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Pros and Cons of “Cheap” Networks

With so many mobile operators in the UK market, it can be challenging to select which one is right for you, mainly when so many of those operators are very affordable. Yeah, they may not be big names, but it is pretty tempting to cut your phone bill in half. MVNOs are many of these cheaper networks. Don’t you want to know what it means? Keep reading then. We’re here to help!

What’s the meaning of MVNO?

MVNO stands for Mobile Virtual Network Operator, and you could hear the term Virtual Network, or Leased Network, often referring to the same. The definition is far more precise than you’d imagine the names are. MVNOs are like tenants in a building, while the builders and owners of that building are large daily mobile operators.

For example, a big-name network, let’s say NT, needs to develop the infrastructure they need to provide service. So NT installs its cell towers, negotiates frequencies with the government, and does everything needed to build the building. An MVNO can come in and rent some of that service once that’s done, though.

This is a win-win for everyone in the transaction involved. The parent network (in this case NT) might not be able to use all the network they have built, so they rent out some to an MVNO, helping in the first place to pay back the cost of building the network. On the other hand, the MVNO does not have to spend a heavy upfront investment on developing a network, and can easily begin selling customer phone plans. Cool, huh?

So Wait, How Am I Affected By This?

There are benefits and drawbacks to using an MVNO. But the important thing to note is that your selected operator doesn’t actually own or even run the network you are using. If your operator is an MVNO that leases its service from NT, then you’re using NT’s network technically. That means that sometimes at a much lower price, you get the same coverage (and roaming capability) and quality of service that an NT client would get. Sounds fair, huh? Yeah, it’s possible but not always.

The Pros of MVNO

As your operator, the primary advantage of going or switching to an MVNO is that you can almost definitely get lower rates. To build infrastructure, an MVNO doesn’t need to pay, so it doesn’t need to recover the initial investment by charging you higher prices. And there is a little retail infrastructure for many MVNOs, selling plans online, via other retailers, or having just a few outlets. That means they have low overheads, and they can pass on those savings to you.

Second, you should have fantastic support. As an MVNO rents its service from a major operator, aspects such as coverage and reception should be as good as you would expect from the main operator. Super service at a great price? That you cannot disagree with. Or do you?

The Cons of MVNO

However, there are some drawbacks to using an MVNO. Next, you’re unlikely to get many perks, such as movie tickets, excellent handset offers, or gifts that are frequently provided by big operators as rewards. MVNOs appear to be no frills at all. It’s like the distinction between EasyJet flights and British Airways.

MVNOs don’t seem to provide bundling, either. In general, big operators are operated by multinational corporations, many of which sell services other than cell phone plans. In these situations, by combining your cell phone plan and broadband home Internet plan into one bundle, known as bundling, you can save money. Bundling does offer some serious price advantages, but if you need more than one service, it might not ultimately be worth the mobile savings you get from an MVNO.

Finally, it can be challenging to get an instant, person-to-person service with an MVNO because of its lack of retail infrastructure. You can walk into any NT shop on your high street with NT, for example, and get problems solved. Few MVNOs offer this possibility, which means that you may need to communicate with customer support online or by phone, which can be frustrating. Search for smarty analysis and what can it do for you, and then the pros and cons of cheap networks can be explained in a more understanding way as well aside from the write up above.