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Open Market and MVNO Testing

Open Market and MVNO Services

Recently there has been a large increase of Mobile Virtual Network Operators (MVNO), which has created competition with Mobile Network Operators (MNO) and driven down costs for end users.

Some handset manufacturers have taken advantage by selling Open Market models, which are sold directly to end users and free from carrier customisation.

Open Market handsets must be tested with a wide variety of MVNO SIM cards to ensure a good end user experience.

End users expect all supported features to work reliably or they may choose to move to another MVNO provider and/or replace the Open Market handset with another model.

Open Market handsets are not SIM locked to the network provider, so end users can quickly change to another MVNO provider by simply inserting a different SIM card or putting a second SIM card in to dual SIM handset.

Open Market handset vendors make cheaper models, often with a lower specification so the handset probably will be replaced more quickly. However all supported features must work reliably to avoid products being returned as faulty and the overall user experience must be good to ensure customers are happy and retained.

How the MVNO/MNO relationship works

The three core scenarios are:

  • MVNO leverages the resource from the MNO, sharing spectrum, base stations and base station controllers.
  • MVNOs usually provide SIM cards and MSC/HLR to authenticate their users.
  • The MNO may restrict features or data speeds to differentiate their service from the cheaper MVNO.
Know Your MVNOs

Here is a list of the top five MVNOs for four core Network Operators. IoTAS can support you with your MVNO approval plans:

EE: O2: Three: Vodafone:
  • Asda Mobile
  • BT Mobile
  • The Phone Co-op
  • Virgin Mobile
  • Axis Mobile
  • Giffgaff
  • Tesco Mobile
  • Sky Mobile
  • Lycamobile
  • TalkTalk Mobile
  • iD Mobile
  • The People’s Operator
  • Globalgig
  • 360Coms Telecom
  • AfriMobile
  • Talk Mobile
  • Lebara Mobile
  • Cortel Telephone
  • Glemnet
  • Highnet
How we test

Field testing is focused on checking the DUT works correctly with many different MVNO SIM cards. Test plans are carefully optimised to reduce duplication and increase test coverage, keeping costs down.

Our Live Network Testing, tailored to the customers requirements, comprises:

  • Key selections of MVNO operators
  • DUT compared and assessed against a ‘known’ reference device
  • Basic functionality
  • Functionality (IOP)
  • Stability (KPI)

IoTAS will provide daily reports which include any test case failures observed during field testing. The final test report will be released at the end of the project, after being reviewed. All testing will be completed according IEC/ISO 17025.

For more information about Open Market and MVNO testing please get in touch.