Mobile Phone Networks: Real or Virtual
Virtual and Real Assistants; Virtual and Real Servers; everyday technology has progressed over the years and decades.
Mobile Phone Networks can be found as Real or Virtual.
In this article we explain the difference between a Real Mobile Network and a Virtual Mobile Network.
Real Mobile Phone Network
A Real Network owns, operates and maintains masts, transmitters and infrastructure to transmit calls and text messages across the air waves.
Virtual Mobile Phone Network
A Virtual Network does not own, operate or maintain masts, transmitters and infrastructure to transmit calls and text messages.
How does a mobile phone Virtual Network operate ?
A Virtual Network will rent masts, equipment, and infrastructure, or buy minutes in bulk from a Real Network.
The Virtual Network will get a good discount for buying minutes in bulk.
The Virtual Network can then add a percentage which is then charged to the end user - the caller, and the Virtual Network makes their profit by selling on the minutes.
Real and Virtual Network Examples
As an example, EE mobile is a Real Network - Asda mobile is a Virtual Network.
If you use an Asda mobile SIM card, your calls and text messages actually go across the EE mobile network - Asda mobile uses EE mobile masts, transmitters and infrastructure.
If you experience signal issues and choose to change Network in an attempt to improve signal strength or coverage, it would be a good idea to check that you are not moving from a Real Network to a Virtual Network that uses the masts, transmitters and infrastructure of the Network that you are currently on.
For example, if you currently use EE mobile then move to Asda mobile, your signal issue will more than likely not improve because the Virtual Network of Asda mobile actually uses the same masts, transmitters and infrastructure as EE mobile.
The opposite also applies - moving from Asda mobile to EE mobile for the exact same reasons.
SIMsurprise.co.uk hopes that this article has helped raise awareness of the difference between Real and Virtual Mobile Phone Networks.
A "Real Network" is often referred to as the Host network.
You might also like to read our article MVNA MVNE MVNO MNO.
Below we list a number of probably well known UK networks and their respective "Real" networks.
|Virtual Network ||Real (Host) Network |
|Asda Mobile||EE |
|BT Mobile||EE |
|Plusnet Mobile||EE |
|Talk Home Mobile||EE |
|Vectone Mobile||EE |
|Virgin Mobile||EE |