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Research & Coverage

Research Process

The MVNO Directory is now in its 6th edition. The 1st edition was published back in 2006. Each directory update begins with a media review; the researchers take the previous edition and amend the core database with launches, causalities and enhancements. At this stage the focus is upon ensuring that the Blycroft list of active MVNOs provides an ideal starting point for the update. The media review took place during August/September 2012 and consisted of comparing and contrasting mainly industry specific news, with the inclusion of relevant blogs and non traditional media.

83 operations were identified as new to The MVNO Directory for the 6th edition.

Having exhausted the media review the researchers then focus on individual operations. During September 2012 the researchers examined every entry individually.


The MVNO Directory seeks to profile all MVNOs and major resellers. It does not include fixed networks, traditional mobile networks or WiMAX operations. There are many free resources with a wealth of useful information about the industry. Unfortunately these services have over estimated the size of the market and tend not to remove inactive MVNOs or those not yet beyond the planning stage. It would be impossible to provide a list of every company that is not an MVNO but from the media review and in-house research the researchers identified over 700 operations commonly referred to as active MVNOs in error. These are listed separately within Excel version of The MVNO Directory with reasoning to assist readers in understanding the MVNO market.

To be included as an active operation the operation needs to provide a mobile network based service to an end user. The MVNO should be responsible for that relationship on an ongoing basis but has to work with an MNO to provide the connectivity for the service. True MVNOs purchase minutes of use from MNOs, but being able to confirm this means seeing the contracts between MVNOs and MNOs, which are not public domain information. Therefore the directory does not provide a classification of MVNO or reseller. The researchers aim to include every country offering these services.