UK mobile operator Three rolls out cloud-based M2M platform

Platform gives partners control connection, track data usage

U.K. mobile operator Three is rolling out a cloud-based machine-to-machine platform for U.K. companies that want to use its network to provide M2M connectivity.

Three said that the platform, built on Ericsson technology, reduces set-up time and costs for mobile virtual network operators and gives them control of their connections, such as activating and deactivating their connections, tracking data usage, setting alerts and applying data limits. MVNOs use carriers' infrastructure to provide data and voice services to customers.

Three said it has lined up a number of MVNO partners to launch via the platform before the end of 2012 using the Three network to deliver M2M connectivity for markets ranging from remote CCTV cameras to automatic number plate recognition systems.

"Three's network is built for the Internet, so we're in a perfect position to support data-rich MVNO applications. This platform opens up the power of our network to our M2M partners' innovation," said Lynda Burton, director of Three Wholesale. "We will add new partners over the coming weeks to our strong portfolio of existing relationships and expect this business to grow as more MVNOs take advantage of the capability of our network and platform," Burton said.

Anders Runevad, Ericsson's president for West and Central Europe, added, "This partnership with Three is the first of its kind in the UK and gives Three a dedicated infrastructure to expand services enabled by M2M capability."

Separately, Three said it is expanding and upgrading its wireless network by deploying DC-HSDPA technology and increasing the speed of its backhaul network.

Three expects its wireless network to reach over half the U.K. population by the end of 2012, with more than 80 percent of the population covered by April next year. The company plans to begin its rollout of 4G LTE technology next year.

The U.K. government agency Ofcom recently approved Three's acquisition of spectrum that effectively doubles its overall spectrum capacity.

So, Three is well positioned to expand its offerings in the M2M market, as well as the consumer mobile phone market.

For more:
- see Three's M2M release
- see network expansion release

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