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How Travel Companies are ‘Future Proofing’ their businesses by becoming MVNOs?

Technology has disrupted all traditional industries, travel including. In recent years, quick adoption of mobile technology has played a significant role in disrupting the travel and tourism industry.

Mobile Virtual Network Operators (MVNOs) are cost-effective and efficient alternatives to traditional telecom providers in tourism. MVNOs, or Mobile Virtual Network Operators, are companies that do not own their own physical infrastructure for providing mobile services. Instead, they purchase network capacity from existing mobile network operators and then resell that capacity to their own customers under their own brand.

In this post, we will explore how MVNOs are enriching the way people manage travel and the advantages of becoming a MVNO for a travel and tour operator company.

Market Trends and Opportunities for MVNOs in the Travel Industry

Market Trends:

Increasing demand for customized mobile services

Travelers or Travel Industry Customers are increasingly seeking mobile services that are tailored to their travel needs. This includes roaming voice and data plans, and location-based services. MVNOs  can target the travel industry or companies in the travel industry can tap into this demand by offering their own branded mobile service along with other travel services like insurance, visas, ticketing , reservations and opersonalized services that meet the unique needs of travelers.

Growing Popularity of eSIM Technology

eSIM technology is becoming increasingly popular within the travel community as it enables consumers to use local mobile networks without having to switch SIM cards. This provides a convenient and cost-effective solution for travelers. This feature can be leveraged by the MVNOs in the travel industry by partnering with eSIM providers to offer seamless mobile services to its end customers.

Expansion of 5G networks

The deployment of 5G networks is gaining momentum globally, and this presents a significant opportunity for MVNOs in the travel industry to offer high-speed data services to travelers.


Focus on niche markets

MVNOs in the travel industry can focus on niche categories such as luxury travelers, budget travelers, or adventure travelers to differentiate themselves from traditional mobile network operators and gain a competitive advantage.

Integration with emerging technologies

MVNOs in the travel industry can leverage emerging technologies such as 5G, IoT, and AI to create innovative mobile services that provide a seamless and personalized experience for travelers.

MVNOs vs Traditional Telecom Providers in Tourism

In the tourism industry, MVNOs and traditional telecom providers differ in a number of ways, including:

  • Target audience

MVNOs in the tourism industry typically target niche audience categories, such as budget travelers, luxury travelers, or adventure travelers, whereas traditional telecom providers cater to a more general audience.

  • Pricing

MVNOs in the tourism industry often offer more competitive pricing than traditional telecom providers, as they do not have the same overhead costs associated with owning and maintaining physical infrastructure. They can also offer more travel focused plans especially for voice and data roaming

  • Flexibility

MVNOs in the tourism industry are often more flexible in terms of the services they offer and the terms of their contracts. This can be especially attractive to travelers who may only need mobile services for a short period of time.

  • Branding

MVNOs in the tourism industry often differentiate themselves through their branding and marketing efforts, emphasizing their specialized mobile services and unique value propositions.

While traditional telecom providers may have more resources and a broader reach, MVNOs in the tourism industry can offer competitive pricing, flexibility, and targeted mobile services that meet the unique needs of travelers.

Why become an MVNO service provider as a travel and tour operating company

Here are some potential benefits:

Differentiation: By becoming an MVNO, a travel and tour operating company can offer branded mobile services to their customers, such as data, voice, and SMS. This can enhance the customer experience and add value to their travel services.

Enhancing brand recognition and loyalty: By providing mobile services under your own brand, your travel and tour operating company can increase brand awareness  and recognition apart from enhancing customer loyalty. Customers are more likely to choose a travel company that offers a comprehensive range of services, including mobile services.

Diversifying revenue streams: Becoming an MVNO can also provide a new revenue stream for your travel and tour operating company. By reselling mobile services, you can earn revenue from customers beyond their core travel services.

Improved Customer Experience

By offering mobile services like mobile payments, location-based services, and real-time customer support, you can improve the overall customer experience, leading to better customer satisfaction and retention.

Increased Control

Becoming an MVNO gives you more control over your customers’ mobile service requirements , allowing you to tailor services to your specific business needs based on the customer segment you address- Niche, Luxury, Budget etc.

Global Connectivity and Roaming  for your customers with MVNO services

As an MVNO your company can offer global coverage and roaming packages customized to fit the specific needs of your travelers. You can offer local SIM cards for specific countries, which provide unlimited data, calls, and texts at a fixed price even before your tour group travels. This eliminates the need to switch SIM cards or pay exorbitant roaming fees when traveling abroad, a very appealing feature.

As an MVNO, you can also offer global roaming packages that allow travelers the flexibility to choose plans as per need, without incurring high roaming charges. You can always offer tailored to fit services to high ticket travelers, earning you their loyalty whilst catering to the individual needs.

Advantages of your own Branded MVNO Travel SIM card

With an MVNO SIM card from your brand, your end customers will be able to enjoy uninterrupted network coverage and seamless connectivity across different countries. In this way, your company can showcase the concern it has for its travelers by ensuring that they can stay connected with their loved ones, colleagues and business partners while they are on the move. Your customers could  enjoy significant cost savings compared to traditional roaming charges, making it more affordable for them to use their phones and mobile devices while they are traveling.

By using an MVNO SIM card of your company, customers can choose from a variety of customized plans that are tailored to their specific needs and usage patterns, ensuring that they only pay for the services they need and use. Your company can also offer a range of customer support services specific to travel like providing a virtual help desk for all bookings etc, to ensure that their customers have a positive experience while using their services. This can also include 24/7 customer support, online chat services, and self-help resources.

Another benefit of a customer carrying your company owned SIM cards is that you can enable enhanced security features, such as encryption and secure data transmission, which can help to protect customer data and prevent unauthorized access – meant for high ticket travelers.

The Future of Travel and Tourism Technology

MVNOs are just one example of how technology is disrupting the travel industry. The future of travel technology is exciting and offers many opportunities for innovation. For example, the use of artificial intelligence (AI) and virtual reality (VR) can enhance the travel experience, from booking to exploration. Mobile apps can also become more personalized, providing customized travel recommendations based on individual preferences and travel history.


In conclusion, as the tourism industry continues to grow and evolve, more and more travelers are relying on mobile connectivity to stay connected and manage their journeys. MVNOs enable this connectivity by offering affordable, customizable, and flexible mobile services to travelers.

Becoming an MVNO with the help of reliable and efficient MVNA provider like Plintron is a smart way to go about starting your own MVNO. Plintron has partnerships with over 40 telecom operators around the world, giving businesses the ability to offer services in multiple countries and regions without needing to negotiate separate agreements. Plintron also provides a comprehensive platform that includes everything needed to launch an MVNO quickly, including billing systems, customer care, and network access. The platform is designed to be scalable and cost-effective, allowing businesses to reduce their capital expenditure while still being able to offer competitive pricing to customers.

As travelers continue to demand reliable and affordable mobile connectivity, MVNOs will continue to disrupt the tourism industry and drive innovation in mobile services.