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Thread: Question on how MCC/MNC work for MNVO's and Cell Tower Finding?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
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    Question on how MCC/MNC work for MNVO's and Cell Tower Finding?

    Could someone point to a resource on how the Mobile Country Code / Mobile Network Code are generally set up for MVNO's?

    For example I use Ting on T-Mobile GSM, and am instructed to use 310/260. Is there any way to distinguish Ting capable towers distinct from all T-Mobile towers?

    I see some of the signal mapping apps key off MCC/MNC, but this introduces a problem. Some MVNO's only have access to a subset of a host's tower network, potentially leading to a mapped lack of coverage. For example every Page Plus tower is a Verizon tower, but not every Verizon tower is accessible from Page Plus.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Baja California / Sinaloa
    Apple iPhone XS Max / Apple iPhone 7
    Pacific Bell Wireless / Verizon Wireless / AT&T MX / Movistar MX / Telcel MX
    Feedback Score
    MVNOs generally use the MCC/MNC of the host network because there's a starting and yearly cost associated with maintaining an MCC/MNC, its not much but it' still an avoidable cost. Wireless operators can control what access MVNOs get as part of the agreement. The MCC/MNC only instructs the SIM card/device what network it is suppose to look for, while the backend infrastructure provides the billing and services for the MVNO.

    The list you got from the wikipedia site is a list of operators who are actual wireless providers in some shape or form.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2002
    Gulf Coast
    Moto G7 Power, Nexus 5X
    T-Mobile, PagePlus
    Feedback Score
    There are a number of methods that MVNOs can use to control which carrier is used and where. These include not only MNC but also the LAC. This is how T-Mobile controls where customers can roam. Also, Multi-IMSI SIMs can activate and deactivate various "personalities" based on which MNCs are available at any given time. In CDMA mode, a phone has an enforceable PRL.
    Donald Newcomb

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