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5-minute Q&A with Malcolm Adams, Optus


With only a few days to go until the MVNOs World Congress, 24-27 April 2017, in Nice, Malcolm Adams, director of mobile and customer marketing, Optus Wholesale, and also a speaker at our conference next week, briefly shared his views on wholesale as a service and the Australian market.

MVNOs Series: How should MNOs be reacting to wholesale as a service?

Malcolm Adams: We are big believers in Wholesale so, of course, we think that operators should continue to embrace wholesale as part of their overall service offering.

Providing Wholesale access to their network can represent value accretive opportunity for MNOs.

MVNOs Series: How is Optus responding to the changes in the wholesale market?

Malcolm Adams: We obviously keep a close eye on the market and it does drive our development focus as we see the market evolve. Our improvements are then delivered across our commercial, technical and operational areas within the business.

Some examples of this include being the first mobile operator in the Australian market to offer 3G and 4G services to our Wholesale partners ( at the same time as the technologies were being launched to our retail customers).


We’ve also supported many business models over our 20+ year history, from a branded agency model right through to Heavy MVNO models and as such we’ve been adaptive.

Lastly, we’re deeply involved in a transformative BSS program that will provide us and our partners with even greater functionality and flexibility of service offerings in the near future.

MVNOs Series: What is your opinion on the potential revenue for mobile wholesale?

Malcolm Adams: Well, the wholesale mobile market in Australia has traditionally represented around 10% of total market subs, and therefore already drives significant revenues. We believe there is

We believe that there is opportunity for further growth in areas where there hasn’t been much wholesale influence to date. Areas such as the SME and Enterprise markets plus the IoT opportunity and the wider global connectivity space.

MVNOs Series: How do you see wholesale in the next 5 years?

Adams Malcolm: Hopefully competing strongly in a 5G environment. I think with that, new market opportunities will open up and we’ll continue to see innovative thinking coming out of the wholesale community.

Our aim is certainly to be here to help foster it.

MVNOs Series: Looking at the overall MVNO ecosystem, where do you see it going?

Malcolm Adams: I think the honest answer is all of the above.

What we’ve seen typically happen in our marketplace is that there is an evolution cycle in the MVNO lifespan.

This is influenced by many factors however, it is fair to say that we’ve seen MVNOs at scale become MNOs, or sell their business to MNOs, or move their service offering into an adjacent industry, or unfortunately fail…….and that’s just some examples.

I guess what we won’t stop seeing soon is the desire for new MVNOs to enter the marketplace.

MVNOs Series: For last, can you give us a brief insight into the Australian market and how it differs from other markets and regions, please?

Malcolm Adams: Well Optus began offering wholesale services back in the mid 90’s soon after our parent company launched. Wholesale as a result is very much in our business DNA.

MVNO subscribers at the end of 2016 were 2.8m, of which Optus supports the majority of on our network as a market leader.

As such market maturity in the Australian market would probably be the key differentiator to others in the region.



Malcolm Adams, Optus, will be joining us and speaking in two sessions at the Wholesale as a Service stream of the MVNOs World Congress 2017 next. To find out more about Malcolm's sessions, the

To find out more about Malcolm's sessions, the full conference agenda and to book your place at the event, visit our website now.

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