Amsterdam, The Hague, Madrid, Melbourne, Singapore, Tokyo, Toronto. July 10, 2012 — Seven tier one mobile and fixed line operators – KPN, NTT DOCOMO, Rogers, SingTel, Telefónica, Telstra and Vimpelcom – have formed an alliance to collaborate on their M2M businesses.
The group envisages that the significant scale and reach resulting from co-operation by this group of operators will be important in addressing the complex and fragmented nature of the M2M market. Specifically, the alliance covers technological co-operation to enable a “global, unique and seamless solution for the provision of communications to multinational customers requiring M2M devices connectivity”.
The alliance expects that, as a result of this collaboration, all the participant companies will increase their capability to offer better value propositions to their respective customers in different markets and geographies.
In providing a global product featuring a unique SIM, a united web interface and centralised management of status and usage of M2M devices globally (via the Jasper Wireless Control Center) the global alliance is expected to reduce costs and enhance users’ experience and convenience.
“Standardised global service, with local support is the Holy Grail in M2M and mobile operator alliances are a vital activity to make this a reality. The Jasper Wireless platform operationalises these kinds of alliances – allowing operators to agree and manage terms while giving the customer exactly what they need to scale their connected device business. Customers can get a single SIM, single API and single point of visibility and control all without the complexity typically associated with working across disparate operators,” said Macario Namie, VP of Marketing, Jasper Wireless.
The goal is to stimulate the sale of M2M communications services across a number of distinct high-potential industries such as consumer electronics, automotive, and energy efficiency, among others. This will, it is said, enable the development of new business models, the creation of new products and services and a reduction in operational costs for these target industries.
The alliance members will continuously co-operate with the aim of enhancing the development of the market dynamics and the enrichment of the customer experiences, with a specific focus on meeting the expectations and requirements of existing and potential global M2M customers.
Commenting to M2M Now on the announcement, Robin Duke-Woolley, CEO of Beecham Research said, “M2M is increasingly an international business requiring international network coverage, whereas the mobile handset business is essentially a national business with roaming. Our research surveys among M2M users point strongly towards multi-country network coverage being essential for their future needs and therefore essential for the growth of the market. This type of agreement helps to fulfil this need with a single network services platform, thereby promoting a common user experience. This is wholly beneficial to market needs and we strongly welcome this initiative.”
Jamie Moss, senior analyst at Informa Telecoms & Media, said, “While interoperability and collaboration as a technical possibility is important, a statement of actual intent by carriers to work together in practice is far more so. It underscores the two most critical features of the M2M market, the need to establish partnership and the need to focus on one’s own core competency for the common benefit of all involved. Other high-profile carrier collaborations created specifically for the sake of the machine-to-machine industry include the strategic alliance between Vodafone and Verizon; and the M2M Service Alliance between Deutsche Telekom, France Telecom, TeliaSonera, Everything Everywhere and Sprint.”
“A significant advantage of this partnership, however, is addressing roaming challenges, especially in M2M industries such as automotive and logistics applications (e.g. regional and international logistics track & trace applications,” notes Yiru Zhong, senior industry analyst for ICT practice, Europe at Frost & Sullivan. “The partners will also benefit for scale arguments when negotiating M2M devices, modules, API standardisation and M2M platform roadmap development. Moreover, these M2M telcos will differentiate themselves from other M2M service providers.”
“I would be only cautiously optimistic about this alliance. It sounds like yet another partnership to defragment the ecosystem. However, overcoming roaming challenges are an immediate plus for M2M telcos focusing on M2M connectivity revenue. Yet, without AT&T’s participation in the alliance, which is also a Jasper Wireless customer, the alliance leaves out roaming possibilities in the United States. The motivation behind this alliance is intriguing,” she adds.
Snapshots of the 7 M2M ‘Co-operators’
KPN is the leading telecommunications and ICT service provider in the Netherlands, offering wireline and wireless telephony, internet and TV to consumers and end-to-end telecom and ICT services to business customers. In Germany and Belgium, KPN pursues a challenger strategy in its wireless operations and holds number three market positions through E-Plus and BASE. KPN provides wholesale network services to third parties and operates an efficient IP-based infrastructure with global scale in international wholesale through iBasis. For M2M it offers Pan-European solutions. At December 31, 2011, KPN served over 44.5 million customers, of which 36.6 million were in wireless services, 4 million in wireline voice, 2.5 million in broadband Internet and 1.4 million in TV.
NTT DOCOMO describes itself as an ‘integrated-services company centered on mobility’. The company serves over 60 million mobile customers in Japan via advanced wireless networks, including a nationwide 3G network and one of the world’s first commercial LTE networks. Leveraging its capabilities as a mobile operator, DOCOMO is a leading developer of cutting-edge technologies for NFC mobile payments, mobile GPS, mobile TV, intuitive mobile assistance, environmental monitoring, smart grids and more besides. Overseas, the company provides technical and operational expertise to eight mobile operators and other partner companies.
Rogers Communications is a diversified Canadian communications and media company. It is Canada’s largest provider of wireless voice and data communications services and one of Canada’s leading providers of cable television, high-speed internet and telephony services. Through Rogers Media it is also engaged in radio and TV broadcasting, televised shopping, magazines and trade publications, sports entertainment, and digital media.
SingTel is Asia’s leading communications group providing a portfolio of services including voice and data solutions over fixed, wireless and internet platforms as well as infocomm technology and pay-TV. The SingTel Group has presence in Asia and Africa with 445 million mobile customers in 26 countries, including Bangladesh, India, Indonesia, Pakistan, the Philippines and Thailand. It also has a large network of offices throughout Asia Pacific, Europe and the United States.
Telefónica Digital is a global business division of Spain-based Telefónica. Its mission is to seize the opportunities within the digital world and deliver new growth for Telefónica through research & development, venture capital, global partnerships and digital services such as cloud computing, mobile advertising, M2M solutions and e-Health. Telefónica Digital delivers these products and services to Telefónica’s 300 million customers as well as leveraging the power of the internet to enter new markets. It is headquartered in London with regional centres in Silicon Valley, Sao Paolo, Spain and Tel Aviv.
Telstra is Australia’s leading telecommunications and information services company. It offers a full range of services and competes in all telecommunications markets throughout the country. Telstra has Australia’s largest fully integrated IP network and the country’s largest and fastest mobile broadband network, comprising 3G-HSPA+ (across the entire coverage footprint) and 4G-LTE technology in more than 100 locations across Australia operating together. Telstra also has an international presence spanning 15 countries, including China.
VimpelCom is one of the world’s largest integrated telecommunications service operators providing voice and data services through a range of mobile and fixed technologies in Russia, Italy, Ukraine, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Armenia, Georgia, Kyrgyzstan, Cambodia, Laos, Algeria, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Burundi, Zimbabwe, Central African Republic and Canada. VimpelCom’s operations around the globe cover territory with a total population of approximately 782 million people. VimpelCom provides services under the Beeline, Kyivstar, djuice, Wind, Infostrada, Mobilink, Leo, banglalink, Telecel, and Djezzy brands. As of March 31, 2012 VimpelCom had 209 million mobile subscribers on a combined basis.