Hello Everyone, I am new here and to the m2m industry. I have been recently hired into a new portion of our company to develop a new product line that will rely on cell network communication. We have outsourced the majority of the development, and am in the prototype phase now. I am looking for some guidance with network operator certification.
In our product line we have 3 devices for the USA, one each configured for cdma and gsm, and one that supports both. The device is purely data and m2m. Our first product to market is the gsm device simply because of the quick ability to get it certified with at&t. I have a few questions that I would like to see if anyone can shed some light.
1. What is the best way to negotiate service packages with the providers?
2. Being that verizon is very difficult to get devices certified, is there a way to partner with a smaller provider that will still get us onto Verizons network? For example, I know that in our upper midwest region US Cellular has partnered with verizon to allow their customers to 'roam' onto verizons network without roaming charges.
Thanks for any help anyone can provide!
Sandy, Thanks for the comment, however our developers have that portion of the project taken care of. Rob, We need to move quick to market and gsm will allow this to be done. Verizons certification process can be very lengthy, however it is our preferred protocol, so we will be focusing on cdma after the gsm product is to market. Lastly a large portion of our market is in rural areas, and in the us gsm coverage is very poor in these areas. Thanks for your comments so far!
On the certfication front, both will require work.
With GSM, you can make life a lot easier using a pre-certified module. see www.att.com/module for AT&T's pre-certified list. T-Mobile claims not to require operator certfication. But they could always come back and force you to change your app - see http://www.fiercewireless.com/story/android-im-app-brought-t-mobiles-network-its-knees/2010-10-14.
For Verizon, its pretty much a 4-6 month process. You should check out Kore Telematics. They are a reseller of both AT&T and Verizon. They handle lots of certifications processes for both networks. They may be a good vendor for you, especially if you're not big enough to really get the attention of those operators. (no, I don't work for Kore).
Numerex has been in business for 17 years now and is very experienced at taking companies through the certification process. Additionally, they provide network services (GSM & CDMA) as well and have a larger footprint of coverage across the U.S. than other carriers. I would be happy to provide you with more information about either of these services, just email me at email@example.com .
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