1NCE upon a time in America – IoT MVNO sets up home in US, strikes deal with AWS

Germany-based IoT provider 1NCE is to set up a new home in Miami in the US, from where it will run its operations in the North America region. The company, which took a $50 million investment from SoftBank and Deutsche Telekom in September, appointed Ivo Rook, formerly with Vodafone in the UK and T-Mobile in the US, as chief operating officer in November; he will also serve as president of its North America business, it announced.

The company, founded in 2017 and headquartered in Cologne, also has offices in Hamburg, Amsterdam, Miami, Rome, Paris, Warsaw, Hong Kong, and Riga. Separately, it has announced a deal with Amazon Web Services (AWS) to “push forward the expansion” of its IoT platform “on a global scale”. 1NCE’s software offering on AWS enables developers to quickly integrate NB-IoT and LTE-M into their IoT solutions with “plug and play functionalities.”

A statement said: “The collaboration further aims to strengthen ties between the two companies… It allows for the expansion of the 1NCE IoT platform via AWS infrastructure globally, significantly increasing its overall platform performance. It will literally bring the 1NCE IoT platform closer to its customers, wherever they are.”

1NCE was among the first to flat-rate cellular IoT roaming fees, a move that has been aped variously by the rest of the market, including by tier-one mobile operators, which had fumbled over NB-IoT and LTE-M inter-network charging for some years. By flat-rating IoT fees – at $10 for 10 years, in the case of 1NCE – the likes of 1NCE, as well as Belgium-based BICS and UK-based Arkessa, have squared cellular IoT for roaming and tracking of assets.

1NCE is offering 100 SIM cards for free on the AWS marketplace, via its 1NCE For All offer,

“More than 70 percent of IoT projects involve multi-national networks. And 75 percent of all IoT projects fail, mostly due to underestimated costs and underdeveloped planning. With a simple IoT flat rate service available across the globe for a 10-year period, 1NCE significantly reduces IT costs and uncertainty surrounding future price hikes, while also increasing flexibility to program and manage IoT networks,” it stated.

On the Miami base, the company said it had run a nationwide search for new US headquarters and received strong support from the Office of Miami Mayor Francis Suarez in Miami. The company is yet to identify a permanent location in Miami to house the 100-150 new staff it plans to hire over the next three years. The company wants to introduce “intelligent software connectivity and over-the-top (OTT) services” to “stay ahead of the curve” of IoT provision.

In 2022, it said it plans to expand its footprint to reach more than 140 countries (from 104 today) while increasing roaming agreements with tier-one mobile operators by 25 percent; it did not detail the number of roaming agreements it has in place today, beyond Softbank and Deutsche Telekom. It provides IoT roaming on 2G, 3G, 4G, LTE, NB-IoT and LTE-M.

Rook said: “With an enormous number of digital innovation companies and first-class universities, as well as strong logistics and infrastructure, Miami offers fertile ground for 1NCE’s ambitious growth plans in the U.S. and beyond. 1NCE is the only IoT provider to offer flat rate connectivity and software that works out-of-the-box anywhere around the globe, while still offering flexibility for design and oversight of IoT – enabling smart cities projects that will truly change how we live and work.”

Mayor Francis Suarez commented: “1NCE is an exciting addition to the rapidly expanding roster of dynamic tech companies that call Miami home. Miami’s talent pool for tech is one of the most desirable in the nation, and 1NCE will have great success finding the best and brightest to join its team. I’m pleased to welcome 1NCE to Miami, and I can’t wait to see more Internet of Things companies follow its lead.”