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How the SCEF can enable new B2B partnerships to boost ROI from MNO IoT investments

5G may dominate the headlines in 2019 but NB-IoT is booming. MNOs will need to leverage their investments in NB-IoT coverage, which means they will also need to rapidly on-board partners. They need to be able to support a growing IoT ecosystem, which means they need to enable access to SCEF capabilities.

As usual, the year has begun with a number of predictions of key trends we expect to see in 2019. Top of the list for many is 5G, which is sure to capture the headlines. But, while there will surely be a great deal of activity, it’s unlikely that we will see surging adoption much before 2020.

However, one area that has steadily been gathering pace is industrial IoT. While critical IoT, enabled by 5G is also some way off, MNOs have been quietly – and busily – deploying NB-IoT solutions at a steadily increasing rate over the last couple of years. According to research from Hadden Telecoms, by the end of October 2018, 68 operators had launched NB-IoT services in 41 countries.

We’re anticipating that many more will follow suit in 2019. This will happen both in new countries but also in countries with existing networks as rival MNOs seek to offer competitive services. In fact, competition is likely to intensify, which means MNOs will need to make the most of their NB-IoT investments.

This means that they will have to be able to on-board new B2B partners that wish to offer IoT services or to launch their own. How can MNOs facilitate and enable such partnerships?

Well, they must expose SCEF functionality to their partners. The SCEF, or Service Capability Exposure Function is a key element that is necessary for a scalable, open IoT ecosystem. Each MNO will need to be able to manage its own devices and directly-offered services, as well as to support partners that use NB-IoT connectivity.

To accelerate this process, one approach is to leverage a managed SCEF solution that can be used to support external partners, in parallel with an internal framework for the services an MNO offers directly. Such a managed SCEF can also be used to support MVNO relationships, as today’s IoT MVNXs evolve to support more devices and with greater security than their current offers allow.

2019 is going to bring many developments, but significant growth in the IoT ecosystem is a near certainty. There will be more providers, more partners and many, many more devices. All of which means that MNOs with NB-IoT investments must adopt solutions that help them support a growing range of new partners. Taking advantage of a managed SCEF solution will be a critical to making this happen.

So, if you are an MNO or an MVNX that wishes to exploit NB-IoT, then you should talk to Partitionware. We offer a complete, scalable managed SCEF solution that will help you get to market and will support a broad ecosystem of partners. It helps MNOs to provide a dedicated partner infrastructure that is fully compatible with their NB-IoT investments and allows them to capitalise on surging demand for IoT services. Get in touch to learn more.

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