In an attempt to kick-start the Internet of Things (IoT) market, Nokia says it’s offering a worldwide IoT network grid (WING) as a service to give its traditional service provider customers and enterprises a one-stop-shop for all their IoT needs, across geographies.
Nokia is talking about combining connectivity from cellular networks, low-power wide-area networks (LPWAN), satellite, fixed communications like Wi-Fi and putting that all together into its IMPACT platform, then sweetening the deal with things like management and security.
With WING, Nokia is offering a full service model including provisioning, operations, security, billing and dedicated enterprise customer services from key operations command centers. Nokia IMPACT subscription management for eSIM will automatically configure connectivity to a communication service provider’s network as the assets cross geographical borders.
Connectivity is enabled by intelligent switching between cellular and non-cellular networks. Something like that might be required by the transportation industry, for example, where containers are moved around; a shipping container could be linked by satellite in the ocean but switch to cellular near a port.
The model for the WING service allows for service providers to take what Nokia is offering and offer it as a white-labeled service as part of their own portfolio.
Nokia isn’t suggesting that it alone is going to make all this happen.
“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,” said Igor Leprince, head of Global Services at Nokia, in a press release. “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.”
Nokia’s WING endeavor received the endorsement of Alexandra Rehak, head of Ovum’s IoT practice, who said the complexity of IoT deployment, service development and business models makes it imperative for market participants to play to their strengths and build long-form, flexible partnerships.
“Nokia's managed IoT service offering fits well with this requirement,” Rehak said in the release. “The new offering leverages Nokia's broad portfolio of technologies and strong expertise in network design and management, and should open up new business opportunities for operator customers and large enterprises alike. It offers a new approach to helping service providers extend their existing network and partnership agreements and quickly address new markets while focusing on their core competencies.”
Of course, U.S. operators are not sitting idle when it comes to their IoT deployments and business ambitions. Several years ago, AT&T launched a worldwide platform featuring a single SIM, so that multi-national companies could connect, manage and support their M2M devices around the world, and it was the first major wireless carrier to launch a global SIM platform for cars.