Why APN Override will not kill APN Setup for MVNO

APN Override vs. APN Setup

Both for MVNOs and MNOs the Customer Onboarding process is a critical phase on acquiring new customers. No matter how much you invest in advertising, discounts, promotions, etc., if you do not provide an excellent onboarding experience to your new customers, they will be sitting ducks to another operator and they will grow up your churn list, maybe not at the end of the month, but surely soon enough.

For MVNO this phase is particularly critical indeed. You are a company with limited resources trying to steal customers from the giants with better tariffs and amazing promotions, dealing with your providers to get the best deal and bite a bit more on profits… are you willing to loose customers at the same moment they become your customers? Have you design a seamless onboarding experience for them?

And here it comes where you, as MVNO, think:

  • Right, I will let my enabler deal with the problem of the APN

Really? Are you passing over the problems of your customers to someone else without considering first whether you can fix it or not?

  • Well, I am relying on my enabler APN Override service

Hey, that is actually a good answer but, let me ask you one more question, does your enabler provide full area coverage o maybe you have itinerancy to another operator in those regions where the first one does not reach? Do you have a roaming protocol in place to detect when your customers travel abroad? *Houston, we have a problem!.

What happens when an MVNO relies on the service of an MNO’s APN Override to avoid setting up their customers device APN is that, when roaming, the user loose their internet connection. And remember, nowadays just 5% of mobile use are calls, the rest is internet navigation. How frustrated will your customers be when they travel abroad to realize they have no internet even though they have data roaming active?

when you are providing a service to your customers, any impression is the first impression, there is no place for failure

Well, I am not saying that APN Override is a bad solution quite the opposite, it is a very good partial solution to avoid a first bad impression but, when you are providing a service in such a competitive market, any impression is the first impression, there is no place for failure.

What should have happened in your Customer Onboarding Process, even though you are using APN Override, is that you facilitate the means for your customer to configure their APN and basic information about the need for that setting. Do it automatically if you can afford it or manually but at least let your customers know that theres a setting they need if they ever leave your network provider coverage.

  • But i don’t want to bother my customers about settings they don’t understand

All right, then find a way to silently set up their devices or to trigger a message when they need to know about those settings. There are also ways to handle this process, but at some previous point you will need to bother your customers with the installation of a proprietary App.

A good customer experience is not based on the fact that you don’t interact with your customers. It is based on having the precise interactions in the best possible manner.


Providing voice and data plans is not the whole service you are providing as MVNO. Any aspects of your customers interaction with their devices are part of your service. You need to consider not only relying on a good network provider but also designing a welcome onboard and an exquisite journey for your newcomers.

Are you interested in excel your customers onboarding experience? Contact us or request a trial of our APN Setup service.