What is a carrier network? A carrier network is a company that operates and sells capacity or otherwise provides a network communication service. Communication can be divided into fixed networks and mobile networks. Carrier networks are therefore those who ensure that the traffic between mobile phones and landlines exsist and works. But a carrier network doesn’t just have to be a company that controls voice function between different phones. In addition to voice over fixed telephony and mobile telephony, carriers can also offer IP telephony, broadband and IPTV.
- Carriers drive or rent out capacity over landline networks and mobile networks.
- Carrier networks supply services in broadband, telephony, IPTV, IP telephony etc.
- Carrier networks own their coverage within a certain region.
- Virtual carrier networks rent with a carrier that owns their network.
- The boundary between telephony and broadband is shrinking between carriers.
- Carrier networks can no longer require a roaming fee.
- There are carrier networks that are partially owned by the government and others that are private.
There are four different types of carrier networks:
- One type is the carriers that own their network. These carriers are the ones called MNO which stands for Mobile Network Operator.
- Then there are so-called virtual carriers. Virtual carriers are called MVNO, Mobile Virtual Network Operator. An MVNO leases a network owned by an MNO but manages the technology itself. MVNO then sells the traffic to its customers.
- The third type is MVNE (SIP-MVNO). MVNE stands for Mobile Virtual Network Enabler. It is a simpler form of MVNO that controls a smaller portion of the traffic itself.
- The fourth type of carrier is called Service Provider, often abbreviated SP. A Service Provider rents all technology by the carrier and has control over invoicing and end customer support only.