Cellphone Usage

Almost three in ten smartphone owners are open to using a mobile virtual network operator (MVNO), according to a survey by YouGov.

YouGov defined an MVNO as a provider that leases capacity from a larger carrier and offers its own service that often offers unique features or pricing. It cites research predicting that the market will grow from $84 billion to $116.8 billion during the next five years.

The research, which was based on a two-day January poll of 1,110 U.S adults, found that at this point those in the “not very/not very likely at all” categories are greater than those in the “very/somewhat likely” categories (37% compared to 29%). Important context is that 8% already use an MVNO. It’s also fair to note that many people are likely not to understand or care what an MVNO is.

The reasons those in the “likely” categories cite are cost, more flexible contracts, reviews and recommendations, specialized services, support for small businesses, enhanced privacy features, exclusive promotions, ethical business practices and AI integration.

Those in the “unlikely” categories cite satisfaction with current provider, network reliability and coverage concerns lack of trust, data privacy concerns, the complexity of switching providers, lack of unique features and loyalty programs, and benefits they receive with their current provider.

The MVNO category is growing, but challenges remain.

“While there is a growing interest in what MVNOs can offer, particularly in terms of cost savings and flexible services, challenges such as customer loyalty to existing providers and concerns about network reliability remain significant hurdles,” wrote YouGov’s Kineree Shah in a blog post.

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