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MVNO the Mobile Virtual Network Operators in Spain

April 3, 2019

MVNO stands for Mobile Virtual Network Operator, these are companies that do not own a network infrastructure, but they rent the network infrastructure of another mobile operator.

Differences between MVNO and VMO

There are two types of mobile operators depending on the network from which they provide their services.

  • Operators which own their own network.
  • MVNO: those who agree to use the network of another mobile operator.

Four operators with their own network and more than thirty MVMO

There are four operators with their own network in Spain, Movistar, Vodafone, Orange and Yoigo, who rent their network to different virtual mobile operators.

According to mobile network operators, virtual operators that operate in Spain are distributed as follows:

  • Movistar

    • O2
    • Tuenti
    • Digi
    • ION Mobile
    • Lycamobile
    • Lobster
    • Telecable
  • Vodafone

    • Lowi
    • Hits Mobile
  • Yoigo

    • Pepephone
    • MásMóvil
    • llamaya
    • Lebara
  • Orange

    • Amena
    • Simyo
    • Jazztel
    • República Móvil
    • Oceans
    • Mobilfree
    • SUOP
    • IOS
    • Jetnet
    • You mobile
    • Jiayu
    • Fi Network
    • Adamo
    • Parlem
    • Ahí +
    • Dígame
    • PTV Telecom
    • Euskaltel
    • R

MVNO nuances

It can be thought that MVNOs have the same coverage as operators that owns a network, but that’s not true, and there are some nuances to know:

1.- The capacity of mobile operators with an own network to manage bandwidth when prioritising traffic in critical moments, which allows the main operators to guarantee a better service to people connected directly through Movistar, Vodafone, Orange or Yoigo.

2.- In many cases, virtual mobile operators (MVNO) do not offer the same services as operators with their own network, such as 4G+, 5G or roaming services.

MVNO the Mobile Virtual Network Operators in Spain

More than 53 millions of mobile lines

The first virtual mobile operator in Spain, Carrefour Móvil, started to offer its services more than 10 years ago, and the number of operators and lines have continued growing until now, especially high-speed lines. Thus, the number of mobile lines outnumbers the number of Spain’s inhabitants.

According to the information provided by the Spanish National Commission on Markets and Competition, there were a total of 53,447,257 lines in Spain in December 2018.

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