How MNOs and MVNOs Can Benefit from Cloud-Based Cellular Location

December 30, 2021
Cloud-based cellular location offers superior cellular location accuracy.

How MNOs and MVNOs Can Benefit from Cloud-Based Cellular Location

MVNOs and MNOs are always looking for ways to improve customer experience and differentiate themselves from the competition, especially when it comes to the still relatively new realm of enterprise IoT services. Today, with a supply chain deeply affected by the ongoing pandemic, enterprises place more importance on asset tracking and management systems than ever before – implying a willingness to invest in exchange for enhanced, everywhere visibility of everything that matters most.

One distinct avenue MNOs and MVNOs can add value is offering cloud-based cellular location technology to enterprises. This technology can provide customers with an enhanced, personalized experience that they won’t find with other providers merely extending Cell-ID or Enhanced Cell-ID.

But what are the problems with MNOs’ existing location solutions and how does cloud-based cellular location prove to be a superior alternative? We will explore these questions further in this blog.

MNOs, MNVOs and Yesterday’s Cellular Location

MNOs and MVNOs bear an interesting relationship with the IoT ecosystem. Companies seeking to use IoT devices can source them from a variety of vendors, while only using the operators for connectivity. However, connectivity can also be offered by independent global SIM providers, leaving operators the potential to be completely disintermediated from the enterprise IoT solution. 

Many MNOs and MVNOs do offer enterprise IoT solutions, ranging beyond just providing connectivity to complete end-end IoT platforms. This offers a logical sales channel with hundreds of IoT customers, however, one feature that this group can play a significant role in is enabling location insights for asset tracking applications.  

Providing the capability to deliver accurate location is not unique to MNOs and MVNOs.  There are various companies that can provide Cell-ID location services as part of an overall IoT solution – it all depends on what level of consistent accuracy is required for customer use cases.   

To up the ante, MNOs have also historically offered an improvement to Cell-ID, called Enhanced Cell-ID (E-CID). This service gathers a wider range of network and neighbor cell information to deliver more accurate location data. Though, E-CID is not solely offered by operators and so exists a limited competitive advantage.

An additional, even more precise location solution leverages network-based OTDOA methods, but this is very costly for MNOs to implement and is limited to only their network. Furthermore, the ROI is questionable when the customers’ use cases demand location beyond that specific network’s coverage area.

Benefits MNOs and MNVOs Gain from Cloud-based Cellular Location

Cloud Location over Cellular (C-LoC) technology, invented by Polte, is a cloud-based cellular location alternative that can provide MNOs, and by extension, MVNOs, with the ability to sell a secure, global positioning solution to their customers that is proven to render the most accurate form of cellular location.

Firstly, as cloud-based cellular location simply acts over the top of 4G/5G cellular networks, it provides the MNO indoor/outdoor OTDOA capability without the capex spend on their own infrastructure. It delivers a secure, global location solution which utilizes the roaming capability of the SIM card and is not limited to the MNOs’ own network.  This is essential for enterprises using IoT technology in cross-border asset tracking and supply chain use cases.

Polte’s cloud-based cellular location provides an excellent cellular location solution for IoT customers as proven in numerous tests and trials globally. MNOs such as Deutsche Telekom are starting to recognize and implement Polte’s solution. This gives them a competitive advantage because it can be bundled with connectivity and the use of their platform (if they have one), driving up the sale of IoT SIM cards or sold as an add-on. Deutsche Telekom has also recently publicly commented on its testing results, indicating that Polte’s accuracy was a clear winner when compared to other location offerings held by Ericsson, Huawei, Nokia and Skyhook.

Tower Database

But what about other system integrators or solution providers using Polte’s cloud-based cellular location? How will MNOs differentiate themselves beyond just price or bundled offers?  There is one more feature that MNOs can wield that is not accessible to others – the utilization of their own respective cell tower database.  

Polte possesses its own global cell tower database that is referenced with every location calculation in the cloud. This in itself provides the best cellular location against other competing technologies. However, an MNO’s own cell tower database combined with Polte’s technology has the ability to offer even greater accuracy than using Polte’s technology with its proprietary database in most cases. Through the marriage of these two, a customer can derive further improved, actionable location intelligence. Polte can thus leverage the MNO’s database for the customers of that particular MNO, so only their customers will benefit from this greater level of accuracy. In preliminary tests, this has proved to be a significant differentiator. Obviously, this will only be available for the footprint of that network, but in-country, that MNO will have the best location solution.

MVNOs can also benefit from offering cloud-based cellular location. If their host network is using their own cell site database, then this will extend the benefit to the MVNO’s customers as well.

In Conclusion

The advantages of MNOs and MVNOs selling Polte’s cloud-based cellular solution for location is clear. Not only does this technology unlock secure, accurate, global location data for their customers, but also sharpens the competitive edge an MNO/MNVO can hold over other companies offering location or IoT solutions.

For more blogs like “How MNOs and MVNOs Can Benefit from Cloud-based Cellular Location,” keep checking our Blogs page here. To learn more about how Polte can leverage 4G/5G cellular networks to track what’s most important to you indoors and out around the world, send us a form here.

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