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IIJ to Strengthen MVNO Support as an MVNE
TOKYO--November 12, 2010--Internet Initiative Japan, Inc., (IIJ, NASDAQ: IIJI, TSE1: 3774), one of Japan's leading Internet access and comprehensive network solutions providers, today announced a plan to bolster its mobile virtual network enabler (MVNE) business, which provides mobile communications capacity to mobile virtual network operators (MVNO), by providing bandwidth commensurate with the applications of the MNVOs, and a connectivity plan with a fee schedule based on bandwidth. The target for implementing the plan is the end of fiscal 2010.
IIJ joined the ranks of MVNOs in January 2008 though the launch of its enterprise-class high-speed mobile data communications service, IIJ Mobile Service. While continuing to promote the integration of mobile communications with corporate networks, IIJ expanded into the machine-to-machine (M2M) communications field in 2009 with the introduction of mobile lines optimized for M2M modules. This enabled IIJ clients to connect a wide range of devices to their networks in addition to computers, such as vending machines, surveillance systems, and sensor-based measuring devices. IIJ also entered the MVNE sector, providing support for companies newly entering the MVNO industry.
Originally, IIJ adopted a line resale model for MVNOs using the IIJ Mobile Service, but the connectivity plan of this new service uses a fee schedule based on the amount of bandwidth assigned to the MVNO. This approach allows MVNOs to obtain network services with bandwidth and costs that work with their business models, thus reducing start-up costs and lowering the bar to market entry, much the same way that the line-resale model did. MVNOs can also control their bandwidth and thus fix their per-line costs, which enables them to develop unique fee schedules and value-added services.
The proliferation of mobile communications is creating seismic environmental changes--high-speed mobile data communications, smartphone penetration, and mobile SIM locking/unlocking to name a few?and the number of companies considering entering the MVNO arena is growing. However, there are many challenges that prevent many of these companies from moving forward: problems with interconnectivity between mobile network operators (MNO), the high initial investment to construct a service, and lack of expertise in network building. IIJ believes that its new connectivity plan and bandwidth-based fee schedule combined with outsourcing of MVNO network construction and operation will resolve these issues and smooth the way forward for new MVNOs.
With the release of this new connectivity plan, IIJ will also be strengthening its sales system and providing further support for MVNO through consulting services for companies considering starting their own MVNO business.