls, data bundles, and SMS limits for bank employees. Additionally, in collaboration with the manufacturing and industry sectors, we plan to integrate our SIM into IoT devices, empowering connectivity in that sector." Ben Adeniyi, CEO, Univasa 

  1. What makes MVNOs unique to serve these clients? How can they better serve their customers than MNOs?

“Being fast and having unique value propositions in the market, that differentiate from the larger telcos, can make a big difference. This is especially true in the transition from a more traditional fixed setup to a more mobile world. “Björn Palm, VP Service Provider, Telavox

Using Telvox as an example, their agility helped Nordic enterprises and SMEs in their transformation: 

“What we observed was that you can't just provide mobile; you need to do it with a value add. For example, the combination of PBX with mobile. More than 15 years ago, we introduced what we called 'mobile extension.' When you combine mobile fixed traffic with mobile traffic, you're doing something that was entirely new for the market. Together with the growing cloud penetration during those years, there was a real kickoff, and today, in most of the Nordic region, we are entirely cloud-based.” Björn Palm, VP Service Provider, Telavox

“I think the key factors for the SME market are online sales, simplicity in customer experience, and an adapted offering tailored to the SME segment. From our perspective, having 100% online sales and self-service is crucial. The SME market is ready for a digital full offering, and they highly value it. Many businesses are tired of the traditional in-store processes, where only the owner has the mandate to handle administrative tasks. Adapting over-the-top services and bundling them according to the specific needs of the segment is crucial. This can include traditional telecom services like PBX or UCaaS, as well as non-traditional services such as invoicing partners.” Martina Klingvall, Founder & Group CEO, Telness 

The SMEs and enterprise market is often neglected by the operators: “One reason why telcos don't primarily target enterprises is because enterprises have unique needs. They want seamless integration with their operations, whether it's in FinTech, CRM, or ERP. They want the telco to speak their language. Therefore, telcos must establish partnerships that cover a wide range of enterprise needs.” Ben Adeniyi, CEO, Univasa 

  1. What to look out for while entering the B2B space? 

"It's straightforward to say, 'Let's go into B2B.' However, serving solo customers, SME customers, and enterprise customers is very different. There are also different niches within each segment, considering the industry and specific needs. From different perspectives, serving SMEs is easier, especially if coming from the consumer side because the behaviors are more similar. The challenge, even for MVNOs, is the need for sales and support resources. Allocating resources for a 10-employee company compared to a 100, 200, or 1000-employee company is very different." Martina Klingvall, Founder & Group CEO, Telness 

"One of the key differences in B2B is that it's not just a mobile solution fulfilling the requirements and needs for consumers. This extends across various segments within B2B, including mobile, fixed lines with PBX or UCaaS (depending on the company size), IoT, and bundled services. This complexity demands attention both in terms of the provided technology and the ability to bundle everything.” Mattias Ohde, General Manager, dstny

“We often see one common mistake - the inclination to enter new price segments too quickly. It is common that as an MVNO, you initially target SMEs. Then, you start receiving inbound leads from large enterprises, thinking, 'I can sell to this 1000 company; that would be great for my business.' However, what often happens is that they invest a lot of effort and realize it's a completely different segment. Serving large enterprises requires additional services, more features, and even fixed units.” Björn Palm, VP Service Provider, Telavox

  1. What services to focus on?

"I believe that as the market matures, we need to find ways to expand our services. Looking at the Nordics, where the market is pretty mature, moving towards enterprises requires offering a full range of services with crucial integrations. While keeping it simple and unified within the same portal, expansion is necessary. Enterprises require solutions that cater to their diverse needs. Collaboration may also be essential as we can't do everything, but when we sell a solution, it needs to be comprehensive. For instance, we offer a UCaaS solution to cater to those needs." Björn Palm, VP Service Provider, Telavox

“One area to explore in terms of transitioning from fixed to mobile is enterprise use. Many enterprises heavily rely on fixed networks to operate, incurring significant costs. An MVNO can introduce what is known as Customer Premise Equipment (CPE) to convert analog signals to Voice over IP (VoIP). By providing the staff of these enterprise companies with SIM cards, they can answer calls through a VoIP app. Moreover, when they are in the office, they can still receive calls on IP phones. This transition is another potential segment that an MVNO can consider.”  Ben Adeniyi, CEO, Univasa 

Key takeaways: The B2B market offers significant revenue growth and expansion opportunities for MVNOs. Their flexibility, proximity to customers, and digital advancement make them ideal partners for rapidly digitizing enterprises and SMEs. Those interested in this market need to be aware and prepared for the unique requirements that business customers have.

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