Mobile virtual network operators (MVNOs) are looking for ways to gain more control over the services they deliver to customers. Part of that is driven by a desire to differentiate their services from their competitors’, but it’s also to differentiate their services from those provided by the same underlying mobile network operators (MNOs) they use to complete their end-to-end service. Ultimately, MVNOs are finding themselves in a situation where they are constrained by the limitations of their underlying MNOs. 

Different classifications of virtual operators have emerged, which range from infrastructure “light” to infrastructure intensive, and those include operators that provide enablement and aggregation services to the infrastructure-light MVNOs. MVNOs are competitive and strive for service differentiation. Since they rely to large extent on other participants in the service delivery supply chain (mainly the underlying MNO), one of the largest concerns of MVNOs is the time involved and lack of flexibility in delivering differentiated services. 

Mobile virtual network enablers (MVNEs), those that provide services to MVNOs, echoed this challenge in a recent Informa Telecoms and Media study, in which they indicated meeting demand for service flexibility was their top business and technology challenge with supporting MVNOs. 

Mobile virtual operators are looking for ways to improve on the lack of flexibility they experience without having control of the end-to-end service delivery infrastructure. This lack of control directly affects cost, operational efficiency, time-to-market and the array of service options. One recurring theme we see with the service providers we work with is the need for any-to-any connectivity at scale, and mobile virtual operators are no exception. The BorderNet Diameter Services Helix is a next-generation Diameter signaling controller because it combines Diameter routing, security and multiprotocol interworking in a single platform. This class of DSCs is well suited to address the challenges MVNOs and MVNEs face, including:

  • Solving Diameter-based services incompatibility issues between network equipment in the MNO and charging platforms in the MVNO/E;
  • Interworking Diameter with non-Diameter based signaling such as RADIUS and SS7/MAP to support authentication, roaming and charging initiatives for service differentiation; and
  • Extending customer coverage more cost effectively and seamlessly by interconnecting with Wi-Fi networks.

Any time multiple networks are involved, incompatibility issues are likely to arise – even in the presence of extensive standards. With solutions that provide not only security and routing, but also interworking and enhancement across multiple protocols in use today by 3G, 4G and Wi-Fi networks, mobile virtual network operators can now take more control of their customers’ user experience and the services they deliver to customers.

We invite service providers to “Take the Helix Challenge” – bring us your most difficult interworking issue by sending a note to We can help.