Rating: Sign up to be a Mobile Virtual Network Enabler (MVNE)
Today [November 15th 2012], GoMobile News has been having a cosy little chat with 3UK when it disclosed its plans to sign up at least three MVNEs (Mobile Virtual Network Enablers) by Q1 2013. This new capability comes courtesy of state of the art gear 3UK has acquired via Ericsson’s cloud-based platform. This move has major implications for the M2M (machine-to-machine) market in the UK. What it means is that specialists suppliers – who want to provide mobile data services to large customers, can effectively resell 3UK’s data network. It saves 3UK from having to acquire the skills to sell such contracts.Now, 3UK was quite cagey about which partners it will sign up but GoMobile News suspects from the clues it dropped that they might be AQL, Machine, and Stream. *
To provide some indication of how big this M2M market might become, 3UK quoted IDC research which predicts that the global market for ‘connected devices’ is worth £82 billion.
On top of this, it quoted Ericsson’s president for West & Central Europe, Anders Runevad, as saying , “This takes us closer to the Ericsson vision of a Networked Society where more than 50 billion connected devices in the world by 2020.”
It’s a big jump because 3UK estimated that currently there are only around three million SIMs sitting inside devices presently. (We assume it meant on the 3UK network not the whole country).
What are these M2M SIMs being used for? Well, a significant number of them are in use for ‘smart metering’.
However, such applications don’t really take full advantage of a high speed data network. Which is where the company sees the growth coming from.
It mentioned, for example, that its M2M SIMs were inside CCTV cameras at the Glastonbury music festival.
Funny that because we thought that Orange sponsored Glastonbury.
Perhaps the most significant use for M2M SIMs will be in digital signage.
The possibility of streaming video to digital advertising hoardings is something many may not have thought of.
Who is most likely to be amongst the first customers for a 3UK MVNE? Well, we’d predict that JANET (the Joint Academic NETwork) is a highly likely candidate.
If students were supplied with M2M SIMs (for their laptops, tablets, etc), they could gain access to their course work and research computers.
Perhaps the most significant revelation here is that it will only take an MVNE around two weeks to get a new M2M network up and running for a new customers.
* UPDATE: A source inside 3UK says that the company has already signed up the three companies we mentioned above. There are three more waiting in the wings