Friday, 24 March 2017

European M2M specialist eyes Asian opportunities

By Mary Lennighan, Total Telecom
Tuesday 21 June 11

Telenor Connexion appoints new executives in Asia; says Asian telecoms operators unwilling to invest in M2M platforms.

Telenor Connexion aims to carve itself a bigger slice of the growing market for machine-to-machine services in Asia by persuading businesses in the region of the benefits of working with a dedicated M2M provider rather than an incumbent telco. The company, a subsidiary of Norwegian incumbent Telenor, currently derives most of its revenues from Europe…

Telenor Connexion aims to carve itself a bigger slice of the growing market for machine-to-machine services in Asia by persuading businesses in the region of the benefits of working with a dedicated M2M provider rather than an incumbent telco.

The company, a subsidiary of Norwegian incumbent Telenor, currently derives most of its revenues from Europe, but sees the balance shifting to other areas of the world, South East Asia and Japan in particular. To support its Asian operations, on Tuesday Telenor Connexion announced the appointment of Thomas Strandin as head of sales for the Asia Pacific region, based in Malaysia, and Kentaro Ohshida as account liaison director and contact point for the Japan office.

The Asian market for M2M services is much the same as in Europe, only a couple of years behind, Strandin told Total Telecom at CommunicAsia. For example, “smart metering... is happening now in Asia, where “non-technical loss” is a big problem for utility providers in many markets, he said.

For the most part, M2M services in Asia are being implemented by telecoms incumbents, noted Gwenn Bjornstad Larsson, chief marketing officer at Telenor Connexion.

However, she does not see most operators in Asia building out their own platform, like that of Telenor Connexion.

“They want to get revenue for it but they are not willing to make the investments necessary,” Bjornstad Larsson said. “It's a big investment.”

Telenor Connexion built out its own dedicated M2M platform. It sold it to Ericsson earlier this year and now leases it back.

To provide premium-quality M2M services, that “doesn't mean you have to own and operate that platform yourself,” Bjornstad Larsson insisted.

“There are a lot of benefits in using a dedicated M2M provider,” she went on. It is Telenor Connexion's job to “explain the value of working with a company that understands M2M telematics technology.”

In addition to technical expertise, one of the key benefits for customers is flexibility with regard to pricing.

Some of the company's global competitors, like AT&T, offer their customers one global SIM card at one price. “We're more flexible,” said Bjornstad Larsson, explaining that Telenor Connexion can provide a SIM card that just covers Malaysia, Thailand and India, for example. “We don't make you pay for a global SIM,” she insisted.

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