Executive insights from 1NCE CSO Alexander Bufalino
It’s easy to take connectivity’s role in the IoT value chain for granted. The baseline function is the wide area transportation of data from devices to the cloud, without which solutions wouldn’t work. Communication services are normally differentiated by their cost and geographic availability, but today’s economic order isn’t normal. It’s disruptive and driven by innovative concepts that open up new business opportunities. 1NCE’s connectivity offer focuses on narrowband and low bandwidth applications and it’s disruptive: 500MB for every device over ten years for just €10. Viewed from the perspective of a regular service these are “too good to be true” figures. They are true, but they tend to disguise the fact that this is an added-value service: there are benefits over and above those of low-cost connectivity.
For example, when manufacturers of IoT products sign up for the service they effectively own it for the duration. Connectivity becomes an integral part of the product, one that allows manufacturers to market bundled hardware / service offers that are distinctively different to those of the competition.
The multimode SIM is a key component of that added-value service. It provides plug & play connectivity to the relevant network when new devices are deployed. For example, 2G might be employed in one location, but connectivity will switch seamlessly to NB-IoT if that was the preferred service when it’s available. Currently this is a unique capability, one that is set to become the IoT connectivity standard. The same card allows a VPN service to be employed.
1NCE employs the host network of Deutsche Telekom, which currently provides seamless IoT connectivity across 28 EU countries plus Norway, Switzerland, Russia, Belarus, Ukraine and United States (in US only coverage for non-permanent applications). Manufacturers who elect to use the bundled service only need to pre-test their products on one network and then they can guarantee robust, out-of-the-box performance in all major markets. In turn this means far fewer customer claims and minimal returns and of course end users benefit from an efficient, low-cost service. In addition ownership of the service allows manufacturers to conduct live tests when design changes are introduced without incurring any additional cost.
It’s logical to expect that products designed to send and receive data should employ native connectivity and when it’s enabled and when the implications are fully understood by IoT adopters, the result will be a portfolio of amazing developments.
This is a hypothetical but realistic example. Telematics systems are employed by car rental organisations that operate around the world. In order to ensure global coverage they will typically employ the services of different operators and full-time staff members would be needed to manage the worldwide connectivity operation. If 1NCE’s multimode SIM cards were embedded in the system the result would be dramatic. There would be nothing to manage so no staff would be needed. Operating costs would be cut so dramatically that the company could regard connectivity as being virtually free and of course it would stay that way for ten years.
Expect to see real-world examples of embedded connectivity enabling ground-breaking business models in future. It’s a trend that is set to grow.
1NCE provides full support for NB-IoT, 2G and 3G connectivity. Changeover to a new service is performed automatically at the relevant time using the same multimodal SIM card. Currently this capability is unique to 1NCE and it indicates that the service is future-proofed. The offer is a no brainer: 500MB for every device over ten years for €10. It includes the SIM card, 250 SMS, and subscription management fees. The 500MB volume can be increased at any time, e.g. to match the lifespan of the IoT devices. Check it out at www.1NCE.com.