Eseye CEO warns of EU roaming charges impact on commercial IoT

Eseye also predicts the IoT market will fracture in 2022 as traditional proprietary cellular models are disrupted by rapid eSIM adoption

The CEO of IoT cellular connectivity solutions provider Eseye, Nick Earle has warned that the introduction of post-Brexit roaming charges by UK mobile networks will have a much greater impact on commercial IoT than consumers.

Last month, Eseye shared its outlook on the key factors influencing the IoT industry in 2022. Eseye forecasts that 2022 will see enterprises assume control of their IoT deployments as they accelerate the rollout of remote operating models that deliver exceptional, reliable customer and employee experiences at the network Edge. This will result in the biggest disruption to MNO business models to date as eSIMs solve the interoperability challenge, breaking the historical MNO lock-in and allowing enterprises to make their own decisions about IoT connectivity and network selection.

Eseye’s key predictions and their impacts:

  • Accelerating eSIM adoption delivers interoperability, incentivising MNOs to shift to a partnership approach. As the eSIM becomes the default technology for IoT devices in 2022, the 40-year MNO proprietary SIM lock-in will be broken. Enterprises are seeking control over the choice of roaming partners through Subscription Manager Secure Routing (SM-SR) technology, allowing them to dynamically switch to the network that offers the best connectivity. They will increasingly avoid a tier one, single operator, single network approach, meaning operators will need to partner with competitors and offer an enterprise-grade IoT platform that enables seamless switching.
  • Demand for Edge visibility piles pressure on Mobile Virtual Network Operator (MNVOs)s. Enterprise-grade IoT solutions will have to deliver full device visibility allowing organisations to extend security, governance, and compliance policies to the Network Edge. RFPs will specify criteria including asset visibility, single source of truth, policy and governance capabilities. MVNOs that can’t meet these demands will risk losing business and could impact their long-term viability.
  • The importance of Network Layer Orchestration (NLO). IoT devices that frequently switch operators are harder to track because they get a new IP address each time they switch. Implementing enterprise-wide policies and security is difficult as a result. To overcome this, MVNOs will need to deploy Network Layer Orchestration (NLO) using a single encrypted IP network on an MNO-agnostic platform, and a single multiprotocol label switching (MPLS) network which enables managed service delivery at the Network Edge.
  • The MVNO market will fracture into three distinct groups. As a result of the factors above, future-conscious MVNOs will embrace disruption and pivot to become value players, supporting enterprises with key services as they take control of IoT deployments. They’ll offer localisation on multiple MNOs, provide a single MPLS network and manage customer switching, as well as offer hardware device design consultancy. A second group will undertake a race to the bottom on cost, supporting high volume, low data deployments. The remainder will be caught in limbo, unable to offer value or volume. These companies will experience shrinking opportunities, acquisition or in the worst case, business failure.
  • 5G networks in a box. The evolution of 5G will put the last piece of the puzzle under enterprise control. It will soon be possible to buy a private long-term evolution (LTE) network in a box, without needing an MNO. We will see Wi-Fi and Local Area Networks in buildings give way to 5G networks and a raft of new suppliers enter the market to meet the demand for private IoT.

Nick Earle, CEO of Eseye, comments: “2022 will be the year several major elements of the traditional IoT technology stack change. They include mass eUICC-compliant eSIM adoption which will enable companies to build truly global product SKUs. The abstraction of the SM-SR switch from the MNO stack to the cloud will allow enterprises to set their own operator agnostic switching rules. In addition, the extension of encrypted network capabilities to the IoT Edge will enable corporate IT departments to set security and compliance policy centrally and auto deploy to the IoT Edge. The combination of these factors represents a coming of age for IoT where enterprises can, for the first time, deploy operator agnostic IoT projects globally with the confidence that they are keeping control of security and policy.

“This power shift will usher in the next phase of global digitisation driving enormous opportunities for many of the IoT players, especially Systems Integrators. But it will have a disruptive impact on MNOs who must adapt to a world where they are no longer in total control of the connection. To address this, the MNOs will increasingly white label platforms that enable them to offer truly global connectivity via a ‘Star Alliance’ type interoperability model from MVNOs that offer Network Level Orchestration capabilities to the Edge at the packet level.

“At the same time, 5G’s coming of age will drive considerable new IoT demand, especially from larger enterprises. This will, in turn, accelerate the adoption of these new technology capabilities. In summary, 2022 is set to be a watershed year for IoT and Eseye is primed to play an integral role.”

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