Norway's Telenor Starts Major M2M Push in United States
Telecommunications giant Telenor may be based in Norway, but its operations span the globe, from Bangladesh to Ukraine. Now, the company is looking to extend its formidable presence into the United States.
Telenor's M2M division, Telenor Connexion, plans to target U.S. companies that want to extend their M2M offerings to international markets.
"There are companies in the United States and Canada that have a successful service provided by AT&T and Verizon, but want to launch their service in France, the U.K, or Western Europe," says Gwenn Larsson, Telenor Connexion's marketing chief. "They can use Telenor Connexion as a one-stop shop for doing that."
The company's foray into the U.S. market will mirror its business overseas, with an exclusive focus on enterprise M2M applications like telematics and tracking.
Larsson emphasizes that Telenor Connexion is not looking to take away U.S. carriers' existing customers – its sole goal is to help companies expand into international markets. M2M companies with existing solutions can keep their U.S. SIM cards and use Telenor's international SIM card for global deployments.
Telenor has hired former Numerex sales executive George LeBron to head market development. Marcus Rodrigues, who most recently worked at MFormation Technologies, will serve as Telenor Connexion's sales manager in the United States.
Telenor Connexion recently sold its infrastructure to Ericsson, freeing Telenor to focus its resources on developing M2M services. Telenor still uses the same equipment, leasing it from Ericsson, which is selling Telenor's platform as its Device Connection Platform.
The company prides itself on the reliability of its platform and takes pains to ensure that all M2M devices running on its platform are up to par by requiring its customers – under contract – to optimize their products for mobile networks.
Telenor Connexion focuses exclusively on global offerings, instead of regional deployments, so companies can deploy one SIM for worldwide connectivity. Connectivity for customers M2M solutions is routed over Telenor's networks and those of the operator's roaming partners.
Telenor Connexion also offers a variety of services to support its customers, including automated SIM activation, real-time tracing and alerts about possible disruptions in wireless service.
Telenor Connexion was established in 2008 from Telenor Sweden's M2M unit, which had already been in the M2M business for several years. Telenor Connexion boasts an impressive roster of customers, from Volvo to Qualcomm Enterprise Services, and its Carwings telematics service for the Nissan Leaf won an award at this year's Mobile World Congress.