Mobile operator Three Group has announced a deal with Cisco Jasper to help its enterprise customers launch their own IoT services.
Three intends to offer Cisco’s Jasper Control Center platform for IoT connectivity to business customers, who will be able to access Control Center locally through Three Group’s national networks. Global customers, meanwhile, will have the option of accessing Control Center through Hue, Three Group’s mobile enabling services division.
The company has said it has its sights set on three IoT markets in particular: connected cars; building security and automation (smart buildings); and transportation and logistics.
“Speed, flexibility and control are key to powering connected devices on a global scale,” said Jarrod Nink, CEO at Hue.
“Through our global footprint of high-speed mobile networks built for mobile data, and Cisco Jasper’s powerful platform, our customers will enjoy an edge in the IoT market for years to come. This partnership will put Three at the heart of the global IoT marketplace and offers huge potential to our enterprise customers.”
Global telco scramble
Like other telco companies, Three is clearly hoping that IoT can provide a welcome boost to business against a background of stagnating mobile contract revenues. Last year, its owner CK Hutchison made a bid for Telefonica O2 with a view to bolstering its market share, but its ambitions were thwarted by European regulators.
Rival Vodafone has been busy on IoT, too, working to extend its reach beyond its established machine-to-machine (M2M) communications business, and recently announced it had surpassed 50 million IoT connections in total.
Orange Business Services is pursuing a similar strategy and so far this year has made two significant connected car announcements, involving deals with rental giant Hertz and fleet telematics company Viasat.
At IT market research company TechMarketView, analyst Martin Courtney believes that Three’s deal is not just about “grabbing a slice of an IoT services market expected to expand rapidly over the next few years”, but also the company’s “wider commitment to acquiring more enterprise customers.”
The majority of Three UK’s revenue currently comes from consumers, he writes in a blog post about the deal. “If the operator can mix it with the competition, moving into the IoT services space could prove a welcome boost to Three UK’s efforts to entice more business customers onto its network, Courtney writes. That, he adds, would allow the company to build recurring revenue streams less susceptible to churn.
Jasper moves forward
Control Center is already used by over 9,000 companies worldwide, according to Cisco, which bought Jasper for $1.4 billion in early 2016. At this year’s Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Cisco Jasper announced partnerships with automaker Honda, Korea Telecom and wearable health tracking company Jupl. It also announced it had completed live trials of a Narrowband IoT (NB-IoT) implementation with Australian telco Optus.
“Innovative enterprises in every industry are already utilising Control Center today to enhance their customers’ IoT experiences and generate new, ongoing revenue sources,” said Kalle Ward, managing director for IoT cloud in the EMEAR region at Cisco Jasper, commenting on the deal with Three.
“Cisco Jasper has been powering these real IoT successes for more than 10 years, and our connectivity management platform helps businesses automate and manage the delivery of their IoT services globally. We are delighted that Three, with its high-speed mobile networks built for data and its multinational footprint, has selected Cisco Jasper as its partner to deliver IoT simplicity.”