Splinternet offers MVNOs cheap international calling posted by Joe on July 19th, 2007 - 11:37 am | MVNO, Prepaid Services
We have to say, we’re pretty impressed with the number of MVNOs that offer international calling. It’s no cheap endeavor, and the MVNOs have to use their parent provider’s international calling network. Even at wholesale, that’s gotta cost a pretty penny. However, there’s a new service out there that provides a solution for MVNOs that want to offer international calling at bargain basement rates. In fact, the way we read this, it might even become a competitive advantage for MVNOs.
Splinternet has developed a service that integrates with a MVNO’s network and billing, and it allows its subscribers to make low cost international calls. Cheapter even than “through traditional cellular network services.”
In addition to create new revenue opportunities for these MVNOs, Splinternet’s services provide higher margins on international calling than traditional services offered. Thanks to Splinternet, international calling has become convenient and inexpensive for all subscribers of theMVNO , especially for prepaid subscribers and expatriates.
Here’s the problem we see with this: MVNOs buy spectrum wholesale from these “traditional cellular network services.” Now, major carriers wouldn’t lease parts of their spectrum if the company was viewed as a competitor; that would make little sense. Why would you take business away from yourself? So these companies have strict guidelines by which to conduct their businesses.
Of course, international calling is a niche and not a main selling point of major carriers, so maybe this will slide. After all, MVNOs are nothing if not niche services, aimed at markets not targeted by the overreaching efforts of major carriers.
So we’re not sure how this one will end up. We can definitely see opposition from major carriers, since they oppose anything that forces them into the most minute competition. But we can also see them letting this happen; they could sell more spectrum to MVNOs who take advantage of this service. To us, though, it sounds like a service that will take a while to get off the ground.