We look forward to welcoming Malcolm Adams, Director of Mobile and Customer Wholesale Marketing at SingTel Optus, to this year's MVNOs World Congress, which takes place in Madrid, 23-26 April 2018. Last year, Malcolm shared his views on Wholesale as a Service, the Australian market and the potential revenue for mobile wholesale. In you case you missed it, check out the full interview below.
How should MNOs be reacting to wholesale as a service?
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.
How is Optus responding to the changes in the wholesale market?
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.
What is your opinion on the potential revenue for mobile wholesale?
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.
How do you see wholesale in the next 5 years?
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.
Looking at the overall MVNO ecosystem, where do you see it going?
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.
For last, can you give us a brief insight into the Australian market and how it differs from other markets and regions, please?
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.