Plintron: Making Audacious Moves in the Mobile Virtual Network Enabler (MVNE) Segment

Date:   Thursday , February 12, 2015

When a multinational telecom services company in India declared its plan to raise the price of its VoIP over 3G services, it created a debacle among the industry and users. Debate sparked off that charging for free VoIP services will create a chicken and egg problem. This, on one hand, will bring user demand to a substantial low while on the other hand, impeding the creation of robust internet infrastructure, which in turn nails back the rate of broadband penetration and increases the cost of operation. While price has always been the game changer for businesses, it seems quite sensitive in the telecom industry. Several MVNO companies, irrespective of size, reached their extinction owing to increasing operating cost. To counter such debacle and help MNVOs establish their global footprint, Plintron plays the role of an antidote.

Co-founded in 2008 by Mohan Kumar Sundaram and Subhashree, Plintron is a niche player in the mobile network and virtual network space. Within six years of its operation, the company has garnered the accolade of being the \'World Leader\' and is quoted as the largest cloud based multi-country MVNE. Even before establishing its footprint in the MVNE domain, Plintron did a deep pocket inspection to understand client\'s predicaments. Thus, every solution offered by Plintron is crafted to address unique pain points of the MVNOs and MNOs. \"The biggest challenges encountered in our domain are quality and transparency of service while getting it in a reliable and efficient cost base,\" asserts Mohan, Chairman & CEO, Plintron.

With each passing day, technology wears a new feather in its hat and is getting smarter. This puts all the technology companies on a tread mill to offer trailblazing products and services. Plintron comes with such agility that the cost of change is lowest in the market and that puts the company in a premium spot for the service providers to approach Plintron and take as a technology pathway for them. \"We are the part of innovation happening across our industry and are engaged in providing our services to the providers keeping them upbeat in the current moving market,\" adds Mohan.

The Anecdote

Coming from a technology background, Mohan worked with various industries across imports & exports to non-banking financial services and others. But 15 years back, he landed in the telecom industry where he noticed an interesting trend of failures taking over the success stories. Thus, he started focusing on telecommunication industry to understand the mathematics of this ratio. His attention was grabbed by the services side of the industry where vested the immediate need of a company like Plintron. Thus learning from the failure stories of the MVNOs, Mohan developed business, technology, services and legal model to make these companies successful players. Today, Plintron\'s major focus lies in providing technological and business solutions for these MVNOs across the market. The company has been created and molded to specialize and develop these MVNO related technology and services and Plintron has been able to demonstrate that in a quick time as within 6 months of its establishment, the company started launching new MVNO brands in different countries and making them successful. \"Each MVNO comes with their own differentiators and we need to adapt role and deliver those differentiated features. It can be the software feature or the way in which consumers are getting the services or even a particular delivery model. Thus, the key is in adaptation and customization and we have mastered this art long back,\" explains Subhashree, Vice Chairman, Plintron.

While even the nearest competition in the industry are operating in just 4-5 countries, Plintron\'s extensive experience in over 18 countries provides it an edge over others and has equipped the company establish itself as a big brand who is looked upon by the industry due to its stimulated and demonstrated platform and services in multinational countries. Apart from these, its services reside and hosted on cloud makes the major difference for the company. \"As CIOs and CTOs are making a move towards cloud adoption, the market is altogether asking for a reformed approach by the king makers of the services industry. Our cloud services help us to offer services across continents without being glued to age old and traditional methods. We have hosted telecom infrastructure in all the strategic locations which again keeps us upbeat compared to other players,\" explains Mohan.

The Power-Packed Offerings

\"We follow our Prime Minister Modi Ji\'s initiative \'Make in India\' model,\" quotes Mohan. Plintron has ingrained this meticulously in its DNA since its inception. It has developed all the components in-house which gives the company a complete control on its components and the cost associated with it. While other similar players don\'t have this core strength, Plintron provides time and cost arbitrage to its customers spread across Europe, Americas and Australia. Today, the company proudly offers services in the lines of MVNA, MVNE, M2M, Money Cards and Mobile Wallet. Plintron\'s cloud based MVNE platform with multi tenancy support and strong reference for multi-country implementations has parked the company in the hearts of its customers. Its round the clock support services, E2E MVNO setup, indigenous platform and integrated solutions, quick time to market and innovative solutions for reducing roaming costs can all be vouched upon by any network service providers. Plintron\'s MVNA model helps enterprises launch a mobile service for additional revenues and customer retention in a quick go-to-market in just 4-6 weeks at a competitive price level within low CAPEX and low cost of implementation.

