14 Hosted PBX Vertical Industries Perfect for MNOs

It's impossible to argue that mobile network operators -- MNOs and MVNOs -- shouldn't all be selling hosted PBX services. They collectively need more revenue from their customers, and hosted PBX easily delivers. But which verticals are in need for what services, and what unique contributions do mobile operators bring to the table?

The Eastern Management Group is engaged in a multi-year study of the global hosted PBX market. We recently published research in a new report, "Worldwide Hosted PBX Market 2017-2022." With market data from more than 9,900 companies surveyed across 22 industries, we present some of our mobile operator market analysis in this post.

Worldwide, there are 1,000 mobile operators, and many more mobile virtual network operators, or MVNOs. Hosted PBX economics are compelling for every wireless carrier to sell UCaaS, if only with a couple of features.

Most MNO business customers are small. The majority are one- and two-line cellular subscribers. This is a desirable hosted PBX target for mobile operators. There is little competition from established UCaaS providers such as RingCentral, and Tier 1 carriers like AT&T, in the small office/home office (SOHO) market, or the very low end of the market. MNOs can establish and build a hosted PBX business here and not be under the watchful eye or thumb of proven hosted PBX competitors. Fortunately for MNOs, the small customer market represents the largest underserved market for UCaaS worldwide. It's an excellent market entry point for a wireless service provider.

Industries Suited for Mobile Operator Hosted PBX

Source: The Eastern Management Group

Many industries with millions of small companies of one to 25 employees, ideally suited to mobile operator hosted PBX, are in the services sector. This is easily the MNO sweet spot for UCaaS. Our opinion of the best industries to target are in the table at right.

Features for Micro Businesses

For every vertical market targeted, mobile operators need to develop use cases and feature packages.

Small companies rarely need many hosted PBX features. They don't need a hosted PBX solution with dozens or hundreds of features. They don't want to be inundated. Yet, small businesses in different vertical markets require different UC features. They'll be well served by stripped-down pre-built bundles for distinct vertical markets, and add-on a la carte features. Here are some feature examples with relevance to small service industry businesses:

  • Having distinguishable business and personal numbers ring on one mobile device
  • Having multiple employee mobile phones ring simultaneously wherever they may be
  • Call transfer
  • Small ACD
  • Calendar scheduling
  • Limited collaboration for vertical markets like engineering

Why Wireless Providers?

Mobile network operators bring assets to the small customer hosted PBX market that few can match. These lower the cost of service and give mobile operators a superior competitive advantage. These hard and soft assets include:

  • Existing customers with smartphones, not needing a desk phone
  • No Internet line requirement
  • Operations -- Billing system, order entry system, customer support system, BSS, OSS, data center, network, technical, sales, marketing, legal and regulatory, and practices
  • Brand recognition
  • Financial strength
  • Experienced purchasing departments

Where to Begin

From our experience advising dozens of providers introducing new monthly billable services, it's best for mobile operators to initiate hosted PBX services in just a few industry markets. Begin with very small customers to prove-in the business model. Then grow to larger customers and additional markets.

This article is based on Eastern Management Group's service provider consulting experience and the company's exhaustive "Worldwide Hosted PBX Market 2017-2022" report. For any questions ask our researchers or email [email protected].