Analysts estimate the IoT’s market revenue will reach $906bn by 2025 – a 260% increase from 2019.
“The IOT market is a complex one, says Oliver Potter, Director of IoT, Truphone, UK, “but the growth is very significant. We’ve obviously seen a lot of technologies – cloud, fast networks, AI – coming together with cheaper devices to enable this advancement.
“At the same time, we’re witnessing 2G and 3G switchoffs around the world, which means that in order to exist in an established end-to-end basis, operators need to find new SIMs, and new types of connectivity. So, if you put all of that together, there’s vast amounts of potential.
“What we’re also seeing is that many of the MNOs themselves are struggling to adapt to the global nature and the software-centric nature of IoT, and I think that plays into the hand of MVNOs who can move faster and adapt to local market conditions better than the MNOs can or will in fact bother to.”
Indeed, the dynamics between MNOs and MVNOs are changing as new trends – such as eSIM and 5G – start to take off.
· G + D Mobile Security estimates that by the end of 2025, there are likely to be around 2 billion devices connected with the help of e-SIM
· The Ericsson Mobility Report states that 5G mobile subscriptions will exceed half a billion by the end of 2021 — making 5G the fastest adopted mobile generation in history
In addition, as 5G becomes more readily available, and as more commercial services catch up with enhanced standards that are already in the pipeline, these technologies are providing opportunities that MVNOs should be seizing and capitalising on.
“Because of the increased spectrum that is available to 5G, it increases the overall bandwidth and allows massive amount of IoT devices to connect,” says Michelle Engarto, vice president wireless solutions and product line management at Corning.
So, as these areas progress, what should IoT MVNOs be focusing on – the consumer of the non-consumer? “B2B and B2C are two different animals,” says Eduardo Tude, CEO, Teleco, Brazil. “Some companies deal with both markets, but you need expertise in each one in order to do different things. Of course, if you are just providing B2B IoT end-to-end connections, it’s easier, but, in my opinion, in order to make real advancements, you need to pick one. If you are big in consumer, moving to B2B is possible, but you need to be adequately prepared.”
Jignesh Dave, Founder & CEO, Next360, South Africa, has a slightly different take, however. “What is B2B and B2C? It’s human to human. That’s what I have always felt. And if we do have to segregate it, it should be is it one-on-one or one-to-many? And it is always one-to-many – you’re selling multiple numbers of units, connections or lines. But regardless, whatever your culture, whatever your strength, stick to it to begin with and you can always expand. Just keep your eyes and ears open.”
· As new trends start to take off, the dynamics between MNOs and MVNOs are changing
· Technologies such as eSIM and 5G are providing opportunity that MVNOs should be capitalising on
· “Whatever your culture, whatever your strength, stick to it to begin with and you can always expand.”