Telecoms.com periodically invites expert third parties to share their views on the industry’s most pressing issues. In this piece Christopher Lycett, Portfolio Manager for the MVNOs Series sat down with Ivan Landen, CEO, Blue Wireless to discuss the vertical opportunities and challenges across IoT and Enterprise markets for MVNOs.
MVNOs: Across the IoT and Enterprise segment, where does Blue Wireless see the biggest demand and opportunity for MVNO-style connectivity?
Ivan: There are a wide range of opportunities for MVNO’s across the enterprise space. If you break it down in three categories – Branch connectivity is a high value segment as many industries are looking for more flexible alternatives to wired lines, especially retail, but also energy, construction etc.
Secondly, connectivity for mobile units, such as vehicles and vessels is growing, here government such as law enforcement, fire, ambulance offers a huge opportunity, but also across the maritime sector, where ship owners looking for alternatives to satellite.
Lastly, it’s the traditional M2M/IOT sector, which includes connectivity for sensors, machines etc. which traditionally has been low value, but the sheer number of these devices offer opportunities for the right MVNOs.
MVNOs: How does this compare across the world?
Ivan: We surely see a difference around the world. For Blue Wireless, we serve a large number of energy and mining companies for instance in Australia, since that industry is large and the country is remote. Whereas Maritime is served mostly in Singapore and Netherlands, due to their global ports. Retail is a large segment across Asia, especially among shopping malls and luxury retailers.
MVNOs: What is the biggest challenge in penetrating the IoT/Enterprise markets and what advice would you give to companies looking to operate in that space?
Ivan: The key for any company is to offer a complete solution that truly solves customer a customer’s business need and is offered ‘as a service’. There is little point in selling just a SIM card or a piece of Hardware to enterprises as their buying is based on business outcomes, not on components. Now, the buying cycle is very different per industry, so focus on a particular product/market segment, for instance ‘digital signage for luxury retailers’ or ‘CCTV for construction’ and being able to provide a complete service there, is very appealing for customers. Blue Wireless serves seven of these segments now and for each of them we have unique offering tailored towards their business needs.
MVNOs: To what extent is the opportunity and role for MVNO-style connectivity providers in private networks – whether they be industrial, transportation or others?
Ivan: The lines between private and public networks is blurring with the continuation of SD-WAN and for enterprise use private networks are surely on their way out. Customers expect that their service provider leverages multiple networks and uses any connectivity that’s available, whether it’s 4G, 5G or even a Wired Line. No-one wants to be stuck on a single network with limited coverage.
MVNOs: What is the biggest business risk associated with the IoT business?
Ivan: The risk is the same as we have seen with so many services before us, from PSTN to SMS to IDD and that is while usage increases, the price for connectivity comes down faster. So, the key is to continue to innovate, add value and offer solutions which truly help the customer improve their business! If you do that, then there is bright future ahead!
Ivan is speaking at the MVNOs World Congress virtual event on 15-17 September, find out more information here