Recent years have witnessed the rapid growth of mobile virtual network operators (MVNOs), which operate on top of the existing cellular infrastructures of base carriers, while offering cheaper or more flexible data plans compared to those of the base carriers. In this paper, we present a nearly two-year measurement study towards understanding various key aspects of today’s MVNO ecosystem, including its architecture, performance, economics, customers, and the complex interplay with the base carrier. Our study focuses on a large commercial MVNO with about 1 million customers, operating atop a nation-wide base carrier. Our measurements clarify several key concerns raised by MVNO customers, such as inaccurate billing and potential performance discrimination with the base carrier. We also leverage big data analytics and machine learning to optimize an MVNO’s key businesses such as data plan reselling and customer churn mitigation. Our proposed techniques can help achieve higher revenues and improved services for commercial MVNOs.