- We have been talking about Smart Roaming and Multi-IMSI solutions from Gieseke, Devrient and Gemalto for more than a year. At MWC last February, Telefonica demoed a solution that would allow cross-country connectivity at in-country rates for its partners in what is now called the M2M World Alliance, which includes Etisalat, KPN, NTT Docomo, Rogers, SingTel, Telefonica, Telstra and Vimpelcom, all of whom use Jasper Wireless’ Service Delivery Platform.
- Telefonica and KPN both announced commercial availability of this long-awaited service on Dec. 17. How important is this to their alliance, and is it a real threat to its competitors?
At least, in theory, global M2M agreements have had to deal with a number of obstacles when it comes to operationalizing roaming in a non-disruptive way. Not only are data roaming rates often prohibitively expensive, but guaranteeing seamless roaming with no interruptions in service, offering “identical” network performance across operators, and the ability to ensure that problems are solved rapidly are not trivial tasks. In addition, most operators that are providing connectivity, design and other professional services for large global deals have often told us that the “preferential” roaming rates they can offer with their partners are rolled into a total bundled offer price that is not prohibitively expensive. As long as they offer a global SIM that can be pre-installed in the factory and then used regardless of where the device is connecting, the total costs of global deployments are minimized. Conversely, large operators such as Vodafone and Orange, which do not necessarily have to roam across competitive carriers’ networks for pan-European deals, still have to deal with some performance and escalation issues when M2M assets are traversing across their own local operating companies’ footprints as well as when on partners’ networks. Read more of this post