The Connectivity Management Platform (CMP) is one of the key underlying pieces of middleware used by Mobile Network Operators (MNOs), Mobile Virtual Network Operators (MVNOs), and even some enterprises wishing to act as their own operator, to manage connections, handling activation/deactivation, billing, analytics, reporting and various other functions. This part of IoT is going through something of a period of transition. The biggest piece of news in the IoT connectivity space for many years was announced in December: Aeris Communications would acquire the IoT capabilities of Ericsson, specifically its CMP IoT Accelerator (IoTA), and its automotive platform Connected Vehicle Cloud (CVC). Ericsson is one of the ‘big two’ in the Connectivity Management Platform (CMP) space, along with Cisco’s Control Center. Cisco has also been through something of a transition in recent years.
Stimulated by these changes in the vendor community, there is a trend for MNOs particularly to be more proactive in reviewing their CMP strategy, looking to diversify into using alternative platforms such as 1oT, floLIVE or Mavoco, or one of several similar offerings from IoT MVNOs, including emnify, Eseye, and Wireless Logic.
This approach is, in part, triggered by underlying requirements for CSPs to find low-touch on-boarding suitable for addressing connections with much lower average revenue, particularly the prepaid IoT connectivity segment. Often this is done by way of a separate, often lower functionality, CMP. There is a wider requirement for CSPs to implement a tiered approach to addressing the market, most notably with a low tier offering. Some believe that the required tiering is best achieved by using a variety of CMPs.
It is also notable that the scope of what functionality should be included in consideration of CMPs has expanded dramatically in recent years, to the point where even the term CMP does not do justice to the breadth of offerings. There are many options for basic SIM management and billing, but differentiation is today coming through the provision of core network functions, eSIM/remote SIM provisioning capability, cloud connectors, advanced analytics and even moving into the provision of managed connectivity itself, with all the potential for conflict that brings. Furthermore, considerations of CMP vendor selection also need to include things like security, compliance, agility, SLAs and time-to-market.
This report provides Transforma Insights' view of the changing dynamics of the IoT Connectivity Management Platform (CMP) space, looking at the evolving features and functionality required of 'Thin' and 'Thick' CMP variants, and profiling 16 of the key vendors.