Ultra Mobile taps diverse MVNO platforms in battle with established carriers


MVNO provider Ultra Mobile uses diverse brand offerings as it competes against established players like T-Mobile and Sprint.

On this week’s Carrier Wrap, we speak with Ultra Mobile on its position in the mobile virtual network operator space and how it looks to differentiate its various brands against established operators.

Few market segments have seen as much upheaval across the mobile industry as the MVNO space. Having at various times been the belle of the ball and the one left behind to clean up after a raucous party, MVNOs have seen market extremes.

MVNOs have recently begun to make a bit of a comeback, with dozens of new entrants coming online to much less fanfare than those in the past. This is probably a good tactic as those past efforts crashed and burned in spectacular fashion once more established mobile operators began to take notice of their marketing savvy. Who can forget the likes of Disney Mobile, ESPN Mobile or Amp’d Mobile, to name a few?

In general, the MVNO space requires a company to find a market niche that is not being filled, find a carrier partner or two willing to sell access to their mobile network, and set up back-office systems that can handle billing, customer care and logistics. Other operating needs vary depending on how deeply a company wants to involve itself.

In terms of its MVNO positioning, Ultra Mobile targets the market with a handful of brands, including Mint SIM, Univision Mobile and its own branded effort. The company also has ties to Primo Connect, which offers an over-the-top application allowing for application-to-application or application-to-phone calls at discounted rates.

David Glickman, CEO at Ultra Mobile, provides some background on the company’s formation, how it views its position in the current MVNO space, what sets it apart from traditional mobile operators and what are some of the bigger challenges facing the company moving forward.

Thanks for watching this week’s show, and make sure to check out our next show when we speak with Michael Thelander from Signals Research Group to get some insight into the ongoing “5G” standards process and its recent testing of 4×4 multiple-input/multiple-out antenna solutions.

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About Author

Dan Meyer

Editor-in-Chief, Telecom Software, Policy, Wireless Carriers
Dan Meyer started at RCR Wireless News in 1999 covering wireless carriers and wireless technologies. As editor-in-chief, Dan oversees editorial direction, reports on news from the wireless industry, including telecom software, policy and wireless carriers, and provides opinion stories on topics of concern to the market such as his popular Friday column “Worst of the Week.”