What’s MNO and Its Infrastructure in IoT?

MNO stands for Mobile Network Operator. It refers to a company or organization that provides mobile communication services to customers by operating a wireless network infrastructure. MNOs are responsible for setting up and maintaining the cellular network infrastructure that enables mobile phone and data services. Here are some key aspects related to Mobile Network Operators.

What Are the MNO Players  

Here is the list of the top mobile network operators:  

  • Deutsche Telekom  

  • Vodafone  

  • AT&T  Verizon  

  • Telefónica 

  • Orange  

  • China Mobile   

MNO Infrastructure 

 Mobile Network Operators provide all necessary infrastructure and services for mobile and IoT connectivity. They operate within regulatory frameworks, compete with other operators, and cater to the evolving needs of the end-users in their respective markets.  

  • Cell Towers and Base Stations that provide coverage and enable wireless communication between IoT devices and the network. 

  • Core Network that manages traffic between IoT devices, applications, and the internet. This infrastructure includes switches, routers, and other networking equipment. 

  • Spectrum Resource implies the licenses held by MNO for specific frequency bands of the radio spectrum.

  • Data Centers operated by MNOs store and process the massive amount of data generated by IoT devices.  

  • Connectivity Management Platforms by MNO enable IoT device onboarding, provisioning, and management.  

  • Security Infrastructure implies MNO’s measures against unauthorized access, cyber threats, and breaches, e.g., network security protocols, encryption mechanisms, authentication mechanisms, and other security technologies. 

  • Network Coverage Optimization may involve expanding network coverage, enhancing signal strength, and addressing coverage gaps by MNO. 

  • Roaming Agreements established by MNO enable IoT devices to maintain connectivity when operating outside their home network's coverage area.  

  • Integration with IoT Platforms implies integration of MNO’s infrastructure with IoT platforms or partnering with IoT service providers to offer end-to-end IoT solutions. 

  • Regulatory Compliance ensures all IoT connectivity regulations and standards are met via approval and certification of regulatory authorities and industry bodies.  


 MNVO or Mobile Virtual Network Operator does not own the underlying network infrastructure but rather leases network capacity from MNOs. MVNOs essentially act as resellers or service providers that operate on top of MNOs' networks. They purchase wholesale network services from MNOs and then package and sell these services to their own customers under their own brand name. MVNOs don't have direct control over the network infrastructure or the radio spectrum. They focus on providing value-added services, competitive pricing, and specific IoT solutions tailored to their target market. The players include: 1NCE KORE Sierra Wireless  Soracom  Telit    

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