Virtual Network Operator

What Does Virtual Network Operator Mean?

A virtual network operator (VNO) is a management services provider and a network services reseller of other telecommunication service providers. VNOs do not possess a telecom network infrastructure; however, they provide telecom services by acquiring the required capacity from other telecom carriers. These network providers are classified as virtual because they offer network services to clients without possessing the actual network. VNOs usually lease bandwidth at agreed wholesale rates from different telecom providers and then offer solutions to their direct customers.


Techopedia Explains Virtual Network Operator

Various telecom carriers are now expanding their services by leasing out their established infrastructures to VNOs. However, the VNO model is comparatively new to the North American market as opposed to the Asian and European markets. The VNO concept lets service providers optimize the utilization of their networks by serving as mobile WiMAX wholesalers rather than by selling directly to prospective customers.

Fully virtual VNOs do not include any technical support or technical facilities; instead, they depend on infrastructure providers for technical or support-related matters. The VNO business model has got a great deal of traction in the wireless sector as the infrastructure expenditures are substantial. The recent pressure on margins prompted various wireline operators to consider using the successful VNO business model to minimize capital expenses as well as staffing demands.

As the universal networks are becoming more professional and advanced, a growing field of telecommunications logistics providers has evolved. These organizations help in managing large networks that span over a wide range of carriers similar to what VNOs have. However, this new breed of service providers has been eager to set up their own infrastructure and unique networks.


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Margaret Rouse

Margaret is an award-winning technical writer and teacher known for her ability to explain complex technical subjects to a non-technical business audience. Over the past twenty years, her IT definitions have been published by Que in an encyclopedia of technology terms and cited in articles by the New York Times, Time Magazine, USA Today, ZDNet, PC Magazine, and Discovery Magazine. She joined Techopedia in 2011. Margaret's idea of a fun day is helping IT and business professionals learn to speak each other’s highly specialized languages.