Nokia has announced what it calls a ‘worldwide IoT network grid as a service’ to be launched at MWC.
The Worldwide IoT Network Grid ('WING') is said to enable communication service providers and enterprises to take advantage of new business opportunities that will become available through a multi-country federation of IoT connectivity services. It ‘draws on Nokia's extensive technology and services portfolio including a global services command centre which uses the Nokia IMPACT IoT Platform with new subscription management for eSIM, and Nokia's M2M Core as a service’, and ‘enables enterprises to take advantage of a global IoT connectivity and services grid with a unified view of IoT devices, subscriptions, billing and customer care.’
Aimed at the transport, health, utilities and safety markets, Nokia WING will manage the IoT connectivity and services needs of a client's assets, such as connected cars or connected freight containers, as they move around the globe, reducing the complexity for enterprises which would otherwise be required to work with multiple technology providers.
Customers are served on a multi-tenanted basis using a Nokia M2M Core that includes the Nokia Cloud Packet Core, which gives an enterprise customer access to their own discrete segment of the network core.
Igor Leprince, head of Global Services at Nokia, said: ‘IoT connectivity as a managed service is an answer for enterprises to the current IoT deployments that are hampered by the patchwork of business agreements to connect devices around the world. Nokia WING will provide one global IoT grid. We cannot do this alone, and we are reaching out to communication service providers across the globe to collaborate with us so that we can extend the benefits of the connected world to more industries.’
Alexandra Rehak, head of Ovum's IoT Practice, said: ‘Nokia is offering an innovative approach to IoT enablement with its IoT connectivity as a managed service offering. The complexity of IoT deployment, service development and business models makes it imperative for market participants to play to their strengths and build long-term, flexible partnerships. Nokia's managed IoT service offering fits well with this requirement.’
Analysys Mason research director Tom Rebbeck described the network as an ‘IoT MVNO’, saying ‘An enterprise can buy global connectivity from one provider - this could be interesting for example to consumer electronics companies that want to sell a connected device in lots of countries but just have a single contract for connectivity. To support that, Nokia will need lots of connectivity contracts with local MNOs.’
The move is seen as part of Nokia’s efforts to further reduce its dependence on telecoms operators as clients, following its move away from consumer handsets into the network equipment market.