MVNOs: The call to market

MVNOs: The call to market

Experts from the MVNO industry have joined forces for the launch of a Dragon’s Den-style initiative.

The group – known as the Telco Den – will serve as an advisory body for new businesses, as well as a forum for new ideas in the MVNO area and wider industry. It will launch today (13 April), under the stewardship of Cognatel’s CEO Mark Ashdown.

There is also a chance that the Telco Den could become a form of accreditation for MVNOs. The group will push for better standards of operation and service across the market as well as launching a new awards programme to champion ‘Big Ideas’.

Ashdown said: ‘I do think there is some room for accreditation across the MVNO industry.’

He told Mobile: ‘As we were putting together Cognatel we saw that we were pulling on a lot of expertise from the industry in general. The idea of the Telco Den is an innovation hub that will pull together the best in class from all areas. This is a forum where new business ideas can be seen by a panel of experts – much like a Dragon’s Den. It’s all about increasing their chances of success.’

Ashdown added: ‘The Telco Den will act as an independent catalyst for fresh thinking and new ideas in the MVNO industry.’

The group will provide a regular forum to discuss and debate the big issues facing the MVNO industry from ‘a wide range of perspectives’, Ashdown said, adding: ‘We hope to point the way forward for established operators as well as new entrants and start-ups.’

The key issue debated at the first meeting of the Telco Den last month was access to finance for MVNO start-ups and identifying the key ingredients for long-term success.

The new website can be found at

Telco Den: What was discussed

• What is the Telco Den?
• What’s next for the MVNO market?
• What is the tick list to create a successful MVNO?
• What does an MVNO need to raise finance?
• What are the financial options available to an MVNO looking to raise capital?
• What does an MNO/MVNA look for when signing up an MVNO?
• What is the right size for an MVNO?
• What funding and business support is available?
• What legal and data protection issues need to be considered?
• Why do we need MVNAs?
• MVNA competition in the market – what does that mean?
• What are the challenges to roll up MVNOs and aggregators?
• What is the exit for an MVNA?
• What does the future hold for MVNOs?

Tim Stone
Vodafone UK, director of wholesale and new business

Stone has been building breakthrough telecoms brands and businesses for more than 20 years. He has set the benchmark in developing successful partnerships and major third party relationships including Carphone Warehouse, Phones 4u, BT MVNO, Asda and Lebara Mobile.

Justin Norris
DIGITALK, founder and CEO

Founder of market-leading billing and CRM provider DIGITALK and a renowned industry visionary, Justin has been at the forefront of the telecoms industry and was a pioneer of next generation intelligent switching platforms.

Mark Ashdown
Cognatel, CEO

Ashdown has led and grown a range of successful telecoms and technology start-up businesses over almost two decades including First Telecom, Alpha Telecom and Workshare. Today, he is the CEO of new MVNA Cognatel.

James Gray
Vodafone, head of wholesale marketing

Vodafone’s commercial marketing expert within the wholesale MVNO space with over 15 years of telecoms experience shaping award-winning consumer propositions. Gray has been a key member of the Vodafone wholesale team over the last five years, delivering their aggressive growth strategy by launching MVNOs such as Asda, Lebara, Talk Mobile, Talk Talk, Cognatel and Gamma Telecom and delivering significant growth in wholesale revenues.

Andrew Harrington
AHV Associates, founder

Harrington is frequently named in corporate and institutional surveys as the number one telecommunications analyst globally. Among his achievements are many successful capital raising exercises for numerous telecoms companies.

Andrew White
Piran Partners, founder

Having run business units for global corporations, White successfully raised multimillion dollar financing for a pan-European start-up MVNO. He currently runs a leading consultancy in the telecommunications sector, providing commercial insight and candid business advice.

Michael Lowry
Addleshaw Goddard, partner

Lowry is one of the country’s leading intellectual property experts and has over 14 years experience in connection with IT, telecoms and outsourcing within both the public and private sectors.

Erik Britton
Fathom Financial Consulting, director

Britton is a professional economist with over 18 years experience and a leading expert in microeconomics. He has previously held positions at Oxford Economics, MMD and the Bank of England.

Written by Mobile Today
Mobile Today


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