Courtesy Nico Girard

OXIO’s Unified TaaS Platform Aims to Streamline M2M Connectivity

April 18, 2024
The ability to streamline device connectivity deployment and management using one unified platform will bring a range of benefits to the machine-to-machine market.

Machine-to-machine (M2M) businesses face significant challenges due to the inflexibility of traditional telecom models. Their typical fragmented approach makes it difficult for companies to understand device behavior at a global level, and reliance on single mobile network operators (MNOs) for connectivity leaves devices vulnerable to downtime during network outages or in areas with poor coverage, leading to revenue losses and dissatisfaction among customers and employees alike.

Using one unified, user-friendly platform, M2M businesses can streamline device connectivity deployment and management, eliminating the need for multiple vendors and regulatory hurdles. With its telecom-as-a-service (TaaS), OXIO has set out to help organizations from navigating country-specific regulations, contracts and operator relationships in favor of one global partner.

In making security a priority, the company has implemented detailed data monitoring features, empowering M2M businesses to safeguard sensitive information, identify fraud, and reduce malicious use of device subscriber identification module (SIM) cards and data allowances.

With features such as visualizations and dashboards, visibility and control are offered at a global scale. M2M users can monitor and track device behavior and consumption in near real-time, with the ability to self-manage and deactivate lines as needed.

Machine Design spoke with Nicolas Girard, OXIO’s founder and CEO to learn more about how the TaaS platform works. He also offered his thoughts on how companies can allocate data efficiently, scale at speed and reduce costs.

*Editor’s Note: Questions and responses have been edited for clarity.

Machine Design: Explain what OXIO’s telecom-as-a-service (TaaS) platform is and how it handles the integration of IoT devices in machine-to-machine (M2M) networks.

Nicolas Girard: OXIO’s TaaS platform is a solution for companies seeking smarter, faster and more efficient ways to connect their machines and devices. We recognize that the telecom industry as a whole was not really built to serve enterprise and corporate use cases, which is why systems integrators and mobile virtual network enablers (MVNEs) exist—to help build bridges between mobile network operators (MNOs) and companies that need connectivity.

While that model has worked for a long time, it is inherently flawed. Companies need the ability to manage their own lines, switch and add carriers as they grow, and move their devices around the world. OXIO is a turnkey, hands-on platform that enables companies to sit in the driver’s seat, manage their lines and also collect valuable network and subscriber insights that have not been readily available to them before.

OXIO has deployed its own telecom core, which allows us to integrate at a radio access network (RAN) level with MNOs and seamlessly blend their coverage into a single network experience. This results in seamless global connectivity across networks and borders, as well as technology and automation that deliver value to customers without legacy MNO dependencies.

READ MORE: Smart Factories, M2M Connections Markets Continue to Grow

MD: Can you explain the protocols and standards supported by TaaS for secure data transmission in M2M communications?

NG: I think it’s important to point out that we’re not reworking telecom protocols and standards, but we are making telecom more accessible by taking a technology-led approach. For example, we’ve automated the setups for typical M2M deployments and, due to that automation, it’s a lot easier for us to do things like point-to-point connections between our clients’ systems and the telecom network we’ve deployed, ensuring our clients devices don’t go to the public internet.

We’ve also automated zero-rating, which makes it easier than ever for our customers to limit fraud on their SIMs, which can be a common problem on certain devices like point-of-sale (POS) systems. If you were to do this directly with an MNO, it would take months. With OXIO it can be done in minutes through our platform.

MD: What mechanisms does TaaS employ to optimize bandwidth usage and minimize latency for real-time data exchange?

NG: OXIO has a unique single core that’s deployed in multiple geographic locations, and we’ve set up the network to optimize for the location of the network elements used. You can think of how we work similarly to how AWS has transformed cloud computing. We leverage modern cloud best practices and apply them to a telecom network, such as automatic scaling of compute resources based on traffic utilization.

READ MORE: Demystifying 5G Technology: Impacts, Health Concerns and Adoption

MD: How does TaaS address the challenges of network coverage and signal strength in remote or challenging environments for M2M deployments?

NG: OXIO blends our available MNO networks into a single network so SIMs will natively connect to the network that is best. Our customers also have options and from within our platform they can choose the network or combination of networks that makes the most sense for their devices or routes. One of our customers was able to get a 30% uplift in store sales by switching their POS devices, often found in rural areas with poor coverage, over to OXIO. 

MD: Does TaaS influence design considerations of M2M machines and devices in terms of connectivity requirements, energy efficiency and overall functionality?

NG: Yes, TaaS can influence these design considerations. Since TaaS is designed to work for all partner networks, devices must inherently be designed to work on all those networks to leverage the full value of the service. And as with any use case, M2M must understand the trajectory of the telecom infrastructure plan for the region. For example, if a country and associated MNOs are planning to turn down 3G networks, TaaS will not be able to circumvent this situation if the M2M hardware is not designed to work on the remaining generational networks. TaaS will help seamlessly navigate these technology transitions in a way where the client does not have to think about how this transition would happen at a local level as long as the hardware has been designed to be compatible with the migration.

MD: How does the global expansion of Taas impact the reach and adaptability of M2M solutions in diverse international markets, considering regulatory differences, network infrastructures and cross-border data transfer challenges?

NG: OXIO is a one-network solution like AWS and Stripe who have built global platforms in what have been historically extremely localized industries. Like any modern software solution, we act as a buffer for our customers—handling the contracts, regulations and complexities of telecom.

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