Fraud Blocker
0333 313 5005|

What is an MNO?

What does MNO stand for?

MNO stands for Mobile Network Operator. In simple terms, an MNO is a telecommunication service provider that enables wireless voice and data communication in a specific region or country via their cellular network. They are sometimes referred to as wireless service providers or cellular carriers.

Why are MNOs important?

In today’s interconnected world, Mobile Network Operators (MNOs) are essential in ensuring the reliability of our voice and data communications. They not only allow mobile users to access the internet and communicate with one another, they enable the development and deployment of essential IoT applications.

MNO network infrastructure

  • Core network

    The core network of an MNO’s infrastructure oversees how user equipment (UE) and Radio Access Technology) is managed and operated.

  • Radio Access Network (RAN)

    The Radio Access Network (RAN) is the part of an MNO’s network infrastructure that utilises RAT. Situated between UE (such as mobile phones, IoT sensors and other connected devices) and the MNO’s core network, the RAN acts as the connectivity enabler for your devices.

How do MNOs make money?

Different types of MNOs

National MNOs

These operate within a specific country and are the most common type of MNO.

International MNOs

These operate across multiple countries or zones, making it easier for you to roam internationally without incurring excessive fees.

MNOs vs MVNOs: What’s the Difference?

MVNO stands for Mobile Virtual Network Operator. Unlike MNOs, they do not own their own wireless network infrastructure. Instead, they lease network capacity from an MNO. Depending on your requirements, using an MVNO is sometimes more flexible and cost-effective than using an MNO, however, network performance may not be quite as efficient. It’s important to explore all bases when choosing a connectivity provider to ensure your unique requirements are met.

What’s Next for MNOs?

  • 5G & 6G network adoption

    MNOs are already moving away from 2G & 3G infrastructure in favour of the more modern 4G and 5G network protocols. 5G promises faster and more reliable mobile services for users and IoT applications. Some MNOs are already developing an even more sophisticated 6G infrastructure which is expected to be rolled out by 2030.

  • IoT connectivity

    With more devices connecting to the internet, MNOs are also working to provide specialised services for IoT (Internet of Things) devices. Some of these solutions are already being used within IoT applications, including, include fixed IP addresses, eUICC connectivity, and LPWAN technology.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

MNO stands for Mobile Network Operator.

Through subscription plans, roaming charges, and value-added services.

MNOs own their network infrastructure, while MVNOs rent it.