Nigel Chadwick, chief executive of Stream Technologies, was interviewed by IoT Now magazine on how Stream's IoT-X platform is making the Era of the Super (Virtual) Network Operators a reality.
Chadwick tells IoT Now that, as IoT applications and services proliferate and enter the mainstream, organisations are looking for platforms with the capabilities of IoT-X to enable them to have the widest possible choice of connectivity providers while also supplying the tools they need to manage, operate and charge for service effectively. It's an exciting time, says Chadwick, as market growth is poised to explode.
The S-(V)NO (Super (Virtual) Network Operator) is starting to become a reality - can you explain what this is?
Nigel Chadwick: Put simply, IoT-X enables the emergence of the (S(V)NO) - an organisation that relies on networks to support its IoT services but that occupies a layer above the networks themselves and has complete freedom in terms of the wireless network types it chooses and the network provider brands it selects to work with.
Until now MNOs (Mobile Network Operator) and satellite operators have tended to service the majority of IoT connections, but in a siloed approach. With the rise of LPWAN (Low Power Wide Area Network) technologies LoRa®, Sigfox and others, together with eUICC (embedded Universal Integrated Circuit Card) and network QoS (Quality of Service) analytics control, a unified connectivity management layer such as the IoT-X PaaS (Platform as a Service) enables any organisation that has deployment volume scale to fast evolve to become an S-(V)NO.
IoT-X places control, choice and flexibility in the hands of the S-(V)NO. Ostensibly this could also include a mobile network operator that seeks to extend reach and capability as a connectivity provider, in which case I would call this a SNO (Super Network Operator). These organisations can flexibly scale up their capabilities and capacity as required.
These are compelling attributes and represent a disruptive step change in terms of what has gone before in IoT but there's much more. IoT-X capabilities are moving towards enabling OTA (Over-the- Air) profile downloads as well as extending to fine tuning coverage and capacity for specific requirements across IoT demand sectors - it's the complete package of options, all in one place so management time is radically minimised. The friction involved in replicating agreements across markets and even micro-markets to address isolated deployment in areas of poor coverage, is removed.
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