Internet of Things (IoT) Mobile Virtual Network Operators Benchmarking 2017

28 April 2017
Report type: Strategy Report
Keywords: M2M, IoT, MVNO, value, added, reseller, connectivity, platform
Companies: Aeris Communications, Arkessa, Cubic Telecom, Globetouch, Kore, Raco, Wyless, Numerex, Sierra Wireless, Stream Technologies
Number of Pages: 37

The purpose of this report is to give Machina Research’s view on the likely long-term success of Mobile Virtual Network Operators (MVNOs) specializing in IoT in terms of generating profit from IoT services. The focus is squarely on the expectation for future, rather than historic, success (although the latter may be an indicator of a predisposition to the former). There are two main reasons for examining the capabilities of MVNOs specialized in IoT. Firstly it can act as a guide to potential customers on which IoT service providers to shortlist. Enterprises looking to implement IoT will frequently be both implementing a complex solution for which they need expert help and making a long-term commitment. They require a high degree of certainty that they are making the right choice of MVNO. Secondly, MVNOs are constantly on the look-out for best practice in this developing market. Examining the capabilities of competitors is a good way to highlight areas for improvement. In this inaugural report Machina Research has focused on leading MVNOs around the globe. To be considered, firms must be a value added reseller of mobile network capacity across the globe. Their primary focus must also be on building a business in IoT (it does not have to be their exclusive focus). To this end, this report includes profiles of eight MVNOs: Aeris, Arkessa, Cubic Telecom, Globetouch, KORE (includes Raco and Wyless), Numerex, Sierra Wireless, and Stream Technologies. With these companies we cover veteran IoT MVNOs as well as more recently established, upstart IoT players.

Machina Research analysed the MVNOs on six criteria:

  • Pedigree – The experience that the MVNO has in addressing the IoT market. This will often be vertical-specific. While historical success is no guarantee of what will happen in the future it does demonstrate a level of experience in delivering IoT services, which is frequently a very different proposition from traditional voice and data services.
  • Platforms – The software platform(s) that the MVNO uses for supporting its IoT connections. Platform choices will often have implications for the efficiency with which an MVNO can address the IoT opportunity, in particular in the provisioning and connection management process. Machina Research is planning to publish a Strategy Report focusing specifically on the Platforms space, examining the dynamics of this critical element of IoT.
  • Place – Where the MVNO is well placed to provide services. This includes analysis of geographical footprint. In the latter case, focus is given to the ability to provide ongoing support and customer service. It should be noted that a MVNO’s ability to win contracts will be greater if the customer can be supported via its own local or regional presence.
  • Partnerships – Partnering is critical for the success of IoT. The focus is on technology and vertical partnering (i.e. tying up with other players in the value chain to provide a solution that meets the specific needs of the target market).
  • Process – Examining a variety of processes involved in the supply of IoT services including application development, device certification, troubleshooting, SLAs, project management/systems integration, and client support. All of these enable an MVNO to deliver an appealing proposition to potential clients. Furthermore, the more value-add provided by the MVNO, for instance in application support or systems integration, the larger its likely share of the revenue accruing from any given IoT connection.
  • People – Much of the success in IoT will depend on having the right personnel in the right place. This section examines the number of dedicated IoT professionals, the MVNO’s organisation and the fitness for purpose in addressing the IoT opportunity.


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