Mythbusting: Orchestration Layer Vs. Holistic Connectivity Management Platform

Tags: IoT
A picture of Artur Rihvk
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Artur Rihvk

Recently, there's been some discussion about the essence of various connectivity management platforms (CMPs). Essentially, there are two different schools of thought:

  • Some propose to run the IoT business in completely independent systems and build the entire IoT side of the business from scratch - this is called a holistic approach.
  • Others suggest running the IoT business as an orchestration layer that integrates with existing systems and logic.

At 1oT, we're strong proponents of the second option, i.e., integrating the IoT business with existing systems. This article dispels some myths surrounding this approach.

Core network and provisioning engine

Holistic CMP vendors claim that IoT should have a separate core network (e.g., radius, provisioning system, etc.) that's independent of the existing mobile business. This is short-sighted because IoT devices need more than data usage.

More and more devices require SMS communication, and some rely on voice usage. While the argument for holistic CMP may hold for data usage, more flexible provisioning capabilities are needed as IoT use cases become more complex.

As a result, MNOs will be forced to develop and maintain two core networks that will converge in terms of functionality. Two systems mean additional costs, additional support staff, additional SLAs, additional release management support, additional quality assurance, and so on. Soon, maintaining two systems will lead to conflicts.

As the business grows, the IoT core will require functionality that will need additional development. Functionality that is already provided by the existing core, resulting in duplicate work.

Is the time-to-market shorter?

Proponents of holistic CMP claim that the process of getting to market takes 6-9 months due to the integrations required, whereas, with their approach, it can start within weeks. This is a very subjective statement as the time to market also depends on the quality of the service providers. It essentially depends on the quality of project management, stakeholder involvement, and communication.

1oT can license its CMP to telecom companies within 3-4 months. This statement is supported by our existing customer references; for example, licensing our platform to Bite Lithuania took only three months.

Therefore, it is misleading to say that a holistic CMP works "out of the box".

Is it cheaper to license a holistic CMP?

Another argument is that it is cheaper (both in the short and long term) to buy a holistic CMP, as the cost of a thin-layer CMP creeps up without any oversight. We tend to disagree.

As mentioned earlier, a significant cost is associated with setting up a dedicated core for the IoT in and of itself. While 1oT's license fee includes a one-time setup fee, all integrations are included in that cost. There are monthly license fees for the platform, but these depend on the number of active SIM cards on the platform.

This supports a scalable model where the MNO does not have to pay high fees when the IoT model is just starting up. As the number of SIM cards on the platform increases, the unit cost becomes lower.

All in all, there is no correct answer to this debate. 

Our experience has shown that 1oT's licensing model is ideal for telcos just getting started with IoT with the predictions from 0 to 500,000 IoT SIM cards in the next few years. 

If you're interested in finding out more about how 1oT's licensing model works, and what does the 1oT Terminal white-label offering consist of, sign up for our on-demand webinar on the topic.