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What is a Mobile Virtual Network Operator (MvNO)?

What is a Mobile Virtual Network Operator (MvNO)?


At Yay.com, all plans on offer feature some degree of inclusive UK and US minutes, depending on which one you choose. The minutes include calls to all standard rate landline and mobile numbers, but also exclude calls to premium national and local, service, special and mobile virtual network operator (MvNO) numbers. We completely understand that most customers wouldn’t have heard of an MvNO, so thought we’d explain a little about what this means:


An MvNO is classified as any communications services provider (network operator) that does not use it's own network infrastructure to provide the service to it’s customers. In effect, these providers are 'reselling' the services of the underlying network operator.


Every network operator doesn't have it’s own underlying infrastructure, and there are in fact only a small handful that do. Most Mobile Virtual Network Operators will also provide their own customer service, billing systems and marketing, which makes it hard to identify that they are, in fact, an MvNO. 


As these operators often have to pay to 'rent' the infrastructure, instead of offering their services at a higher price to their own customers, they increase the cost to call their own numbers, which is incurred by the caller. As a result, some MvNO number prefixes do incur a higher call cost, and will not be included in your plan.


Yay.com does try to include as many MvNO numbers in our plans as we can, so long as the cost to call these numbers remains at the standard rate. Some numbers, which may have been set at a standard rate initially, may have their prices increased at any time, which may mean that calls to this number would no longer be covered by your inclusive minutes. You will find that the costs to call these numbers will increase with many other providers in the market. 


You can check the cost to call any phone number or country, and which network operator owns the number, with Yay.com using our Call Cost Checker.


For more information on MvNOs for your country, you can take a look at our FAQs here:

UK Mobile Network Operator Networks (MvNO)

US Mobile Network Operator Networks (MvNO)

Yay.com FAQ
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