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The MNO Directory 2012 has been researched in house, lead by Mark Thomas, who has lead all of the research for the directory series since 2006 (MNO Directory, MVNO Directory, WiMAX Directory, and the Fixed Line Directory). Other in house material has been extracted from Africa & Middle East Telecom week, mainly the subscriber data for this region.

The first stage of creating a new edition of the MNO Directory is to verify the list of operators is still valid. The researchers use several telecoms news feeds which track global changes. For this edition the researchers examined articles from January 2011 to the month prior to each volume's release, adding new operators, removing defunct entries and amending all those noted as changing ownership, names or launching new technology. Operators may however choose to action technology or ownership changes without notifying the media.

The second stage is the main research stage which may take the form of Internet research or contacting the operators directly. Every operation is examined individually and updated as best possible. The main sources of information are MNO websites, parent companies, company filings, interim and annual reports, media / press releases, regulator pages and data, other trade media as well as blogs, conference companies and social networking sites. Where the last 3 sources are utilised the researchers have sought to find a secondary source to verify against. When the data file has been fully researched an e-mail merge is sent to the media contacts as identified by the research, profiles are then updated of those who reply.

During the editing and proofing process the researchers cleanse the data further by removing obvious errors and enriching where possible.

Blycroft does not accept liability for any losses resulting from purchasing or using this directory and notes that accuracy of information within the directory is based upon information presented by the operators themselves.