Hi all! I have a question regarding telecom operators. So basically if you are selling a wireless connected device with embedded SIM (SMT component on PCB) in more than one (European) country, what is suggesteg model regarding operators? Do you go with just one and use roaming for all other countries, or do you make a contract in each country separatly? What is "standard practice" these days?
Thank you in advance.
There are some leading operators who offer pan-European solutions, and because of their scale they can offer competitive pricing on their own networks and roaming partners. This is the most simple route, as you then only have to manage one relationship and can have one point of IT integration for all of your devices.
It depends on the size and nature of the project, but I would say yes. Being able to effectively manage and support your devices means that you should have robust systems and processes in place with the operator. This would mean that for a large deployment you should have some sort of IT integration with the operator's M2M systems, and also good procedures for generally interfacing with the operator, after all, these devices are often the lifeblood of your business. Being able to streamline all of that means that you can reduce management effort and concentrate on growing your business, so it is very valuable.
Like MarkT said....lots of operators will give you both National, Multi-National & Multi-Continental coverage (that's what the big deal is about with the Service Management Platform vendors). The SMP basically makes the hassle of integration (for Billing, Provisioning) much easier across all operators / affiliate OpCo's via a centralized system.....since that's the nightmare I've seen people struggling with here in ME&A.
What deal will you get?
I guess it's the economy of scale question.....if you have a lot to offer (as quick / at hand business....or as strategic potential) you can always leverage it to get a good deal. I'm not on the operator / CSP side but would imagine the following pricing models are prevalent in the market & would dictate what deal you get;
- Device (# of m2m devices) Flat, Monthly per Device charge (National or Multi-National coverage of the package would dictate the price)
- Volume (of bytes transacted) Volume based billing like in Data/GPRS on the Cellular side. Generally since m2m devices (most industries & applications) don't have too much data to send, this is not appealing for Operators. Might change with more Video (e.g. Surveillance etc.) or Real Time / Streaming applications.
- Transaction Operators would love to do this..."each time the bank or car rental company makes money using m2m....we should get a $ out of it". However, since most m2m data is encrypted / ciphered, operators can't get into the data being sent over their m2m pipe)
Try to pick & assert logically on the model that serves both you, the operator & the consumer (e.g. Hertz for Vehicle Tracking etc.) in best, long term interest. Skewed, short term profits only hurt an industry.....can mar a niche vertical like m2m.
Hope it helps!
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