Currently Malaysia have 6 mobile providers. 4 Mobile Network Operators (MNO) and 3 Mobile Virtual Network Operators (MVNO). The 4 MNO are Celcom , DiGi, Maxis and U Mobile. While another 3 MVNO are Happy, TuneTalk and XOX. However, Happy is not really a licensed MVNO, it’s just another brand handled by a group peoples in DiGi. Beside that, U Mobile is not really 100% MNO, although they have the license of MNO, but their radio spectrum are few less, that’s why they have partner with Celcom to let their users enjoy the network coverage same as Celcom (Domestic Romaing).
What is MNO ?
MNO is a company that does have frequency allocation(s) and all the required infrastructure to run an independent mobile network. They have its own licensed frequency allocation of radio spectrum, and have all of the infrastructure required to provide mobile telephone service.
What is MVNO ?
MVNO is a company that doesn’t have all the facilities and licensed which MNO had. It’s equivalent to the “switchless resellers” of the traditional landline telephone market. Switchless resellers buy minutes wholesale from the large long distance companies and retail them to their customers.
Happy is a ‘virtual’ MVNO, which use the DiGi networks for their services. TuneTalk and U Mobile are buying minutes wholesales from Celcom and retail them to their customers. So, basically TuneTalk and U MObile users are using Celcom networks for their services (calling, sms, mms, data, etc)
That’s why you rarely see MVNO call and sms rate are cheaper than MNO. 😉
Prefix of MNO and MVNO are as follow:
U Mobile 018
Tomorrow we will show you the advantages and disadvantages of particular mobile operators.
* Actually MVNO in Malaysia also included REDtone and Merchantrade. However, REDtone only offer to Enterprise service (postpaid) and Merchantrade offer only prepaid IDD call.