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Our online glossary is here to help you make sense of the terminology used in the cell phone industry. It covers mobile technologies, such as 3G and 4G, and even includes a bit of information on smartphone operating systems and the companies that make the cell phones and other mobile technology devices we all use.

What is "Mobile Virtual Network Operator"?

An MVNO is a company that sells mobile phone service by making use of another company's existing network infrastructure. An MVNO will have its own rates and calling plan features, its own billing system, and its own customer service department. It is not, however, responsible for where cell towers are placed and has no control over coverage issues in general. An MVNO will typically pay its host carrier a greatly discounted rate for the time that its users make use of the host's network, which allows it to make a profit of its own as a reseller. The host network benefits by being able to profit from otherwise unused network capacity without having to spend the marketing and customer service dollars required to increase its own subscriber base.

Also known as: "MVNO"

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