The company has successfully integrated MNP and LI as per the local regulatory requirements in more than 17 countries. Over 300 telecom network service providers worldwide are interconnect for least cost routing of voice and/or SMS through the robust and scalable platforms and services of Plintron. It also offers end-to-end MVNO service consulting and roll out and is quite network agnostic, i.e., already connected with multi-switch vendors like NSN, Ericsson, Huawei, Siemens and Alcatel Lucent.

For decades, internet has incubated the future, but now appears unlocked huge opportunities which are beyond content for various service providers. For more than a decade, there has been a war between the internet service providers and mobile service providers. But the new emerging trend is of web real time communication (webRTC) where the internet stealth is enough to do the communication between two or more parties. This will make the entire communication service packed with the mobile/fixed broadband. All the big fishes of the industry are moving towards this trend, thus making it vital for telecom operators to identify the alternative methods to retain their users, volumes and consumers against these evolving trends. While the emerging market demands for more, this year, Plintron launched its 4G services and has already put its foot into the realm of 5G which is yet to see the dawn in next 2-3 years time.

The HSS (Home Subscriber Server) rollout from the 4G solution of Plintron helps effective functionalities of mobility management, call and session establishment support, user authentication and access authorization enabling service users enjoy ultra-speed mobile experience. Plintron is investing heavily in R&D on these communication enhancement areas to equip itself to be able to offer out-of-the-mill technology and services on its platform. The R&D team is constantly engaged in creating differentiators while working in collaboration with the evolving standards by various bodies over regulating communication industry. This year, the company is working on some major data network technologies, optimization and charging systems and is engaged in optimizing the internet data and network services.

Plintron will soon venture into the Internet of Things (IoT) that goes beyond machine-to-machine communications (M2M) since most of the devices and equipments are becoming mobile and internet enabled where it is able to communicate and remotely controlled and monitored. The company has presence in over 18 countries and moving forward, Plintron will soon be leveraging its IoT services in over 42 countries. This service offered on cloud will enhance IoT embedded devices management, integration, support and billing. This will also help in full asset management, control and protect the devices in various industries.
Since past five years, Plintron has been growing at a CAGR of 25 percent and is nearing to 1000 people worldwide. Achieving the title of being the world\'s largest multi-country MVNE doesn\'t put a full stop on its path, rather the company is on its mission to become numero-uno of the Mobile Virtual Network Aggregator business where Plintron not just does technology and services part of the business, but also is engaged in reselling airtime on behalf of its mobile operator partnership.

The Success Saga:

? 42+ MVNO business enabled
? Over 30 Tier 1 MNOs interconnected in 18 countries
? Supports more than million POS

Operations: Chennai (INDIA), London (UK), Sydney (Australia)and Seattle (USA)

MVNE Milestones

? 2008:
� MVNE service live in UK & Switzerland
? 2009:
� Launched 3G network services
� MVNE service live in Netherlands, Belgium, Italy and Sweden
? 2010:
� MVNE service live in Denmark, Norway, Australia & Spain
? 2011:
� MVNE service live in France, Germany& Ireland
? 2012:
� MVNE service live in Poland &Portugal
? 2013:
� Launched in U.S.A& Austria
? 2014:
� 4G Network service livein UK& Switzerland
� Launched MVNE Service in Romania

Countries Served:

U.S.A, Poland, Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Netherlands, UK, Canada, Ireland, Belgium, Germany, France, Switzerland, Portugal, Spain, Austria, Itlay, Romania and Australia

Services Offered:

Consulting, Brand Launch, Hosted NSS/BSS/OSS/VAS products for MVNOs& MNOs