Q1: Please introduce us to FloLive. What does the company do and what makes FloLive different?
A1: FloLive provides the global connectivity and networking solutions for IoT use-cases that takes advantage of local orchestration and that allows global enterprises, IoT solution providers and MNOs to take advantage of a true global capability in a seamless way. FloLive enables our customers to onboard, connect and manage devices anywhere in the world by leveraging the latest technology – eSIM, soft SIM, etc., regardless of location with a simple web interface or set of APIs for management. Everything is in one place. Our global network offers a local core in many regions around the world via our partnerships with local MNOs providing improved performances, higher security and regulatory compliant solution. You can learn more at www.flolive.net.
Q2: How would you describe the current state of the connectivity market?
A2: The market today is very mature one when it comes to connecting in a single county. You can go to any local operator and find a solution. If you manufacture and deploy in one country, you will be fine. When it comes to global connectivity, a solution must take into account compliance, performance and security. There are not many solutions in the market that operate consistently across the globe. As the IoT market matures we will see evolution in different parts of the stack – data management, analytics, etc. But we do not see enough solutions that simplify connectivity, and this is where FloLive adds lots of value.
When it comes to networking the situation is even more interesting. 5G is coming, and it will be one of the biggest changes in the coming year. MNOs again will do a good job in their own footprint, but globally, orchestration is something that is not always being considered. We have seen some acquisitions, but the market must mature to make it easy to orchestrate 5G networks globally. Organizations will need to be able to manage their global 5G network simply, securely, and consistently. FloLive enables 5G simply and seamlessly on a global scale.
Q3: How does FloLive fit into what is going on with private networks?
A3: FloLive deploys 5G network capability in a global cloud, and users can deploy their topology as they like. If they have an asset tracking deployment somewhere around the world, FloLive can use a private instance on a 5G cloud infrastructure, and they can stretch the solution to be located with the customers application servers or customer premises, regardless of the cloud partner. Performance and security are much better with close co-location, and we are built for this level of flexibility. The customer does not need to change of us.
Q4: FloLive announced closing a series B round ($21.5M) in February. What made companies like Dell and Qualcomm invest in the connectivity space?
A4: Our investors generally recognize the trends that we are enabling – private networking and seamless connectivity on a global scale. The investors see that the world is changing, and they understand that FloLive is well positioned from a vision perspective, but also with our technology and execution. Owning a core mobile network stack, SIM management stack and BSS end to end is a very unique differentiator. Few companies have control of an entire integrated stack.
Q5: What are your industry predictions for 2021?
A5: A few things will happen in the market. The pressure on connectivity ARPU will continue and communication providers will need to address this. Low power IoT will become more common (NB-IoT & Cat-M). The trend for simplifying solutions will become stronger. Complexity decreases the appetite to deploy IoT solutions, and simplicity should increase the number of connected devices being deployed. Embedded SIM and soft SIM solutions will increase as it provides much more flexibility for everyone. An enterprise will have a stronger ability to move between providers for price, control and security. Finally, the global pandemic will push more IoT use cases. We will need more remote control of business processes, much more digitalization on things done by humans. All of this will require more networking capability.
FloLive believes that in the next year or two the need for simple global solutions will grow significantly. The MNOs will need to assess their path forward. They cannot easily meet price points for low power IoT. Legacy platforms are just too expensive to use to run connectivity options that only generate a few dollars a year in revenue. IoT by nature is global and they need to decide to make their own investments in new platforms or to engage more with others. Global enterprises will need to decide what to do with the eSIM trend. They will need to give a bit more control to partners for more flexibility. It is the only way to get the price point and coverage that they need.
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