RACO Wireless has signed deals with Sprint Nextel and Telefónica to give users of its Omega machine-to-machine platform more choices when connecting their devices.
Enterprises face a number of challenges when adopting M2M solutions, such as the global coverage needed by multinational enterprises and being able to choose what network technology to use. By integrating the networks of Sprint and Telefónica, RACO wants to address both these issues, according to its President John Horn.
"We want to be the easiest to do business with, and we try to do everything we can to take out the barriers to entry and management barriers for our partners," Horn said.
In the U.S., connecting with Sprint will allow RACO to add the operator's CDMA network alongside its current use of T-Mobile's GSM network. These two operators are also a good fit for M2M because they have made a long-term commitment to 2G service, according to Horn. That means devices that rely solely on 2G for their connection won't have to be upgraded for the foreseeable future, he said.
While working with Sprint is about network flexibility, the deal with Telefónica will allow RACO to increase the number of countries in which it offers service.
"We have our EE relationship that we focus on for Europe, but Telefónica allows us to expand south very effectively to Central and South America," Horn said
RACO will also add more carriers in the not too distant future, according to Horn. Doing that will not only improve the coverage area of its service, but also allow users to choose the most cost-effective alternative.
For now, Sprint's CDMA-based network and Telefónica's networks will be made available through the Omega Management Suite (OMS) portal, providing users with the flexibility to select and manage the appropriate technology for their M2M solutions, all using one login.
"They can use the same tools, the same management and resources, but choose between multiple carriers," Horn said.
The M2M sector has seen a growing number of different partnerships. In this case, companies that have previously been direct competitors are now also working together, which is a step in the right direction for the sector.
"I think it's critical. The market is incredibly fragmented today and can be very complex. What we are trying to do is make it easier. If you are a larger enterprise company or a solutions provider you want the wireless piece to be as a easy as possible, so you can focus on the end result," Horn said.
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