What is a Network Carrier?

A carrier is a business that provides telecommunication services. “Carrier” a broad catchall term that comprises mobile network operators (MNO), mobile virtual network operators (MVNO), traditional fixed voice telephony wireline services, and data networks.

Carriers have their own networks, which may be physical (in the case of a telecom provider that owns cellular towers or telephone lines) or virtual (like Plivo’s Premium Communications Network). Devices on a carrier network may include telephony equipment, satellite receivers, mobile computing devices, PCs, and IoT devices.

Here are some common types of carriers.

Common carrier A business that provides communication services to the general public.
Contract carrier, private carrier A business that provides services to a limited number of customers.
Cellular carrier A wireless telephone company that uses cellular telephone equipment.
Competitive local carrier A wireline telephone company that competes with an already-established local telephone company and provides its own network and switching.
Interexchange carrier A wireline telephone company that provides interstate (long distance) communications services within the US.
Local exchange carrier A wireline telephone company that provides local telecommunications services within a specified service area.
Personal communications carrier A wireless company that provides messaging and data transfer services such as paging.