Phone Services

The telecommunications provider is the entity that provides communications services remotely. This usually involves at least one link to open a communication network (eg PSTN, Internet), but the network may be sufficient in itself.

Traditional distinctions

  • Mobile operators and fixed operators.
  • Operators and network operators.
  • Incumbents and alternative operators.
  • Real operators and virtual operators, such as Mobile Virtual Network Operators in English or Mobile Virtual Network Operators (MVNO).

In reality, these boundaries are sometimes tenuous:

  • Many are nomadic or mobile use fixed, some networks are extended by fixed wireless technologies (eg Wi-Fi) or vice versa (eg via GSM telephones connected to the national grid);
  • Any operator is operator services: however not all are full spectrum of clientele (eg individuals, professionals, businesses, communities, partners, developers, other operators, etc..). The network operator operates services that are at the network level, but with significant impacts upstream and downstream;
  • An incumbent in a given country may be another alternative, or even create their own little competition for the regulator to be distracted;
  • At some level, every operator is virtual network operator: it is the very principle of the interconnection is to provide a service-based infrastructure of another operator.

Convergence trades causes a reconciliation of telecommunications operators and other operators (eg audiovisual operators) or network (eg cable operator).

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