February 27

Bill Wark

Scaling MVNO IoT Deployments: Quick, Effective Deployment to Beat the Competition

scaling MVNO IoT Deployments

No business will tell you they want to slow down their deployment roadmap. Afterall, the faster you can get to market, the more quickly you can start serving customers and become profitable. But when looking at Mobile Virtual Network Operators (MVNOs) that are offering IoT services, quick deployment needs to go hand in hand with effective deployment. Here’s how we see it. 

Speeding Up Time to Market when Integrating with Carriers

First stop – connectivity. Ensuring local coverage on a global scale is incredibly important for IoT devices, since IoT is a global business, with devices spread across regions, often on the move, and covering a wide range of different connectivity use cases. 

Instead of achieving global connectivity by relying on roaming agreements, which are becoming prohibitively limited and provide a sub-par, expensive IoT solution, local cellular IoT connectivity is reliable, cost-effective, and compliant. Especially for IoT device management which include dashcams and other telematics requiring data streaming, local connectivity is the only approach that can process data in real-time and conserve battery life to keep costs affordable, too. Not to mention, with roaming bans and compliance issues growing all the time, IoT roaming may soon be practically impossible. 

The traditional method of obtaining local IoT connectivity is for an MVNO to approach carriers in different locations and establish individual relationships with each one. However, if an MVNO has to go out there and set up integrations with each carrier, they are going to run into problems which directly impact time to market. 

First and foremost, the practical act of setting up each integration takes an enormous amount of time. Behind the scenes, operational costs will go through the roof, and moving forward, businesses will need to think about how they are going to maintain integrations, juggle multiple contracts, deal with various different API integrations, and manage many other platforms to maintain customer services like activation and billing. 

Most MVNOs will approach their partnership with a specific carrier by integrating at the API level to gain access to the Connectivity Management Platform, or by creating a unique integration purpose-built for themselves. Consider this time frame multiplied by the number of carriers that the MVNO wants to connect with, and the time to market quickly spins out of control. 

In contrast, partner with the right IoT connectivity enabler, and get instant access to a library of carriers, all pre-integrated and ready to launch, rather than partner with each of them individually. This means that when MVNOs want to add another carrier, this can be as simple as a single page addendum to their contract, and the carrier being added for the devices or region in question. 

Effective Deployment Means Thinking About the Day After Launch 

While it’s natural to want to get your product out the door by the time the big red X appears on the wall calendar, effective deployment means making sure that it’s on time and successful moving forward. One important element to consider is the kind of support that you’ll receive from your connectivity enabler. 

For example, when MVNOs partner directly with carriers, they are effectively on their own. For any troubleshooting, they will need to turn to tiered support from the MNO, and then escalate to third-party vendors such as software or core network technology providers, or SIM technology vendors to get the answers they need. 

By partnering with a connectivity enabler or mobile virtual network enabler that owns the underlying infrastructure technology, there is no need to go anywhere else. The business will have visibility into every SIM, including deep insights into all mobile network (or cellular network) and signaling events. This means that they can troubleshoot from every angle from the very first sign of an issue, delivering value and resolution very quickly. Even if an issue triggers R&D input, this can be managed quickly and internally, without waiting for a third party, and MVNOs will get immediate access to real-time data to troubleshoot and resolve on their own terms. 

Owning the whole tech stack means no surprises, and whether or not you want to change operators in any location, create different plans for various kinds of clients, or create specific mark-ups or offers for a certain business, you can do this through one single pane of glass, with one experience that wraps your entire operation. 

Application Suitability as the MVNO Shifts and Scales 

When providing IoT connectivity services to your clients, It’s critical for MVNOs to think about an IoT Application or platform which will scale with them as they grow, but also suit them from day one and adapt to their evolving needs. This means looking for a usage model that works for any size of business. Say goodbye to one-size-fits-all, and onboard a solution which molds itself to your needs in a dynamic way. 

For larger MVNOs that means being able to integrate directly at the core level, while smaller MVNOs who are just starting out can benefit from a multi-tiered connectivity management platform that provides the tech and tools as standard, and then white-label the technology to support legitimacy and business growth. This will support the creation of multiple levels of customers, with different sub accounts to manage their whole business from a single centralized view. 

Medium-sized MVNOs, they can use a hybrid approach. They need more sophistication than simple white-labeling, but they aren’t big enough to warrant their own management and monitoring. As such, they can use the APIs to integrate to the CMP, use a portal for specific functions on a case by case basis, or benefit from a hybrid version of both. This allows them to access and benefit from algorithms which analyze the data and perform functions, but still manage everything within the portal. 

Keep Three Critical Components in Mind to Deploy Quickly and Intelligently

Speeding up time to market of your IoT deployment is important, but it needs to be approached in an intelligent way, or you’re just speeding up your time to failure. Remember that fast deployment isn’t just about getting a product to launch as quickly as possible. If down the line you need to change providers, or if support isn’t up to scratch, you’re going to lose a lot more in the long run. 

A successful deployment starts with swift implementation of integrations with carriers, sidestepping the contractual and technological complexity of traditional partnership agreements. Instead, a partner who already has global carrier agreements in place can hand over that connectivity out of the box. 

Next, ensure that you get the right level of support, with a partner who owns the whole technology stack. This means you’ll have a transparent and real-time view into all customer activity, offering the ability to troubleshoot and mitigate issues on your own, and perform easy maintenance tasks if and when something does go wrong. 

Finally,  think about whether the technology is suited to your business, both today and tomorrow. A partner who can tailor the technology to your usage situation with multiple business models for different use cases gives you a future-focused way to deploy without added resources or overhead, and means that you won’t have to start from square one when you’re ready to scale.  

February 27

Bill Wark


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