UK number five mobile telco targets the data MVNO market - boasts fastest time to market for M2M specialists. By I.D. Scales.
An MVNO (mobile virtual network operator) has always been a weird way of characterising what is really a network resale partnership. Under it the Mobile Network Operator (MNO) grants wholesale access to the network, the MVNO pulls together all the marketing, customer care and billing technology to complete a customer-facing service.
MVNO arrangements have long been offered in the mobile field, usually as a route into 'niche' consumer markets and, for the MNO, have often been seen as a way of mopping up low-end users from one step back without cannibalising their main retail brand.
But of course the MVNO concept is also tailor-made for specialised data markets, especially M2M, and is now fast evolving as one of the main instruments for providing the all-important connectivity piece to specialist M2M players.
The UK's fifth network operator, Three, has launched what it claims is a cloud-based (everything needs a cloud-wash these days) machine-to-machine connectivity platform from Ericsson - which is really another way of saying it's providing the platform as a bureau service for its MVNO partners.
Three says the platform will enable new MVNOs to launch a branded M2M connectivity service in a few days with the devices deployed able to go live on the Three network within two weeks.
The MVNOs will be able to exert full control over the services. Three says they can activate and deactivate their own connections, track data usage, set alerts and apply data caps.
The launch will happen before year's end with 'a number' of MVNO partners. The applications are expected to include high-speed CCTV backhaul and automatic number plate recognition systems.
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