Virtual Network Operator

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A Virtual Network Operator (VNO) is a provider of management services and a reseller of network services from other telecommunications suppliers that does not own the telecommunication infrastructure. These network providers are categorized as virtual because they provide network services to customers without owning the underlying network. A VNO typically leases bandwidth at the wholesale rates from various telecom providers in order to provide solutions to their customers. The VNO concept is relatively new in the North American market when compared to the European and Asian markets.

Fully virtual VNO does not have any technical facilities or technical support, instead they rely on support delivered by infrastructure providers. VNO concept has received a lot of traction in the wireless industry as cost of infrastructure is substantial. Recently pressure on margins caused many wireline operators to consider going with VNO model and cut capital expenditures as well as staffing requirements to maintain and upgrade the infrastructure.

As the global networks have become more complex, an emerging field of telecommunications "Logistics" providers has developed. These companies assist in the management of large networks which span across multiple carriers much in the same way that the Virtual Network Operators had, but this new breed of services providers have been willing to build their own networks and own infrastructure.

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