M2M pits wireless carriers against former MVNO partners

To compete with wireless carriers in the machine-to-machine space, mobile virtual network operators, or MVNOs, are providing more value-added services to their enterprise customers, observes Kathryn Weldon, principal analyst for enterprise mobility at Current Analysis.

Wireless carriers have come to realize that M2M offers them business opportunities beyond simply providing wholesale connectivity. They have begun to sell directly to large customers through direct sales and M2M product development teams.

This has put the carriers in direct competition with their former MVNO partners, who have been forced to go up the M2M value chain, primarily by acquiring firms, Weldon explains.

For example, last year RACO Wireless purchased Position Logic in order to provide customers with location-based services for asset tracking. Position Logic's services enable RACO to offer enterprises a way to track and manage assets through a scalable, web-based platform.

Earlier this month, Kore Telematics, the biggest M2M connectivity reseller, acquired T-Mobile reseller Jazz Wireless, expanding its connectivity options. As our sister publication FierceEnterpriseCommunications explains, the acquisition gives Kore access to Jazz's some 200 U.S.-based GSM customers.

In addition, Wyless and Numerex have expanded their coverage, value-added services offerings and vertical specialization. "If M2M progresses as many hope it will, these leading MVNOs will grow along with it, but they will have to continue to add value in areas where the operators can't or won't," Weldon concludes.

For more:
- read Weldon's blog

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